If I’m not able to attend the wedding, do I still need to send a gift?
According to traditional etiquette rules, the answer is yes. If you decline an invitation to a wedding, you should still send a gift for the couple.
However, the exception to this rule is if the wedding invitation is from a casual acquaintance as opposed to a close friend. If this is the case, you can politely opt out of any congratulatory investment. My suggestion: whether you choose to purchase a gift or not, send a handwritten note of congratulations to the couple along with your regrets for having missed the event.
What if I don’t receive a thank you note?
If you’re upset that you purchased a wedding gift and didn’t receive any acknowledgement or note of thanks, I don’t blame you. Failing to thank guests for both attending your wedding and for giving you a gift is a big etiquette no-no. That said, it’s not your job to educate or lecture the newlyweds on their faux pas.
Remind yourself that your gift was meant to congratulate and celebrate the couple, not to receive any personal recognition.
If you’re looking to confirm that the couple actually received your gift, however, it’s ok to ask. Just give the couple a few months opportunity to send out their thank-you’s before you make the call.
Can I bring a gift to the wedding rather than cash?
Yes! Though many couples prefer gifts of cash to anything material – and some may even hint at their preference in the form of a honeymoon fund or limited gift registry – it’s your choice as a guest to choose how you wish to congratulate them. The important thing is that whatever you chose shows your goodwill for the newlywed’s marriage.
Also, if you don’t want to lug a gift with you to the reception, you have up to a year to deliver it to the newlyweds.