(Closed) When guests do not bring gifts to the wedding

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

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socalgirl1689 :  tricky situation. I’m telling people that their presence is enough. I’m not getting married for gifts. I love cards though because I’m really sentimental. Would be a bit gutted if we didn’t get cards though 😳



I once went to a wedding where the bride and groom were given cash – they actually got enough money to put a deposit down on a house in London UK. They did spend £45,000 on their wedding though… 

Post # 3
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I know this is not ideal but I have literally never managed to bring a card or gift to the wedding itself. It wasn’t until recently that I even knew that was a thing. I either get something off the registry sent directly to them or give a card with money. Often after the wedding (there’s a rule about a year – I’m not proud of it but I’ve used it). Last weekend is way too soon to be worried about it. 

Also you probably should not expect 100% of guests to give a gift. I think it just doesn’t happen that way. 5 of 80 sounds like nothing to me. 

Post # 4
9519 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

It bothered me that my father did not give anything, not even a card but beyond that I didn’t care. People take time and expense to go to a wedding. A card is thoughtful and should be given but if someone doesn’t there is not much you can do. She can bring it up but it will most likely only cause her more issues.

Post # 5
3679 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I can’t imagine not giving a gift at a wedding. 

Post # 7
54 posts
Worker bee

I can’t imagine going to a barbecue empty handed, let alone someone’s wedding. Yes, we’re told not to expect gifts, but no one will ever be able to convince me that it’s not tacky to show up with nothing. Honestly, a card is all it takes. 

What confuses me more is when people say that you shouldn’t send thank you cards to people who don’t give a gift because it’s seen as “gift grabby.” If their presence is their present, why not thank them for it?

Post # 8
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

10% sounds about right.

DH and I didn’t expect gifts, but a card would be nice. I was happy most of our friends gifted us Zola/Honeyfund or mailed us gifts directly from our Amazon registry. We live in a small condo (so cash is king for us) and I didn’t want to deal with transporting gifts after our wedding.  A lot of our close engaged/married friends know cash is best so in our eyes, we don’t see it tacky.

We had a few guests that just gifted us a silpat mat (the guest and his +1 make over $160k/yr), and another guest who didn’t even give a card nor gift even though I gifted her items for her baby shower, and DH had attended her wedding. 

As a guest, I think a gift ($30-$100) is ideal, a card isn’t necessary. But if the guest cannot afford a gift due to other circumstances, a card is always best.

Post # 9
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

We had 114 guests (about 53 couples/families) and had two people not give gifts. One was DH’s mother and the other was a close friend who also did not gift at the shower.  We are going to send thank you cards to both.  I don’t plan on mentioning anything to either party.  We were told by both parites that “I forgot your card at home”, but it remains to be seen if a card really exists.  Honestly, it does kind of bother me but more in the puzzlement kind of way.  Like I’m genuinely curious if this is a jab at us, especially for his Mom to not give us even a card. 

Post # 10
584 posts
Busy bee

My fiance’s sister recently texted us in regard to our December wedding saying “Sorry bro; I’m broke- our presence is your present”… That’s at least one gift I know I won’t be getting.

Post # 11
4225 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

For my wedding, we only had one couple not give a gift…but to be honest we weren’t surprised (based on the personality of the couple).

Even if none of my guests gave gifts I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape. The reason being our wedding guest list only consisted of family and close friends…and I know what there people’s pocket books are like so there was NO expectation! (I say that in the politest way possible). Ironically, the couple who didn’t give a gift were the most financially well off, AND took the heaviest advantage of the open bar….just goes to show…

Post # 12
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

ehh, i think there were a handful (probably around 5 or so) guests that didnt give anything. we didnt really notice till we sat down to write thank you cards. To be honest i didnt really care. i mean out of the 60 or so guests that attended it wasnt that big of a deal. I guess it just depends on the person. 

Post # 13
8434 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

There were quite a few people that didn’t bring gifts to our wedding, and ya know what?  It didn’t matter.  Some of my friends stretched their budgets just to show up to my wedding, so really their attendance was their gift; and I’m totally okay with that.

Post # 14
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016 - Theater

I would not show to a wedding empty handed, it just wouldn’t feel right to me.

That said I was surprised when family decided to forgo any remembrance, including cards. Thankfully our guest book was polaroids, so we have a little memento from everyone (granted we paid for it!) But my only advice is to not dwell on it, it’s not like you can ask for gifts after the fact. For some reason these people didn’t think they should celebrate with neither gift nor card, for reasons we may never know.

On the bright side, I didn’t really have courtesy invitees, so the presence of everyone who attended was already a big delight and a blessing. I’d be more annoyed if giftless cardless guests were also people my mom or aunt or Mrs Meyers from the grocery store had invited.

Post # 15
1311 posts
Bumble bee

I always buy a gift for weddings, I would feel awful if I didn’t.

However, I think it’s awful not getting a thank you card or even a “thanks!” If someone does not thank me, I’ll make a mental note that they don’t get another gift from me. 

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