General Etiquette > general

Do you need to give a gift for a destination (and possibly non-hosted) wedding?

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... or is your very presence, the gift itself?

The situation: A very good friend of mine is getting married in Las Vegas. We are from Australia. DF and I are invited, and we've decided to go, and make a holiday out of it. We are paying for our own airfares, accommodation, and meals, etc (which is fine - we absolutely do not expect the HC to pay for any of this).

The wedding appears to be very casual - a celebrant is coming to the hotel to marry them. Friend and her fiance will just wear casual clothes. The ceremony will only take a few minutes, and there's not going to be a reception afterwards. The HC, DF, myself, and the other few guests will probably go to dinner after the ceremony, but I suspect we will all pay for our own meals.

My question is, are DF and I still obliged to get a wedding gift? DF reckons we are "off the hook", but given she is a close friend, and this is a wedding, whether it would be rude not to at least give a small gift and card?

(FWIW - several other friends who were invited, but are unable to attend this Vegas wedding, plan to give the HC gifts when they return to Australia). 

I think you should always give a card, just so they have a nice written message from you.  But I definitely think destination weddings can often be a good time for "your presence is present enough." Enjoy your trip!

Well one never ever needs to give a gift for a wedding. its customary but certainly not required. So no of course you don't need to give one in this case.

But I think you are asking if its normal or common or done... in which case I think a token gift if fine. Perhaps a jar of Vegemite or some other really Australian thing with a bow, or even just buy the HC a celebratory drink at a nice bar. No need for a big gift - you going is a big gift! A card is always appropriate.

A wedding gift is to celebrate and recognize the marriage of relatives and good friends - people you care about.

To me, it doesn't matter whether the wedding is large or small, close by or destination, formal or an elopement, a first marriage or a third - if we care about the couple, we give a gift.

That said, given the effort made to attend the wedding, a small or token gift is fine. You can give something clever or personal rather than something expensive.

I did this recently with my brother's wedding. He and his new wife seemed fine with it, and were very happy that I'd made it. I think most reasonable people are very happy and grateful when guests go to a big effort to attend their wedding.


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