(Closed) Really?! no wedding gifts expected?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Are wedding gifts expected at your wedding?

    Your company is my gift, awww. *cough*

    A card is enough to show you care

    This is a wedding, not a Charity, give me my gift!

    I am rich (or want not), so lets just donate money to a good cause.

  • Post # 3
    3884 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    As a guest, it’s not really optional for me to bring a gift unless the bride or groom tells me otherwise– which has happened, when I’ve incurred big travel bills to get to the wedding. In that case, I just bring a card.

    As a bride, though, my outlook was totally different. I honestly was not hurt by those who chose not to give a gift. But DH and I were living together for 3 years before the wedding and we’re about as established a household as you can get. Not much we need. We put up a donations link in lieu of gifts and got about $700 for the local animal rescue, most of which was matched by my employer as many of those donors were co-workers. We did also get a mix of cash, gift cards, hotel vouchers and physical gifts, a couple bottles of wine, and some cards as well.

    Post # 4
    9538 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think it’s a matter of semantics. If we’re being honest, I think most people “expect” presents because we know that the social norm is to bring presents so, statistically, it’s the likely scenario. On the other hand I don’t think we should “expect” each individual person to bring a present and get upset if they don’t bring one or donn’t bring the right one.

    So basically, make appropriate plans in the case that presents are bought (registries, gift table, card box). But don’t comment on or be upset if presents aren’t bought.

    Post # 5
    7547 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2013

    IMO, gifts are nice but not mandatory. I think the problem is some brides come on here to vent about how they didn’t get enough gifts or money at their wedding. A gift, by definition, is voluntary.

    Post # 6
    9071 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I don’t need gifts. I have never expected gifts, however I grew up in a very poor household. Some months we had to choose food over electricity. Christmases and birthdays were planned for, but not every year was a possibility. Things happen.

    It is in my nature to never expect a gift.

    Now, in a wedding aspect: My husband is Military here in Oklahoma. He bought a house last year and was able to furnish it completely. When we started dating and when I moved in, we had everything we needed.

    We are making it explicit that gifts are not expected nor required. We don’t need anything. But if someone wanted to graciously give us a gift, we would prefer money (although we do have a very small registry of “non necessities” because my mother insisted.)

    We always have uses for money, but money nor gifts are expected from anyone at our wedding in June.


    Weddings, for the most part, are gift optional. If the couple is known to have an established home, I’d probably throw a few bucks at them or get them a gift card or something. I wouldn’t physically “buy a gift” unless I knew they’d use it/need it/had a brand new house/etc.

    Post # 7
    3051 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    I don’t think I could imagine showing up to a wedding without a gift, be it physical or cash/check. I’m still a waiting bee so I’m not sure what I’ll “expect” (or anticipate rather) as a bride but I will probably expect the family members whose weddings I’ve attended and sent a gift to do the same. That’s kind of life to me, I give, you give. I don’t give, you don’t give. The norm I guess.

    Post # 8
    1548 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    While I don’t think anyone should have a wedding for the gifts or get upset if someone doesn’t give one, I would never and have never attended a wedding without giving a gift. I think its rude to show up without anything, not even a card. You give what you can, whether its a card, a bottle or wine, $25 or $300 – but showing up empty handed is rude at any occasion. 

    Post # 9
    4839 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Here people do not bring gifts to weddings, they give presentation, which is money. It’s considered rude to not give presenation, or to give too little. They give gifts at a bridal shower, however. 

    I personally would not be upset about someone not giving a gift or bringing money, and would not think less of someone for it. It’s very nice of them to do so if they feel so compelled. 

    Usually though, it’s seen as rude to come empty handed to a wedding or bridal shower here. That being said, many cultures and places have very different norms when it comes to that type of thing. 


    Post # 10
    1509 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    @Cheekyduck:  As a guest, I always bring a gift of some kind (whether it be a card with a check inside or an actual gift from a registry).  I do feel like it’s kind of expected/the norm.

    However … I personally don’t expect (or even particularly want) gifts for my own wedding.  My fiance is kind of “meh” about it.  Would it be nice to receive something?  Well, sure.  I mean, who doesn’t like to receive gifts or money?

