(Closed) When you can't attend a wedding, do you still give a gift?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Do you still send a gift/money when you can't attend the wedding?
    yes : (48 votes)
    48 %
    no : (12 votes)
    12 %
    other/sometimes (explain below) : (40 votes)
    40 %
  • Post # 2
    2685 posts
    Sugar bee

    I’ll always send a card at a minimum and I’ll include a gift if I can afford it.  At our wedding, I think everyone who couldn’t make it sent us a card or gift.  

    Post # 3
    2491 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    I still give a gift

    Post # 4
    1206 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I always send a card with money if I can’t attend the wedding (the same with a shower, if I can’t attend I still send a gift).  Not that it’s required but I just think it’s a nice thing to do.

    Post # 5
    824 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I always intend to…

    Post # 6
    1695 posts
    Bumble bee

    Gift-giving properly has no connection whatsoever to party-attendance. If you allow that connection to creep into your mindset, you start thinking of gifts as being your admission-fee to the event, which cheapens all the virtuous hospitality your hostess has offered you and turns the whole host-and-guest relationship into a tawdry commercial transaction. Go down that road, and you will find yourself calling up your hostess to ask about her catering costs so that you can “cover your plate.” Shudder.

    Your hostess has invited you because she values you as a friend. Period. Definately NOT because she wants to extort a gift from you. You give a gift because you value the couple and want to celebrate their marriage. Period. Definately not because you feel obligated because you are attending a party at their expense.

    Give a gift or not, depending on whether you love the couple enough to want to bestow a gift; and if you do give a gift, have it sent to their home so that you do not look like you are buying your way into the party with a festively wrapped mixmaster.

    Post # 7
    784 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    citysparkle:  I guess etiquette would be yes, but for me, it depends on who it is. 

    Post # 8
    1244 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

    Usually. If it’s a wedding I genuinely wanted to attend, I’ll send a hand-written letter and a nice gift. If it’s just some rando (former college dorm member, fifth cousin twice removed, husband’s coworker from another department) we’ll pick something cheap off the registry as a gesture.

    Post # 9
    455 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  I once sent a text to a friend that said something along the lines of “can you send me your address again?  I’m sorry I haven’t sent your gift.  My mother was just diagnosed with cancer and we’ve been really busy with doctors.”  She sent her address and nothing else.  I did not send the gift.  

    A wedding invitation isn’t a bill.  If you don’t attend, send well wishes and no one can fault you for that.  I’ll be uncomfortable if the people who decline to attend send money, especially where there are a few courtesy invites being sent to family who are too elderly to travel.  My intentions in sending them an invitation is not to receive a gift.  I just want them to feel like part of a big event in my life even if they aren’t able to attend.  Heck, I’ll be uncomfortable with gifts from attendees, but social protocol seems to involve uncomfortable gifts for weddings.  

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  seeker.
    Post # 10
    3867 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    citysparkle:  I usually always send a card with either a gift card or cash in it. 

    Post # 11
    486 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    For me it depends entirely on my relationship with the person.  If it is someone who I am close to and can’t attend for some extenuating circumstance, I will always send something.  If it’s some random distant family member that likely only invited me out of obligation- I just send my best wishes.

    Post # 12
    11520 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    citysparkle:  for me it really depends on who it is.  In my younger years I never did.  as I’ve gotten older I’ve made sure to at least send a card.  For family and good friends I send a gift.  For people I don’t really know that well, usually just a card.

    Post # 13
    4510 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’ll send a card, at the very least. If I’m close to the person (friend, close family member) and can afford it, I send a gift – sometimes a check, sometimes a gift from their registry.

    Post # 14
    612 posts
    Busy bee

    citysparkle:  Honestly when I was younger and didn’t really know proper etiquette was, I didn’t think twice about not sending something if I wasn’t attending or I would only give them a shower present and not a wedding gift.

    Now that I have been married myself, I realize how much this stands out. We didn’t get gifts from some people that didn’t attend. Some of them were really close friends, some of them weren’t. We didn’t take it personal, but we def. noticed. Even if you don’t think of this person as a close friend, find something for $25 or send them a gift card. Although you are not obligated and an invite is not a request for a gift, it will go a long way in their eyes.


    Post # 15
    13564 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    I usually still send a gift from the registry. If we’re close enough to be invited to the weddng, we’re close enough that I want to send a gift to say congratulations. 🙂

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