– Ask Cheryl – What To Do About Late or Never Received Wedding Gifts?

Wedding gifts may continue to arrive at your new home a month (or more) after your wedding day. Family and friends may even tell you to anticipate the arrival of such a gift, in the spirit of celebration and with hopes of showering you with love. But what do you do when those promised gifts never arrive?

Dear Cheryl,

My wife and I got married back in October, and we are super happy.  I have a weird question about a few guests who were not in attendance but 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 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 this line of questioning. I just hope a gift didn’t get lost in the mail or something, and no one is waiting for a Thank You note. Any thoughts?


Thank You Cards via Etsy Seller Hey Lovely Co

Dear Sam,

It’s not a weird question at all. Many couples have the same thoughts and questions that you have. Of-course you don’t want someone that sent you a gift to think that you never acknowledged it or be left wondering if you even received it.

Etiquette suggests that all those who receive a wedding invitation should send a gift, but that doesn’t always happen. I don’t recommend that you approach a wedding guest or invitee about whether or not they sent a gift. While some people have the best of intentions, time gets by and they forget. If and when they do remember they’re embarrassed, and then don’t know what to do – causing further procrastination.

What people say and what they do are often very different things. If someone did send a gift that you did not receive, I recommend waiting for them inquire. You can also check your registry to see if any gifts were purchased that you never received. The registry provider may then be able solve the problem.

The onus is on the gift-giver to make sure the gift was received. I advise gift-givers to wait two or three months for a thank you note. After that time, I suggest they reach out to the couple or another family member.

You will have to use your best judgment concerning mentioning it to your boss. If you feel comfortable bringing it up, then do so. I know you are appreciative of the gifts you’ve received. Try to put those you didn’t out of your mind. Some will always be a mystery. I still wonder why my aunt and uncle, with whom I was close, did not send a gift.

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

All questions in this column are received from readers. Questions may be edited for spelling and grammar. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

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

One thought on “Ask Cheryl: What To Do About Late or Never Received Wedding Gifts?

  1. This entire scenario can be eliminated from the couple’s end, by them using a gift registry. This is a great idea both for the couple as well as the guests, in this way the couple gets a gift that they require and the guests get to shower their love by buying the gifts for the couple.

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