Ask a Professional Bridesmaid: Do I Have to Send a Gift If I Don't Attend the Wedding?

Etiquette, Favors & Gifts
Creative Gift Tables Charriot

Photo: Diana Lupa

I have a friend getting married in a few months and I have decided not to attend her wedding. It's in a different state and would just be too much money for me to travel to attend. The friend getting married and I are not very close anymore and I was a little surprised that I was even invited in the first place. I am happy for her and I do want to wish her and her future husband congratulations. Can I just send them back the RSVP card with a note or do I need to send a gift along with it?
Gift of No Gift

Dear Gift or No Gift,
There seems to be a certain time in our lives where our coffee tables are no longer just cluttered with magazines and credit card bills, but also with a stack of wedding invitations. Sometimes, those invitations are from people we know very well. Family members or even close friends that we are so excited for that we've been checking our mailboxes for months, hoping their invitation or save the date would arrive. But sometimes, we get a wedding invitation in the mail for a wedding we know we can't attend or from a person with whom we are not very close.

See More: What to Do When A Guest Never Sends a Gift

The question of whether or not you should send a gift is entirely up to you. You should, however, send your congratulations to them, no matter what your relationship is, and if you're comfortable, send along a gift as well. The gift can be off their registry or just a check for an amount that you feel is right. Don't feel as though you have to send a gift. You can just send your highest regards and skip the gift. All in all, it's what you and your budget feel is best at this moment.

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

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