11 answers

Wedding Gift When Not Attending Wedding

Hi. We were invited to a friend's wedding (not a very close friend, someone I see primarily when I see one of my good friends). We cannot attend the wedding. How much do we give? Do we give the same amount as we would if we were attending, or do people usually give less if they are not attending? We're usually pretty genererous, but I'm asking this question b/c we have 3 weddings on the same day & 2 mortgages right now, and I'm not sure if we should be as generous as normal, or what is expected.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It's good to see that most of us are on the same page. If you don't go to the wedding send them a nice card with a short personal note. Considering they are really "a friend of a friend" I wouldn't feel any more obligation than that.

More Answers

Wow, I'm surprised that most people say just to give a card. We are in the two-mortgage boat as well (lucky us!) but despite that, I feel like a gift should be sent even if you're not attending the wedding. If money is tight, it's always nicer to get a wedding gift from the registry or to pick one out yourself. Don't get them their towels or a bridal shower gift like that, but look for a pretty picture frame or a small piece of their china. I have to say in my experience, it is expected to send a smaller gift if you don't attend the wedding. It's your call, since you know the couple, but when we've been in your shoes we send a gift. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

If you WANT to give, then give from your heart, not necessarily from the "list", which to me feels like a subtle demand.
And, if you don't know them, or see them, why even give anything at all?

In my opinion the whole wedding gift thing has gotten way out of proportion, and turned into some sort of shopping trip.

The big question is this: In five years or less, what will this couple remember most about you? Your trinket, or the wonderful times you share? Your close and abiding friendship or the toaster that they gave away to Good Will? Will they even remember you at all when they give that toaster away?


Why give a gift at all? A beautiful card and a heartfelt message for a wonderful life together is enough. You are not attending so there is no need to give them anthing. Many people just decline and not even send a card.

Give what you can afford to give, no more. Just the gesture of a gift is enough. As long as you are not attending the wedding, then the couple won't be paying for your plate, so anything you give is a gift. Its the thought that counts.

If you're not attending the wedding, you don't really need to send a gift. If you'd like to anyway, I'd just give what you can afford.

Give from your heart T., Everyone knows that the Economy has brought about changes. So give what you can give.

Trust me there will be many who won't give anything, and not because they don't want to.


If the tables were turned and it were your wedding, what would you think would be an appropriate gift coming from a family who isn't attending the wedding? Just think about it as "do unto others as you'd have done to you", and your decision will be the right one.

If I don't go to a wedding, unless it is someone who is a close relative or friend, I usually don't send a gift, just a card. Not a matter of being as "generous as normal"....just realistic. A nice bottle of wine or champagne, with a nice sentiment can be a smaller, heartfelt gift if you feel you should respond with something, even in a little basket with cheese & crackers, is nice. Good luck.

If we don't attend a wedding, we usually give half of what we would if we did attend.

It's good to see that most of us are on the same page. If you don't go to the wedding send them a nice card with a short personal note. Considering they are really "a friend of a friend" I wouldn't feel any more obligation than that.

I agree, a card and small gift such as wine or champagne is plenty. When I got married, we didn't get response cards back from several people or even a congratulatory card from people that I considered to know well. So don't feel like you're obligated to give much. These are not close friends of yours.

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