wedding gift when invite is reception only??

greenmulberrySeptember 12, 2008

I have been invited to a wedding reception, but not the ceremony. Do I bring a gift? I am unsure what is appropriate. I do know they are registered somewhere, but either that information was left out of my invite, or I lost it!

We did, actually, give them a large expensive gift of some equipment for a hobby they share, when we got the reception invite, as originally we thought we would not be able to attend. They have already received it from us. But, if everyone will be arriving with gifts for the reception party I would like to have a little something nice to bring along as well.

Just don't want to do anything innapropriate and I am not sure what the "rule" on this is.

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Bringing a gift to a reception is optional and since you gave a gift when you received the invitation, you don't need to take anything to the reception unless you want to bring a bottle of wine or something like that. I wouldn't worry about coming without a gift in hand. Most people won't even notice and if they do, you can tell them that you sent your gift to their home.

You mention not finding the registry information in the invitation. From an etiquette standpoint, it should not have been included, though many brides do include it today. Sounds like this bride is up to date of wedding etiquette.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 1:57PM
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Bringing a gift to a wedding reception is did the right thing by sending the gift on ahead.
A wedding gift is properly either sent to the bride before the wedding or to their home after the wedding.
Go to the party and have fun! If everyone invited to a wedding reception brought a gift it would present a major logistical problem!
When my daughter was married, we thought that some would bring gifts to the reception but didn't plan on them bringing gifts to the hurriedly someone had to be recruited to get the gifts from the church to our house because the gift people at the reception were already doing their thing by labelling every gift as it was placed on the table.
You did the right thing....don't take anything but your good wishes to the recption.
Lidna C

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 3:17PM
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I agree, too. You already sent your gift. Don't bring another to the reception. I'm not sure whether you thought you needed to do so, like a hostess gift; or perhaps you were worried you would be the only ones without a gift in your hand and others might think you didn't give a gift? Either way, never mind; you don't bring a hostess gift to a big reception, certainly not if it is not at their home, and as the other posters pointed out, as you aren't really supposed to bring gifts to weddings/receptions anyway, there will be plenty of others who don't (including all those who ordered something off the registry and had it sent).

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 8:51PM
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You already gave a wedding gift, you are not expected to bring another. Just an FYI, registry information should never be included in a wedding invitation (ceremony and/or reception).

If I am giving a gift (rather than cash/check) I usually try to send it to the bride ahead of time. However, this does not seem to be the standard practice where I am (New England). Receptions always have a small gift table, although there are far more cards (presumably with check or cash) than gifts on it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 7:01PM
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Bringing a gift to a wedding reception is tacky

Since when is it tacky to bring a gift? To a wedding reception... or anywhere? That's silly.

I agree that since you've already sent a gift ahead of time you don't need to give anything more. Lots of people send gifts in advance, lots of them will bring gifts with them. No one will be standing there counting who has a gift in hand and who doesn't.

As for those who do bring gifts to the reception, it seems to me that there are always people on hand who are more than willing to help tote them all to someone's car. I can't remember ever being at a wedding where there were no gifts brought to the reception... not EVERYone has them sent in advance.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 2:36PM
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lowspark, I agree it isn't "tacky" to bring the gift to the event, but I do agree with the rule that it is preferable to send or drop it off another time. It is considerate of the family, and it also supports that all-important separation we always talk about between the idea of being a guest sharing an important event and forking over the loot! :-)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Thank you for the advice. The poster who wondered if I was worried about being the only person without a gift in my hand is correct.

I have not attended many weddings, and was unsure of the proper form and I didn't want to look "cheap" or stingy.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:58AM
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Nobody brings wedding gifts to the fancy country-club receptions I attend in my DH's family. The bride & groom have too much else to deal w/, as do other family & friends.

Miss Manners, Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt--ALL of the etiquette experts say it is far better (and good manners) to send the gift to the bride ahead of time, and not burden them with it on that day.

And yes, if you're invited to the reception but not the ceremony, you still should give a present, as you wisely realized.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:45PM
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I wonder if the idea of whether or not bringing gifts to wedding receptions (whether it be at a country club or a church hall) is regional. I have never been to a wedding reception that did not have a table covered with gifts.
The gifts are often taken to the brides' parent's home, and the bride and groom and grooms parents get together while the gifts are opened (logistics permitting).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:46PM
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