As the wedding season ramps up, it is time to dust off the guidelines on gift giving for weddings. We are frequently asked about when is a gift a must and when it is a maybe?
Here are some simple “rules”.
If one is invited to a bridal shower and plans to attend – yes, a gift is in order. Usually, a shower gift is smaller and more personal than the gift given at the wedding. If one does not plan to attend, a gift is not required nor expected. However, depending on one’s relationship to the bride-to-be, a small gift of remembrance may be sent to the bride in care of the hostess of the shower or via another guest who will be attending.
If one is invited to the wedding and plans to attend, yes – a gift is expected. But if one is invited but cannot attend, the giving of a gift is optional. We say “optional” because the norms around this are changing and even vary by geographic region.
Traditionally, if one was invited to a wedding but could not attend, a gift was not necessarily expected. If the guest was close to the couple, a gift was usually sent anyway. However, today’s expectations are changing and guests may decide to gift anyway. If the bride or groom are close friends or relatives, a gift is sent. If you are only casual friends, a gift may be sent.
Experts now state…
You traditionally respond to a wedding invitation with a gift whether or not you are able to attend.
Some guests may give a group gift which is a good way for casual friends to participate.
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