General Etiquette > Life...in general

Rude to not give a wedding gift?

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LadyL:
http://www.thefrisky.com/2013-06-07/girl-talk-are-wedding-gifts-optional/#more-910162

This article is by a bride who did not receive gifts from about 1/3 of the guests at her wedding. The comments are pretty harsh, calling her entitled and greedy, but she does mention the friend who gave her only a card with a nice note included and how she really treasured it, so I don't think it's about wanting material possessions. Personally I would probably wonder about this too, if I didn't get any acknowledgement from someone that they were at my wedding - a card with a note would be fine, or even a promise to bake me something delicious after the honeymoon or whatever. It does seem rude to show up completely empty handed and then never send a gift later. While I don't think hospitality is about reciprocity per se, I do think not even giving a card might send the message "I'm just here for the party."

What is the etiquette stance on this? Is it rude to go to a wedding and never give the HC a gift?

Rosewater:
I am not sure of the exact etiquette stance on this.  For myself I would never dream of attending a wedding without a wedding gift having been sent to the bride's home in advance of the ceremony.  I would never, EVER take the present to the wedding itself, that presents a whole security and transportation hassle for the HC/their families.

NyaChan:
Gifts are by definition optional.  However, the giving or not giving of a gift sends a message.  I think this couple was sent some pretty hurtful messages from their friends and family who did not give them a card at the least. 

Though I really have to wonder what kind of look they were giving that woman that she immediately cottoned on to their upset at not having been given a gift by her.  It made me wonder if something else was going on with the large numbers of people choosing not to gift.

Sharnita:
There are some people I know well who i would want there who i know are really strapped - unemployed, paying for expensive medical costs, that kind of thing.  I would want to invite them but would not want them to feel like they had to do any sort of gift even though most people do indeed feel that way.  I might have a mutual friend make sure they knew ther was no expectation of anything and if I didn't see a gift I wouldn't think twice.

Now if I knew they had no issues like that I might wonder why there wasn't at least a token gift.  That being said, if there was at least a picture frame or something I don't imagine taking issue with a gift that wasn't "enough".

peaches:
I can't imagine not giving a gift to a couple if I attended their wedding. They cared enough to invite me, I cared enough to go, why wouldn't I care enough to give them at least a token gift?

I can imagine situations where a token gift, or a card with a heartfelt message, would be all that someone could afford.

I don't think it's appropriate to "keep score" of what gifts have been given, by whom and how much, as a means of comparison or a way of judging one's friends and relatives.

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