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Is a wedding gift optional?

By admin on June 27th, 2008 0 comments yet. Be the First

wedding-gift-ideas.jpgI’ve been sitting here reading InStyle Weddings and a question on the Etiquette pages startled me. The question is: “How should we deal with guests who don’t give a gift?”

I must admit, my first thought was a sarcastic, “Oh humiliate them in front of everyone”, but when I read the answer – send a letter thanking them for their attendance, which should then alert them that they haven’t yet sent a gift – I realised that this is a serious concern. For some. It wasn’t for me. I can honestly say that I had no list, mental or otherwise, of those friends and family members who didn’t send a gift. A gift is optional, surely? Not a prerequisite for attendance at the wedding?


I certainly hope that’s the case, because I didn’t take a gift to the last three weddings I attended. The first the couple said “no gifts” (does “no gifts” really mean no gifts or is it like when a wife says, “Oh you don’t have to get me anything for Valentine’s Day?). The second time, I was so late looking at the wedding list that there was nothing good left so I got them a nice first wedding anniversary gift instead. The third couple said that our presence was present enough (again, I assumed they really meant this, but perhaps I shouldn’t have?) and, since attending their wedding cost us hundreds of pounds, I felt justified in skipping the gift.

But is it just me? Am I a really bad wedding guest? If you go to a wedding, is it essential to take a gift? Do you have a blacklist of wedding guests who didn’t pony up the pressies? I’m dying to know!

Related: The worst gift you could buy a bride? | Ethical gift giving – our green wedding list | Are you buying each other a wedding gift? |




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