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

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
Member
2290 posts
Buzzing bee

I think your friend made out like a bandit! When my ex and I married, there were about 110 guests and we received about 30 gifts and cards total. Maybe $500 or so in cash, and the rest were small things off of the registry!

SO and I went to a wedding this past weekend and didn’t bring a card or gift with us (running late), BUT we did send them a very nice gift in the mail first thing Monday morning.

Post # 17
Member
992 posts
Busy bee

If we say that their presence is enough then we should mean it.  These ettiquete rules contradict themselves sometimes.  /Rant over

Post # 18
Member
5992 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

View original reply
artdecogal :  horrible.  She still has 3+ months to save. 

I couldn’t imagine going to a wedding empty handed.  Nothing is for free and I wouldn’t feel comfortable eating and drinking on somebody else’s expense.

Post # 19
Member
14145 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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socalgirl1689 :  While sooner is better, traditional etiquette says you really do have a year to send a gift. Most ideal is not to take a gift to a wedding at all, which is an inconvenience to the couple, but to send it before or soon after. While traditional etiquette holds that wedding gifts are voluntary, and not to be expected, they are also customary to the point that I personally can’t imagine not giving one on my end if I’m close enough to be invited and attend. 

Cash is traditional in some cultural circles, but in general it’s not considered a gracious or personal gift.

Thank you notes are for gifts, not attendance. 

Contemporary etiquette slants things a little differently. Wedding gifts are not to be expected by the couple, but on the giving end is considered mandatory for those who attend. Again, sending ahead is considered most considerate.

Post # 20
Member
1990 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

View original reply
northernbird :  My friends received enough for a deposit on a house in London and their wedding cost £45k but her parents paid so I’m guessing we weren’t at the same wedding!

Post # 21
Member
1990 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

We were surprised by some guest’s generosity but also surprised that some didn’t give a card let alone a gift.

One that I admit irritated me was my friend who asked for honeymoon contributions for her wedding last year and we gave generously as well as travelling and staying at a super expensive hotel. They gave us a card but no present. Even a bottle of wine would have been fine. People would say you don’t give to receive but that really did grate on me at the time. 

Post # 22
Member
14093 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I didn’t keep a list of who gave gifts and who didn’t.  I wrote thank you cards as I opened the gifts, and that was it.  We are in a social circle that finds it incredibly rude to send thank you cards to people who didn’t give gifts, so I didn’t need to have a list of who gave and who didn’t — just thank yous to who gave a physical gift.

The only person I noticed who didn’t give a card or a gift were my in-laws.  No joke.  DH called them out on it, and they said they didn’t think it was necessary.

Post # 23
Member
7348 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I think it’s pretty rude to be counting who gave gifts and who didn’t and then having feelings about it. If you’re hosting an event for people you love, do it, do it as well as you possibly can and get on with your life together.

Maybe it’s because I live somewhere really expensive where just getting to some people’s weddings is a big deal and effort. There have been times when I couldn’t even afford a card and I’d hate for people to have been talking after the fact about what kind of person I must be to not have even brought a card.

The point of the wedding should not be to get gifts, it’s to get married. If my friend contacted me to whine about who didn’t give her a card or a gift (and I’ve got one friend who is the kind of person who would do this), I’d probably have to get off the phone. It just comes across as so petty.

Post # 24
Member
17 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I think it’s rude to not bring/send/mail a gift of some sort, but 5 out of 80 isn’t bad! I Guess you just have to expect that not everyone knows proper wedding etiquette. 

Post # 25
Member
3832 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

View original reply
lifeisbeeutiful :  I agree that nothing is for free, but that sentiment goes beyond just the bride and groom. We have guests missing work and spending hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels just to celebrate my Fiance and I getting married. Weddings may not cost as much for guests as it does for those hosting the wedding, but few people if any are getting anything for free and not incurring some kind of cost when it comes to weddings.

Post # 26
Member
2242 posts
Buzzing bee

I had 145 attend my wedding.  Although I didn’t track gifts on the same sheet as invitations I knew who didn’t give gifts.  Just writing down gifts and sending thank yous I realized who didn’t gift.  Out of 145 people two couples have not given anything although one keeps saying a card is in the mail.  They are having a baby and I kind of wish DH had just told them not to bother, save for the baby.  One couple gave only a card.  And then there are 10 people, representing three families that didn’t give a gift or card for the wedding but gave me shower gifts and I am assuming they think that is enough, and it is although everyone else at the shower did also give a wedding gift.  So counting all of those people except the couple that gave a card that would be like exactly 10% that didn’t give anything at the wedding.  Though I’m not sure its really fair to count those that gave at the shower.  If I count those who gave at the shower as giving a gift its only about 3% that didn’t give anything.

I will also note that although I didn’t tally it all up, a lot of couples gave $50 or a $50 gift card or equivalent gift so no house down payment here!  It really depends where you are.  Although really I can’t imagine myself and DH ever gifting less than $100, that is probably our minimum.

Post # 27
Member
986 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

We had several people not get us gifts – which I totally understood, esp bc some were in the bridal party and some flew across the country to attend. But I was a little sad that some people couldn’t even write out a card – esp some people in the bridal party (on both sides). I would have loved a heartfelt card at least from the people who I considered to be my closest girlfriends. 

Post # 28
Member
47420 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
weddingmaven :  what she said.

I would not feel comfortable not sending a gift. If I care enough about the couple to attend the wedding, I care enough to choose a gift to commemorate the occasion.

Post # 29
Member
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2026

I do not expect any gifts. If they want to give me something, great (preferably it’s practical). If not, that’s great, too. Thanks for coming! I don’t think you should ever expect gifts. Gifts should never be mandatory. 

 

Edit: ^ That’s just the culture I grew up with. I found it weird when my co-workers were all writing each other birthday cards and such. I just prefer being low profile and don’t want the whole shebang, decorated office table, flowers and gifts. Nope. Not for me. 

Post # 30
Member
3163 posts
Sugar bee

I wish the people who saw our wedding as a free party RSVPd no instead of coming and not even bothering to bring a card. I don’t really care if that comes across as rude, because I think the rudeness of not offering a note of congratulations far outweighs that. If gifts and cards aren’t important to these people they should decline them as well when suggested or offered but in my experience they are usually the most gift grabby of all

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