The etiquette around this can be confusing.
Wrapped White Gift Boxes with Bows, Wedding Presents
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Wedding gift etiquette can be confusing in today's world, especially when couples having so many pre-nuptial celebrations. Between the engagement party, bridal shower, and the wedding itself, there are multiple occasions when a guest might be expected to bring a present along. But what happens if you're not attending some of these events? Do you still need to send a gift, or even a card, in your absence? Here, we outline the basics of when it's perfectly acceptable to send just your regrets to a wedding event you can't attend.

If you can't attend an event, do you have to send a gift?

For pre-wedding events you can't attend, you aren't required to send a gift. You may opt to send a card instead, mentioning that you're looking forward to seeing the couple and celebrating their marriage during the wedding weekend, but even this isn't required.

What if you're in the wedding party?

The same is also true for anyone in the bridal party. Lizzie Post, etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute, says that when it comes to the wedding party, they have the option of making it to whichever events they can. "They are not obligated to send gifts if they can't attend," she adds.

Take your relationship into consideration.

If you're close with the couple, you may send a gift to events you can't attend simply because you want to. Though there's no obligation, it might be that you had something in mind you think they'd love, or you saw something on their registry you'd want to get for them.

What if you can't attend the wedding itself?

If you're unable to attend the actual wedding, it's still considered a nice gesture to send a gift from the registry in your absence. Again, take your relationship into consideration here. If you're really not close with the couple, there's no need to send an actual present, and a card with a thoughtful message will suffice.


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