AskCheryl: What To Do About Late or Never Received Wedding Gifts?

Hey Cheryl,

My wife and I got married back in October, and we are super happy.  I have a weird question as a few guests were not in attendance and did not yet send gifts. One person in particular told me he was going to send a gift and we never got one (my boss who works in the wedding business and certainly knows to send one). What is the etiquette on not receiving a wedding gift when one should have been sent?

The other group of people who did not send a gift is a group of friends from my hometown who were attending another wedding’s rehearsal dinner on the night of my wedding. Many of them were in the wedding party of that wedding and just guests in mine, so I understand their lack of attendance. I feel very selfish to even pursue the line of questioning, but the one guy said he was going to send us something. I hope it didn’t get lost in the mail or something, and he’s not waiting for a Thank You Note. Any thoughts?


Dear Sam,

It’s not a weird question. I’m sure many couples have the same thoughts and questions that you have.

While etiquette suggests that all those who receive a wedding invitation should send a gift, that doesn’t always happen. In most cases, you should not approach a wedding guest or invitee about whether or not they sent a gift. While some people have good intentions and plan to send a gift, time gets by and they forget. When they do remember, they’re embarrassed and then don’t know what to do, causing further procrastination.

And as you know, what people say and what they do, are often very different things. If someone did send a gift that you did not receive, unfortunately, it’s best to wait until they ask you about it. However, I do advise gift-givers to wait three months for a thank you note. If they have not received one by that time, I suggest they reach out to the couple or other family member to make sure the gift was received.

You will have to use your best judgment concerning mentioning it to your boss, but usually my advice is to simply be appreciative of the gifts you received and put those you didn’t out of your mind. After all, your email began with something much more important, which is that you are “super happy.” I’ve been happily married for 30 years and still wonder why my aunt and uncle, with whom I was close, did not send a gift. Trust me, it’s best just to forget about it.  😉

If you have questions or comments about gift giving or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email

Emails in this column are received from readers. Emails may be edited for spelling and grammar, or to remove sensitive information, however, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is the founder and President of, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

, , , ,

Leave a Reply