General Etiquette > Life...in general

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

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TootsNYC:
The gift is for the life event. So yes, you technically should get a gift.

(And if you care enough about someone to actually want to attend their wedding, you should be giving them a gift. It's what our culture does.)

No, someone's presence at an event is not actually a present. No matter how much it costs them to attend. The costs are just the way their life works bcs they and the event honorees don't live at the same place. The costs are a wash. (They might influence a gift giver's budget, leaving them less available to spend, of course--but it's not some sort of tit-for-tat.)

(And someone could argue that since you're taking your own vacation during this trip, the travel expenses are REALLY a wash. I wouldn't--I'd just say that travel & hotels are just life, and they aren't a substitute for a tangible good wish--which is what a present is. And I'd also say you can spend $7 if you find something particularly meaningful.)

A wedding gift needn't be expensive, of course. Not for *any* wedding guest, but especially not for you guys in this situation. Because the couple will probably be so touched by your presence, and aware of the expense, and mortified beyond words if you *also* spend a lot on their wedding present.

Fortunately for you, thoughtful things are often less expensive. What sort of thing would they like to have in their home/lives/etc.? if you know them well enough to be at all interested in traveling for their wedding, surely you can come up with something. (Even if it's just splashy wine or coffee--but bonus points if it's something more permanent, like artwork, etc. In fact, you might keep your eyes open for some sort of carving, table linens, or other quality souvenir from the destination, if you can find one that's not too much $ for your budget.)

I am also one of the few people who does *not* regard a card as any sort of substitute for a gift. It's not a gift--it's stationery.
   I also think it's sort of silly to give someone a greeting card when you are standing right there--why hand them stationery, when you can say your message with your own mouth--in a far more personal and powerful way?

I've had people hand me greeting cards at birthdays, etc., and it always strikes me as funny. I recognize what they *mean,* and I sure don't give a fig about any gifts. But I just think it's sort of silly.

And i think handing someone a greeting card at their wedding, even if it's not a big fancy event, just means they now have something (usu. awkward in size) that they have to carry around. And it might have money in it, so they have to be extra careful with it.

Send them a gift to their home when you get back. Something small and appropriate to them. (Or, feel free to send it so it arrives shortly before you all head to the wedding; it'll make them really happy right before the event, perhaps when they're stressed, etc.).

aussie_chick:
I like TootsNYC's idea of a small unique souvenir from the destination where the wedding will be held.
No you are not obligated to get them a gift but to me, that's not because you've already spent a lot going to the wedding, but just simply because you don't have that obligation anyway.
I agree with TootsNYC again though that culturally, we give a gift at a wedding.
Wait until they come home and give them a small gift then. If the wedding is really casual, they may not have a specific wedding photographer so perhaps you could have a really lovely photo taken of you and your DF with the HC and put it in a nice frame and give it to them when they get home.

I know that people can have any wedding they choose and guests have the choice to attend or not but let me get this straight, they're having a wedding in Vegas, inviting people from O/S and they're not having any kind of reception afterwards? No refreshments except those the guests pay for themselves? Did they not expect people to attend their wedding? It seems a little off to me that nothing is being provided for the guests.

Teenyweeny:
We had some friends at our wedding who did almost exactly what you will be doing: came from Oz, and made a holiday of it! I'm sure I wouldn't have cared if they didn't give us a gift, but as it happens, they gave us a card, and some cute cookie cutters.

The whole 'present' aspect of the thing will for sure have been under 15. We were just so excited to see them, we wouldn't have cared if they gave nothing, but their present was nice, and thoughtful.

Basically, it's not required to give a present (i.e. most couples are just so excited when people make the extra special effort to attend that caring about presents would just seem even more wrong than usual), but it's nice, and the present doesn't have to be expensive at all.

CookieChica:
I'm with Toots on the card thing. It's so awkward to take a card from someone in person.

I think a small gift is appropriate. Here's my suggestion (of course, it only works if they celebrate Christmas): buy them a nice ornament for their Christmas tree that says Vegas or signifies Vegas. To start our "married life" Christmas tree, husband and I bought an ornament on our honeymoon and buy one each major trip we take. We've gifted this at destination weddings before and it's been well received. 

Hmmmmm:

--- Quote from: CookieChica on September 20, 2013, 06:52:35 AM ---I'm with Toots on the card thing. It's so awkward to take a card from someone in person.

I think a small gift is appropriate. Here's my suggestion (of course, it only works if they celebrate Christmas): buy them a nice ornament for their Christmas tree that says Vegas or signifies Vegas. To start our "married life" Christmas tree, husband and I bought an ornament on our honeymoon and buy one each major trip we take. We've gifted this at destination weddings before and it's been well received.

--- End quote ---

I POD this and what Toots said.

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