Do I Have to Buy a Wedding Gift?

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Question: Do I Have to Buy a Wedding Gift?

Help! I'm
a) broke
b)not able to attend
c) in the wedding party
d) going to a destination wedding
e) something else

Do I still have to buy a wedding gift?

Answer: It is customary for guests to give wedding gifts to the bride and groom. People fall into the trap of thinking that these gifts are in exchange for their invitation, when really they are completely separate.

They're a token of your affection for the happy couple - nothing more, and nothing less.

Usually these are sent as soon as the invitation is received, rather than brought to the wedding. Even if you have given a shower present or engagement gift, you should still give a wedding gift.

Some guests may feel that for a second wedding, a gift is not necessary and bring a card instead, particularly if they gave a gift for the first wedding. This choice is left to your discretion, however, if you care about the couple getting married, it's nice to give them something for their new life together.

Other than a physical gift, it is also appropriate to give a gift of money, or to make a donation to charity in the couple's names.

And yes, even if you are in the wedding party, or going to a destination wedding, you should still give a present. These exceptions don't change how you feel about the couple, or the journey they're about to take together, so they shouldn't change your present.

My article How Much to Spend on a Wedding Gift will help guide you on these special situations.