Wedding Etiquette Forum

Just Curious...

My husband and I got married in September and everything went perfectly! As soon as we got back from our Honeymoon we sent Thank You cards for all of the generous gifts we received. I noticed about 1/3 of our guests did not give gifts or cards. My husband and I really don't mind; we were happy to have everyone there and thrilled at what a great time everyone had. 

But, we were surprised by how many people did not give gifts (5 out of 9 people in our wedding party did not give us a gift; best man and maid of honor included). I'm curious to hear what other people have experienced. We were blessed to have our friends and family share in our special day, I just want to make sure I didn't miss the etiquette wagon. Is it that common to not bring gifts/cards to a wedding? Is that tradition dying? I know gifts are not required but I just can't imagine not giving a gift/card to the bride and groom. 

Re: Just Curious...

  • lodele47 said:
    My husband and I got married in September and everything went perfectly! As soon as we got back from our Honeymoon we sent Thank You cards for all of the generous gifts we received. I noticed about 1/3 of our guests did not give gifts or cards. My husband and I really don't mind; we were happy to have everyone there and thrilled at what a great time everyone had. 

    But, we were surprised by how many people did not give gifts (5 out of 9 people in our wedding party did not give us a gift; best man and maid of honor included). I'm curious to hear what other people have experienced. We were blessed to have our friends and family share in our special day, I just want to make sure I didn't miss the etiquette wagon. Is it that common to not bring gifts/cards to a wedding? Is that tradition dying? I know gifts are not required but I just can't imagine not giving a gift/card to the bride and groom. 
    Yep, it's normal. Especially for the WP - it's a big expense to be in someone's wedding, and many people consider that their gift to you. Even more so if they hosted a pre-wedding party for you. 

    3 of my 5 BMs didn't get us a gift or card specifically, nor did H's parents. But they hosted showers, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner and spent a good chunk of money on their outfits.

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    cupcait927Blue_BirdLiatris2010RebeccaFlower
  • We had a relatively small wedding. One groomsman, who traveled to be in the wedding, did not give a gift or card. I noticed that one good friend of mine didn't give a gift or card at the wedding, but there was a package from our registry when we got home from the honeymoon. 

    The only thing that would concern me is if cards or packages were stolen from your reception. If you took precautions and believe that wasn't an issue, then oh well- your guests just aren't into giving gifts. 

    P.S. Did any of the non-gifters give you something for a bridal shower? Many folks consider a shower gift the wedding gift given early. 
    ________________________________


    Blue_Bird
  • I also got married in September and while I would never show up to a wedding without a gift, people do it. I'm sure people did to mine but I didn't make a list of invited vs. gifts so I really don't know. The only awkward moment was his cousin who kept texting us she forgot the card and would send it...this went on until yesterday we got a card. If she hadn't of said anything I wouldn't have noticed.

    I personally think the wedding party (especially the girls who have put out money already for engagement and bridal parties, dresses, etc) get a pass as they have already devoted time & money towards your big day. If I didn't get a gift from them I would be ok with it. 

    I also notice that the younger people are (but still adults!) the less likely they are to give gifts. So while I hope the tradition is not dying...maybe it is? Although I also think those same people will be the first to complain on their big day about their lack of gifts. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • lodele47 said:
    My husband and I got married in September and everything went perfectly! As soon as we got back from our Honeymoon we sent Thank You cards for all of the generous gifts we received. I noticed about 1/3 of our guests did not give gifts or cards. My husband and I really don't mind; we were happy to have everyone there and thrilled at what a great time everyone had. 

    But, we were surprised by how many people did not give gifts (5 out of 9 people in our wedding party did not give us a gift; best man and maid of honor included). I'm curious to hear what other people have experienced. We were blessed to have our friends and family share in our special day, I just want to make sure I didn't miss the etiquette wagon. Is it that common to not bring gifts/cards to a wedding? Is that tradition dying? I know gifts are not required but I just can't imagine not giving a gift/card to the bride and groom. 
    Yep, it's normal. Especially for the WP - it's a big expense to be in someone's wedding, and many people consider that their gift to you. Even more so if they hosted a pre-wedding party for you. 

    3 of my 5 BMs didn't get us a gift or card specifically, nor did H's parents. But they hosted showers, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner and spent a good chunk of money on their outfits.


