Do You Need To Send A Gift Even If You Can't Attend A Wedding?

A couple’s wedding day is one of the most special moments in their lives. This is why they take the time to select who’ll make it to their guest list — the people to whom they want to share this beautiful day. But what if your current situation won’t allow you to attend if you’ve been invited? Do you need to send wedding gifts for bride and groom in lieu of your physical attendance?

Wedding Gift-Giving Etiquette and Tips

Traditionally speaking, wedding etiquette dictates that there’s no need to do such a thing. But while you’re not obligated to send them gifts, there are still some considerations that you have to know.

For instance, if you’re not that close with any of the soon-to-be-wed couple, it’s generally acceptable to just send back the RSVP card with a "no" response. As a thoughtful way of appreciating their decision to invite you, you can send along a simple congratulatory card.

People who can’t attend but are generally expected to send some gifts include family members, relatives, and close friends and colleagues. If you belong to this category and you’re thinking about which wedding gifts for bride and groom you have to buy, here are some tips:

Always take into account your relationship with the couple. If you have a close, deep relationship with the bride and groom and you can’t make it to their special day, it can be disheartening news for them. This is why in your absence, it only makes sense to give a gift that reflects the kind of relationship you have with them. Put yourself in their shoe and you’ll understand that while sending just a congratulatory card is nice, it won’t feel sufficient.

Look into their gift registry. Cash or cheque is one of the go-to gift items of many wedding attendees. But if you want to show that you’ve put in effort into your gift, it’s better to check the things that they’ve listed in their registry.

Add a personal touch. Did the couple add kitchen-related stuff like mason jars, cutting boards, and serving trays in their wishlist? To make your gift extra special, you can look for these gift items that can be personalized with the couple’s surname. You can also surprise them by adding an extra gift item like wind chimes or ornaments that bear short-but-sweet messages celebrating their union.

Be mindful of the timing. Many industry experts agree that one of the best times to send gifts for a wedding that you can’t attend is before the big day. Typically, they advise guests to send them along with the RSVP card. If you can’t send it before, make sure to have it shipped within about one month after the wedding. In some circumstances, sending a wedding gift within a year after the ceremony was held can still be acceptable.

Go with your instinct if your budget is your concern. How much should you spend on your wedding gifts for bride and groom? This is a commonly asked question, especially by people who won’t be physically there to witness the couple’s union. While an individual typically spends $120 for a wedding gift, the decision still boils down to your gut feel — and, again, the kind of relationship you have with the couple.