Do You Need To Give A Gift If You Don’t Attend The Wedding?

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Attending a wedding can be expensive – especially if you didn’t get a plus-one. You have to buy clothes, pay to get to the event, and spend money just to show your face at the wedding. But what if you can’t even make it to the special day? Do you still need to give a gift in order to stay on the bride and groom’s good side? In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about wedding etiquette when you can’t show up at someone’s wedding event.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide…
• Do You Need To Give a Gift If You Don’t Attend The Wedding?
• What About If You Miss a Bridal Shower or Engagement Party?
• How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift if You’re Not Going
• The Best Wedding Gifts to Send from Afar

Do You Need To Give a Gift If You Don’t Attend The Wedding?

So you’ve received the wedding invitations in the mail but you can’t make it. Do you still need to give a gift?

The answer to that is…. there is no hard and fast rule.

But wedding gift etiquette says that it’s still a nice gesture to give a gift even if you’re not attending the wedding.

After all, the couple had thought of you when sending out invitations to be a part of their special day.

That’s why sending a gift in return, even if you’re not attending, is a great way to appreciate the invitation and that you’re thinking of them.

Read also: Do Bridesmaid and Groomsmen give wedding gifts?

Whether you choose to give something from their wedding registry or perhaps something a bit more personalized, the couple will more than likely appreciate it.

And who knows, maybe you’ll even get a shoutout from the couple at the wedding party for the thoughtful gesture!

Read also: What is a wedding gift registry?

What About If You Miss a Bridal Shower or Engagement Party?

Alright, so we know about wedding gift etiquette not attending. What if your friend or family member sends a wedding invitation and you can’t make it to her bridal shower or engagement party?

Do you still need to send a gift if you miss those pre-wedding events?

The short answer is… it depends on your relationship with the bride and/or groom.

Assuming it’s a close relationship, we’d say yes, you should consider giving a small gift even if you miss the bridal shower or engagement party.

Plus, a small engagement gift or bridal shower gift is a great way to show your support and enthusiasm for the upcoming wedding.

But if you have a specific situation where perhaps you’re strapped for cash, then it’s likely you can skip on the pre-wedding gifts.

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you show your loved one(s) that you care and share the joy on the actual wedding day.

How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift if You’re Not Going

So you’ve received the wedding invitation but can’t make it to the special day.

Don’t worry about it too much, because you can still send a gift to the couple.

But the question is how much should you spend on a wedding gift if you’re not going?

The answer is… it depends.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, but it’s typically safe to say that a smaller gift is suitable.

After all, you wouldn’t be enjoying any of the things that come with the wedding party like an open bar or a wedding feast.

If it’s a destination wedding and you’re saving up to attend the wedding on their wedding date, you can simply opt for a less expensive gift or perhaps even a personal, heartfelt note.

As always, it’s the thought that counts!

The Best Wedding Gifts to Send from Afar

Sending a gift from afar? Finding the perfect wedding present can be a challenge.

While a physical gift can be tricky to send across long distances, cash gifts are always a safe bet.

If you’re not sure how much to give, we’d recommend considering the approximate cost of the wedding and your relationship with the couple.

A great alternative is to chip in with a group gift, which can be a great way to give the couple something special.

And if you really want to take things a step further, we’d suggest contributing to their honeymoon funds or purchasing something from the couple’s registry.

Read also: How to make a wedding registry on Amazon

The great thing about registries is that the item will be shipped directly to the couple’s address after the wedding date.

Read also: How to make a Crate & Barrel wedding registry

Remember, it’s not about the size or price of the gift, but rather the thought and love that goes behind it!

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John Anderson
With over two decades of wedding experience, John Anderson is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor at Life Line Wedding. He writes a variety of articles spanning over multiple areas of expertise including engagement rings, diamonds, wedding jewelry, and wedding planning. John's mission is to help soon-to-be-married couples make educated and well-informed decisions. He now spends his time writing articles to help couples on John is based in Brooklyn, NY.