    Agree with the bolded. I was my best friend's MOH and between the dress, the accessories, my hair & make up, the shower and bachelorette party, gift for the shower and the hotel room for the night of the wedding, I spent close to $1,000. I did not give her a wedding gift because I had invested a lot of time and money, plus a shower gift, into her wedding. She gave me a shower gift and nothing for the wedding. It's completely fine.

    As far as other guests go, we had a small wedding and there were a few that did not give gifts. I couldn't tell you an exact number but regardless, it was just nice having them there. Everyone's situation is different - they may have forgotten, may not have been able to afford it, etc.

  • thisismynickname A good friend of mine had gifts/cards stolen from her reception about a month before. I'm a little nervous that could have happened to us but don't know how we would know. My maid of honor gave me a thoughtful shower gift but other than that, I didn't count anyone who gave a shower gift as a "non-gifter". 

    Very good point regarding the wedding party. We tried to be mindful and keep it as inexpensive for the wedding party as possible but it all adds up!  Having them by our sides was better than any material gift. 

  • My MOH didn't give me a gift. Neither did the BM. I wasn't expecting gifts from them AT ALL. MOH threw me a bach party. BM flew up from Florida. 

    I honestly have no idea how many of our guests gave us gifts. I didn't keep track of who did and who didn't, and I think it's really tacky to do so. Of course I kept track of who did give a gift, and all of those people received a thank you note. 
  • I don't think it's odd to not give a gift. Not everyone can afford that, and/or not everyone is into giving gifts. I have a close friend whose family doesn't exchange gifts for Christmas, even though they celebrate Christmas, cuz they just think gifts are silly.

    However, I do think it's a bit odd to not give a card (but I'm personally a huge card giver). My cousin's wedding was on the other side of the country and I was in college and couldn't afford to go. I also couldn't afford to send a gift. Instead, I sent him and his bride a card to congratulate them, just to let them know that I was happy for them and excited that they were getting married.
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    lodele47
  • My MOH didn't give me a gift. Neither did the BM. I wasn't expecting gifts from them AT ALL. MOH threw me a bach party. BM flew up from Florida. 

    I honestly have no idea how many of our guests gave us gifts. I didn't keep track of who did and who didn't, and I think it's really tacky to do so. Of course I kept track of who did give a gift, and all of those people received a thank you note. 
    Eh, it's really not. We did all of our guest organizing in a spreadsheet. Names, significant others, addresses, likelihood of attending, actual RSVP, meal choice, and then table chart. Adding a "gift" column was easy and logical and helped ensure that every gifter received a thank you note to the correct address. But yeah, when you do it that way, you notice who didn't gift at all.  
    I think it's tacky to purposely go through your guest list to see who gave a gift and who didn't. I was also very organized. I had lists on top of lists. Head count, table lists, meal choice, addresses. I created a totally separate list for who gave gifts. 
    novella1186sarawifenowctr24
  • blabla89blabla89 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    My MOH didn't give me a gift. Neither did the BM. I wasn't expecting gifts from them AT ALL. MOH threw me a bach party. BM flew up from Florida. 

    I honestly have no idea how many of our guests gave us gifts. I didn't keep track of who did and who didn't, and I think it's really tacky to do so. Of course I kept track of who did give a gift, and all of those people received a thank you note. 
    Eh, it's really not. We did all of our guest organizing in a spreadsheet. Names, significant others, addresses, likelihood of attending, actual RSVP, meal choice, and then table chart. Adding a "gift" column was easy and logical and helped ensure that every gifter received a thank you note to the correct address. But yeah, when you do it that way, you notice who didn't gift at all.  
    I don't think it's tacky to notice it when tracking your thank you note list, just happens. But remembering that so-and-so didn't give you a gift is terribly petty.

    ETA oops, posted something in the wrong thread.
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    JeeGooDowster
  • TBH, I think it is odd when people don't bring a gift or card for the bride and groom. Even if you can't afford a gift, I'd say you should give a card at the very least --- if you're broke, you can at least take five minutes to make a decent looking card with your happy wishes for the couple. 
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    novella1186mhoffman17PrettyGirlLost
  • ElcaB said:
    TBH, I think it is odd when people don't bring a gift or card for the bride and groom. Even if you can't afford a gift, I'd say you should give a card at the very least --- if you're broke, you can at least take five minutes to make a decent looking card with your happy wishes for the couple. 
    I do totally agree with this though. I would never go empty handed to a wedding, even if I could only afford bring a card. 
  • My MOH didn't give me a gift. Neither did the BM. I wasn't expecting gifts from them AT ALL. MOH threw me a bach party. BM flew up from Florida. 

