Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding

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futureMrsD Posts : 155 Registered: 3/28/06
Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 11, 2008 8:49 PM

I'm wondering what the etiquette is for gift-giving when you're already spending a lot of money just to get to someone's wedding....


DH is standing up in a wedding in November in another state.  We have to pay for flights, hotel, and rental car just for us to be there, and DH isn't sure if he has to also give a gift.  They're obviously good friends or DH wouldn't be in the wedding, but I feel that his being there IS the gift.  It's going to cost us around $1,000 just to be there - Ouch. What do you ladies think?


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 11, 2008 9:44 PM Go to message in response to: futureMrsD

If you attend the wedding, you should give them a gift.  I know that technically you have a year after the wedding to give a gift, but I don't know how out of date that etiquette is.

I know that I had friends who were unable to do anything at the time of our wedding (not that I cared) but have said oh I'm working on a gift!  (Again, I don't care.) 

Maybe offer to take them out for a really nice dinner after their honeymoon.  I don't know.

I know that AOTB and Myra will probably get on here with better advice then me.  So you'll get more help.


DawnaCrystal Posts : 990 Registered: 4/7/08
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 12, 2008 12:09 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

here is what I found regarding etiquette for destination weddings.

Destination Wedding Etiquette

Destination weddings have become very popular in the last few years with good reason. We tend to be very busy people with little time to prepare for a huge traditional wedding. Many destination sites will organize everything for the bride and groom leaving little to do besides to show up and get hitched. This style of wedding has great appeal, but there are some minuses to balance out some of the pluses. So, as you would with any style of wedding, please think it though thoroughly.

And because destination wedding have become so popular so quickly, etiquette rules have had to move quickly to keep up. However, we shouldn’t just throw all of these traditional rules out the cruise ship window. Some rules still apply.

  • Consider your guests and their ability to pay for their travel and lodging expense.
    • Look for group rates and suggest hotels for wide range of budgets.
    • You may have a very small attendance.
  • Mail those ‘Save the Date’ cards well in advance, so your guest can make travel arrangements.
  • The bride and groom are responsible for the lodging of their attendants.
  • Only send invitations to those whom you want to come to your wedding.
    • You might be surprised at how many actually show up!
    • Some family members may be very upt you chose to marry away from home. As with all relationship building and maintaining, an open line of communication is key.
    • Destination wedding couples can have a reception when they return.
    • This will help those family members who could not attend the wedding feel as if they are a part of your celebration.

Note: Guests, please mail your gifts to the couple’s home or the home of the bride’s mother.

However, I had always been told that a guest is only required to give a gift for a bridal shower, and if they do not attend a wedding a gift is not required. However, that does not seem to be the case with the majority, as there are two wedding in the family now where they are registered for the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding. I consider that very stingy, but that is just my opinion.

Message was edited by: DawnaCrystal


FALLbrideINLOVE Posts : 1,056 Registered: 3/30/07
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 12, 2008 7:43 AM Go to message in response to: futureMrsD

i heartfelt card will do it.  if you feel a gift is the way to go find a memento- it doesn't have to be expensive.


a friend would appreciate any show of affection




karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 12, 2008 9:23 AM Go to message in response to: FALLbrideINLOVE

Is this a true destination wedding or do you live in a different state from the couple? (i.e., are they traveling too?) I know my FH and i stretched and bought presents for two upcoming out of state weddings. One is in Orlando, where I am from and the bride's hometown. The other is in Buffalo, where the bride is from (though she now lives in Boston). I didn't really consider either of those destination weddings, even though I had to travel. 

 That being said, our friends in Buffalo tried to give us back the bride's shower present because we're traveling to get there.  (We haven't given them their wedding present yet, but we imagine they'll try to do the same.) 

I don't think you need to get them anything extravagant  thought - taking them out to dinner is nice or maybe a $30ish thing from their registry? Or a framed picture of the four of you? 


futureMrsD Posts : 155 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 12, 2008 3:49 PM Go to message in response to: karebeartg

Oh, good question, karebear.  I don't know if it actually does qualify as a true DW -- the bride and groom both live here where I do, but they're getting married in Texas, where the bride is from.  So we do all have to travel to get there.


I think we will get them some sort of small gift, but probably won't spend enough to cover our dinners, as I would normally do for a wedding.  I hope they don't think we're cheap!


Thanks everyone for your input! 


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 14, 2008 12:10 PM Go to message in response to: futureMrsD

Dear Mrs D,

You need to consider your TOTAL budget for the wedding, which includes clothing, transportation, lodging and the gift. Since you are spending $1k on just getting there, I see nothing wrong with giving them a relatively inexpensive gift.

Buy them a bottle of wine or something like that.


newsjunkie Posts : 3,417 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Gift Giving with Desintation Wedding
Posted: Sep 15, 2008 12:25 AM Go to message in response to: futureMrsD

I would treat this wedding as you would treat any other wedding and give a gift that you can afford.  I had a DW (a true DW in a city where nobody lived, we lived in a place far away from both our families and thought a neutral location was the best place for us) and while I completely understood how difficult it was for our guests just to attend I have to admit that I did think it was stingy of the several people who didn't even give us a card.  It's not like I would ever mention it to them and it certainly has not affected our relationship but, IMO, you don't show up to a wedding empty-handed (or send something through the mail, either one is fine).  Honestly, just a card would have been fine, especially if it included a sincere, heart-felt letter, that would have been the kind of thing I would have kept forever.

In your case, if it is truly a financial hardship to get them a gift- and it sounds as though it is- you could do a few different things.  You could give them what I would have loved- a card with a lovely letter written inside it.  You could give them a gift in a budget that you can handle.  Say you feel as though you can spend $20 on top of the other wedding-related expenses.  Scour the ads for when various stores are having sales.  Perhaps you could get a beautiful vase, serving platter, or something like that on sale.  Or- and this is something my family does all the time, my parents love it- you could give them a card and in the card write that when they are back from their honeymoon and settled into living as husband and wife for a while, for their gift you two would like to take them out to dinner at X restaurant (choose a restaurant that is nice but that you can afford).  My family loves this because we get to spend time together, a commodity more precious than any trinket you can buy in a store.  It also gives you a little while to recoup your costs from your travels and you also get an evening out. 

Hope that helped a little!


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