– Ask Cheryl – How Do I Handle a Giftless Wedding Guest?

It’s all too common: a wedding guest shows up to the wedding, but never sends a gift. Is it ever appropriate to say something? Cheryl weighs in.

Dear Cheryl,

My cousin and his wife came to our son’s wedding but did not give a card or gift. Do I say something or just let it go?


How Do I Handle a Giftless Wedding Guest?

Dear Leslie,

Thank you for writing. This is a dilemma and I know that most couples or families face the same issue.

While etiquette suggests that all who receive a wedding invitation should send a gift, that doesn’t always happen. I usually advise that you let it go and not say anything. It could be that they forgot to send the gift ahead of time. Most people have the best of intentions, but once the wedding is over, time goes by and they forget. When they do remember, they are embarrassed and then don’t know what to do, causing further procrastination.

Would it be possible that the card or gift was misplaced at the wedding? Here lies the dilemma. If so, they may be waiting for a thank you note, wondering why it hasn’t come. I often advise gift-givers to wait three months for a thank you note. If they have not received one by that time, it’s then OK for them to reach out to the couple or a family member they know to make sure the gift was received.

The bottom line: the only people who should question the whereabouts of a gift are the givers, not the receivers.

You will have to use your best judgment, but my advice is to be appreciative of the gifts received and not worry about those you didn’t.

Most sincerely,

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Connected

Keep up with our latest news, tips and advice. Sign up today!
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.