QUESTION: Some of my friends are getting married, but as circumstances would have it, they're not able to invite me to their wedding. I don't have any hard feelings about the invitation, but do I still need to get them a wedding gift?
KAELLA'S ANSWER: Let me start by saying that it is customary to give a gift if you receive an invitation to the wedding, whether or not you attend (but even this isn’t mandatory). However, if you are not invited to a wedding, you are not obligated to give a gift to the couple. If you want to give them a gift, then by all means do. There are no rules prohibiting you from such a nice gesture.
I can think of several scenarios in which this situation might arise. For example, let’s say your work colleague is getting married. They are paying for the entire wedding themselves. Due to their budget, they had to limit the guest count and couldn’t invite anyone from work - just family and long time friends. You understand the decision was difficult, and would still like to congratulate your work colleague and his/her fiance, so you decide to give them a wedding gift. This is decision is completely voluntary and not a requirement.
Don’t want to buy a gift, but you would like to do something to congratulate the couple? A good medium between sending a gift and nothing, might be to send a congratulatory card. I’m a big believer in the power of a handwritten note. It shows thoughtfulness and foresight.
ALLISON'S ANSWER: Nope. You are in no way obligated to give a couple a gift if you aren’t even invited to their wedding. It really is as simple as that. But if you feel so inclined, go for it. But try not to make them feel bad for not inviting you in the process.
Need more wedding advice and etiquette tips? See our previous posts here.
Kaella Wilson is the founder of Kaella Lynn Events, a wedding planning and design boutique based in San Francisco. She believe the difference is in the details. Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate celebration, Kaella combines artistic design with meticulous planning and management to produce a memorable event that represents your style.
Allison Silber is the founder of the wedding publication, Engaged & Inspired as well as a wedding planner/designer serving the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves Carmel Valley, drinks too much coffee, and styles everything she can get her hands on!`