Wedding Gift if Only Attending Ceremony

aes1783May 10, 2010

I was invited to my ex boyfriend's wedding. We don't really talk anymore, and haven't been close for some time. I was contemplating whether or not to even go because I'll be out of state both the weekend before and after, and also because it's an hour and a half away from my home, which means I'd be getting a hotel, not to mention that fact that I've never even met his fiance. Anyway, I decided to make the trip out there with a friend for just the ceremony. That way it wont be totally akward, I can say I went, and I wont have to worry about paying for a hotel, and also have them pay for my food at the reception, etc.

My question is, do I get them a gift? Or would just a card be ok? I have no idea where they're even registered. I guess if I did get them something, I would just mail them money and a card, although I don't even know their address (but I'm sure I can find out). Anyway, I really don't want to, and don't have the money to spend, but I don't want to be tacky.

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The "rule" on wedding gifts is you give one even if you do not attend the wedding, you give one even if just invited. (but based on my personal experience, most people don't do that) But if you don't talk to him anymore and haven't been close for some time, don't even know where they live, why were you invited to the wedding? And why don't you have an address to send a gift to, were you sent an invitation? I know you didn't ask, but why attend the ceremony at all?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Ex's are ex''re under no obligation of any kind for attendance or gift-giving. I don't even know why you received an invitation. Some people use them as announcements to people they have no expectation will come. Was there an RSVP inside? Maybe your name and address showed up on a list that someone other than bride or groom was helping out by preparing. Or maybe they're gift-fishing. In any event, from your description, there's little sense in considering any of it, IMHO. Send a card if you feel obligated.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:18PM
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I agree with the others. If it were me, I would maybe send a card but I probably wouldn't attend.

However, if you want to go, by attending only the ceremony the likelihood of actually seeing the groom or his new wife is slim, so the possibility of awkwardness would be limited unless you know many of his friends. That seems the better choice than attending both the ceremony and reception.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 9:23PM
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Actually, I think the ettiquette rule is that if you are attending, you are socially obligated to send a gift; if you do not attend, you are under no social obligation to send a gift. (However, a large number of people who receive invitations are genuinely delighted for the happy couple, and send a gift anyway -- even if they are unable to attend.)

So bottom line -- if you go to the wedding (even if you skip the expensive reception) it costs you a gift. If you 'have an unfortunate conflict' or 'regret that you won't be able to attend' -- you're off free, and a congratulatory card is more than enough to satisfy your social obligations.

Since you don't really want to go and can't really afford a gift, simply thank them for the kind the invitation, declare your regrets, and send a nice card.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:42PM
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I also have to wonder why you were invited if things are as you stated. I would decline the invitation and just send a card wishing them well. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 8:06AM
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It sounds like you don't even want to go. So don't, and send a gift if you want to, or just a note with your good wishes if you don't.

I think it might seem kind of odd to come just for the ceremony -- as if you want to get a look at the woman he chose, but not celebrate their marriage. But that might not be the case at all, if it is customary in this community for invited guests to come just for the ceremony.

If you do attend the wedding at all, IMHO, you should send at least a small gift (and if it is to be very small, not cash). It is immaterial whether you stay for the reception.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 3:18PM
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I just would not go. Send a card if you like, but it is not necessary. If there is an RSVP card, you can send it with regrets and even jot a note on it.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 6:27PM
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I agree with the "don't go" votes. Decline (there should be a return address and/or a response card. Send a card if you are not obligated to send a gift.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 6:35AM
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