    But here’s the thing … The majority of my guests (and several of his) are traveling to attend.  I don’t mean driving an hour or two.  I mean flying in (plane tickets from my hometown area to my current location generally cost anywhere from $300 to $450), staying in a hotel, renting a car, etc.  I honestly feel that it’s rude for me to expect any sort of gift from someone who is already forking over a significant amount of money to attend the wedding.  

    I wish I could afford to pay for everyone’s travel expenses, but unfortuntately I can’t.  If my fiance and I had tons of money, though, I definitely would (and still would not expect any gifts in return).  

    I can say with complete certainty that I will not be disappointed with the amount of gifts/money we receive.  I honestly don’t even want to register because there’s nothing we want or need … So I’ll actually be shocked if we get anything!  Haha.

    ETA: We’re not having any showers or anything either, so none of our guests will need to be concerned about giving something for that.

    Post # 11
    6253 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2014

    As far as my behavior and words are concerned, gifts are completely optional. But if someone that I was pretty sure wasn’t struggling showed up emptyhanded after I’d bought something nice for their wedding, honestly I’d be a little peeved. But I’d never ever dream of saying anything, either to the person or behind her back. Ever since I’ve been old enough to know to, and have made enough money to, I’ve always brought a gift, but I realize that doing the right thing isn’t currency.

    And to me that’s the point of etiquette–not to control your mind, but to rein in your interactions with others.  And though I wish I was genuinely a comlpetely selfless person, honestly, I am not. And I don’t think most people are. But I do know that polite interactions are what make the world go around, and I know that’s both who I want to be and who others expect me to be, so I will gladly put on a happy face and toe the line.

    Post # 12
    668 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    That’s why its etiquette — the “unspoken” rules.

    The rule is you give a gift for a wedding you are invited to. Even if you only get an invitation you’re supposed to give a gift (hence why some people think that if you invite your Dad’s rich third cousin you’re kind of gift grabbing). It’s the same as if you are hosting a party/dinner/etc. it is the “rule” that you should bring something for the host/hostess.

    The rule is that you are supposed to be a gracious host and not expect anything and most definitely not ask or seem like you expect. In reality do you. Heck yes, but it is against “etiquette” to seem anything but.


    Can you break these rules? Yes. But the whole point is with etiquette, if you break the rules, you’re seen as rude. End of story.

    ETA: (and it’s against etiquette to say its rude, but it can definitely change your perception of people).

    All etiquette works that way. For instance thank you cards. I can call someone and thank them but etiquette says I send them a hand written note within x amount of time (that x is debated in etiquette spheres). Can I get away with not? Sure. Will people think I’m rude for not following etiquette…probably.

    Post # 13
    4042 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I don’t expect my international guests to bring a thing (okay, an empty card would be nice) because they will be paying a pretty penny just to attend, and that means the world to me already.

    My local multi-millionare snooty aunt and uncle arriving empty-handed? I’ll be annoyed. But then again, my mother doesn’t remember them ever attending a wedding.

    I don’t expect anything lavish from anyone, but I do appreciate the thoughtfulness in bringing something – even if it is just a card. And I would never in my life expect people to go outside their means for my wedding.

    Post # 14
    142 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Wanna know something funny?

    I have never even noticed if guests brought a gift or not to any of my girls’ weddings. Haha. 

    As a bride, I just want people to have fun. The fact that people are travelling and spending the weekend with us is enough. 

    Even though opening things is an awful lot of fun…I’m not going to hold it against someone if they can’t or don’t bring me a present. I know they still love me. 😉


    Post # 15
    4687 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

    It’s definitely custom to give a pretty decent size check here in NY. I appreciate it very much but understand if guests can’t and don’t provide much.


    Post # 16
    771 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @Cheekyduck:  Although I don’t think it’s right, I think it’s common to “expect” a gift.  But if you don’t recieve a gift, I don’t think it’s appropriate to get your panties in a bunch over it.  Between the shower and the wedding itself, it’s a lot to ask of your guests, especially those who aren’t in the best financial situation.

    Imagine your parents are in financial straits and they can’t afford to give you a Christmas gift… do you get upset at them?  No.  Gifts are gifts, they are a privelege, not a right.

    The topic ‘Really?! no wedding gifts expected?’ is closed to new replies.

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