    I honestly have no idea how many of our guests gave us gifts. I didn't keep track of who did and who didn't, and I think it's really tacky to do so. Of course I kept track of who did give a gift, and all of those people received a thank you note. 
    Eh, it's really not. We did all of our guest organizing in a spreadsheet. Names, significant others, addresses, likelihood of attending, actual RSVP, meal choice, and then table chart. Adding a "gift" column was easy and logical and helped ensure that every gifter received a thank you note to the correct address. But yeah, when you do it that way, you notice who didn't gift at all.  
    That's what I did as well. I already had the spreadsheet with everything else, it was an easy way to pair the gift with the address for the thank you note. I could technically know who didn't give a gift, but I didn't care. 
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    holyguacamole79
  • ElcaB said:
    TBH, I think it is odd when people don't bring a gift or card for the bride and groom. Even if you can't afford a gift, I'd say you should give a card at the very least --- if you're broke, you can at least take five minutes to make a decent looking card with your happy wishes for the couple. 
    Yeah, but I just don't do cards.  No purposely, but just because I forget.  I have a whole box of cards I've bought for various occasions and forgotten to mail.  So, it would totally be me to stop at Target for a wedding card, put it in my purse, and forget to take it out and sign it and give it to the bride and groom.  I'd be emptying my purse the next day and notice it and go, "dammit!" and add the card to my box-o-cards.  If I had already given them a gift from their registry, I wouldn't make the additional effort to mail the card.  It's just me.
    levioosa
  • I've never attended a wedding without a bringing a gift, but I know there are some people who just don't give gifts. We got cards and gifts from everyone except 2 couples, one being a GM.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • edited November 2014
    blabla89 said: thisismynickname said: ClimbingBrideNY said: My MOH didn't give me a gift. Neither did the BM. I wasn't expecting gifts from them AT ALL. MOH threw me a bach party. BM flew up from Florida. 
    I honestly have no idea how many of our guests gave us gifts. I didn't keep track of who did and who didn't, and I think it's really tacky to do so. Of course I kept track of who did give a gift, and all of those people received a thank you note.  Eh, it's really not. We did all of our guest organizing in a spreadsheet. Names, significant others, addresses, likelihood of attending, actual RSVP, meal choice, and then table chart. Adding a "gift" column was easy and logical and helped ensure that every gifter received a thank you note to the correct address. But yeah, when you do it that way, you notice who didn't gift at all.   I don't think it's tacky to notice it when tracking your thank you note list, just happens. But remembering that so-and-so didn't give you a gift is terribly petty.

    ETA oops, posted something in the wrong thread.
    ------------------- I'm nitpicking. Out of 70 guests, and organizing the way I did, yeah I
    remember that a groomsman didn't give a gift. Taking action on said knowledge would be petty, but remembering it is just...natural.  And, because I'm the paranoid type who would be very concerned about theft, I'd probably even make a point of remembering if more people didn't gift so I didn't turn into the asshole who didn't send thank-you cards for non-existent gifts people thought they gave. (Exhibit A: How I Met Your Mother:Ted's lost gift and Lily's resentment of Ted not giving a gift and Ted's resentment of not getting a thank-you.)  
    Edit: what the heck, boxes? 
    ________________________________


    indianaalum
  • We didn't get gifts from a lot of people. With one exception, those who didn't give gifts also didn't leave cards. We didn't receive any gifts from DH's side, though his sister and mom paid for the cake (sponsored as padrinos).

    I noticed a trend- the majority of people who didn't give gifts were people our age (30+) who also had parents attend. For example, we invited friends of the family that I grew up with. All 3 kids, their spouses, and kids were invited in addition to the parents. The parents gave a gift signed by just themselves but none of the kids brought gifts. This happened with a number of different families.

    We actually received a number of checks/cards/etc. in the 2 weeks following the wedding. We even got a card at the wedding that included a picture of a gift that a friend was working on but never finished!

    None of this makes a difference to us but it is noticed.

    @scribe95- I actually feel the same way about attending weddings broke. I've also made DIY gifts in those situations.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • This is one of those weird things. Like, a host is never supposed to side-eye someone for not giving a gift, but for myself, I certainly consider it the height of tackiness not to at least bring a card. I would side-eye the shit out of a fellow guest who gave nothing (if for some reason I came to have knowledge of their gift purchasing/non-purchasing status, and really, how would I unless they were like, bragging about not having bought anything?) but I wouldn't care if I were the host.
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    This baby knows exactly how I feel
    indianaalumPrettyGirlLost
  • I feel bad because I have forgotten cards at a wedding before, but I also almost always mail the gift before the wedding with a note.  I'm with adk on checking my purse three days later and discovering the "official" wedding card in it.  Oops.  


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  • indianaalumindianaalum member
    5 Love Its First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    Honestly? I am with you in the sense that I wouldn't be caught dead attending a wedding without giving a gift. I personally would feel rude and embarassed to show up without a gift.  I certainly would never want to be the person remembered for showing up and not giving a gift. (Personally, I believe couples DO remember who never gave a gift.._


    HOWEVER, etiquette does say gifts are not to be expected by a bride or groom , therefore it is one of those things you just have to let go and move on.

    It is just one of those things you have to drop so it doesn't affect your relationships later. It is definitely NOT okay to mention it to the person as they were not obligated to giift a gift
  • I would never bring a gift or card to the wedding itself.  If I gave a present I would send it to their house after the wedding, and the same with a card and check.  I would not send an empty card at all; I'm not a card person, and I would be self-conscious about sending a card without a financial gift inside it because I would be paranoid that the bride and groom would be disappointed upon opening my card and not finding money inside (I own that that's my paranoia speaking, but it's strong enough that I would just not do that.  I would congratulate them in person instead.)



    [Deleted User]
  • Most of my guests gave gifts. Maybe 3 or 4 out of a hundred did not. All of the bridal party gave gifts. I did not intentionally keep track of who didn't give a gift but I know who was there and I know who I wrote thank you cards to so...
  • luckysnorkelluckysnorkel member
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    I would never dream of attending a wedding without giving a gift of some sort (though I'll usually have something from the registry sent directly to the couple rather than bringing a gift to the wedding itself).

    I had to go back to my spreadsheet to check because I didn't remember specifics, but most of our guests gave us a gift.  And those who didn't had to travel and spend money on accommodations and it meant a lot more to us that they showed up than if they brought us something.  I was actually surprised by the number of people who didn't attend but sent us a gift anyway.  I kind of didn't realize that was a thing until I started planning my wedding.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I was also really surprised by how many people didnt give us gifts- not needed or expected of course but because I couldnt fathom not giving a gift or card I did find it surprising. Im also wondering if cards got misplaced but of course there is no way to ask. Most people do checks not actual cash, so if they are missing someone will eventually ask you about it I think.

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  • After going through our own wedding (and helping to pack gifts from my siblings' weddings), I will now always ship the gift to the recipient.  Side-eye away.
  • After going through our own wedding (and helping to pack gifts from my siblings' weddings), I will now always ship the gift to the recipient.  Side-eye away.
    There is absolutely nothing to side-eye about this. It's actually the by the book correct etiquette. I always send the gift before the wedding. Miss Manners will back me (and you) up on this one. For whatever reason, people quit doing this in the 70s, but there was a time that actually bringing a gift to the reception raised eyebrows. 

    holyguacamole79lc07[Deleted User]
  • I agree that it's not an unusual thing. Most of the people, close friends and family,that attended my shower didn't bring a second gift to the wedding. A couple close family members are in a difficult financial situation, and they attended wedding and shower without gifts. I did use my spread sheet of people I invited to mark off when someone gave me a gift. Maybe I'm tacky, but whatever. I didn't care if people didn't give us a gift. In fact, it didn't occur to me to make a note of the people who didn't give a gift at all. I just used it to find the addresses for thank you cards of those who did give gifts.
  • I would also be surprised if my closest friends (aka bridal party members) didn't give us a wedding gift. I can see 2 scenarios:

    1) The wedding day is crazy (as you know), including for someone in the BP! They might not have brought the gift with them, and are still planning to send it. I've always heard you have up to 1 year to get someone a wedding gift.

    2) It was very expensive for them to be in your wedding (outfit, travel, showers, pre-wedding events like bachelorette, etc.) so they consider that to be your gift. 
  • The only time I've not given a wedding gift was when I was B listed. Sorry, not sorry.
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