Do I Have To Get A Gift For A Wedding?

It seems like your fridge is littered with wedding invites, save the dates, and promises of true love forever and ever, which means one thing — you have a lot of upcoming weddings to attend. It's always nice when friends and family members tie the knot, but between dresses, transportation, and engagement parties, it can often be somewhat pricey. If you're dropping a lot of cash already, you might be wondering if you're required to get a gift for the wedding. After all, isn't your presence the true present?

The answer is — no, not really. While your friend will be delighted to spend the big day with you, it's still proper etiquette to give a gift to the newlyweds. You weren't invited due to this impending present, but it's definitely polite to purchase something that'll help the couple settle in to their new house. Most couples have a registry to help guide you in the right direction, and while some of these presents might be a little ludicrous price-wise, they're there to give a few hints as to what they truly need (and will help to lessen the chance that they'll end up with three toasters, when they're not even huge fans of toast).

But, here's what the important point is — you shouldn't go into debt funding someone else's happily ever after. If you're in the middle of deciding whether or not you can live without an internet connection, the bride and groom hopefully won't be expecting you to max out your credit card on a fondue set.

It's tough if you don't have many pennies to your name, but showing up with something (even a gift card) will show that you appreciate the invite, and wish the couple a happy future. Back in the day, gift amounts usually collaborated with the amount per plate, or the amount they spent to feed you and host you. But, these costs usually vary by venue and location, and playing guessing games isn't fun for anyone. You definitely don't want to sit down to dinner and focus on whether or not you stiffed the newlyweds.

Times have changed these days — people are marrying later, jobs don't have a guarantee, and in all honesty, there are more cases of couples shacking up well before the wedding. Usually, they already have a blender, so they're not depending on your gift in order to make smoothies from here on out. In all honesty, it makes sense to look out for your personal budget first, and if the couple knows your situation, and feels unimpressed by your lack of a snazzier gift, they're likely not people you'll want to hang out with after the honeymoon anyway.

So, what do you do if you have a ton of weddings to attend, and not a lot of cash to spend? Well, your gift doesn't have to be money or materials — you can get creative, and offer up your skills. If you're a photographer, you can "gift" them some gorgeous engagement photos, and if you're into web design, you can work on their wedding website. They'll be thankful that they don't have to work with templates if you're especially gifted. If you have an exceptional voice, you can tell them that you'd be willing to sing during their ceremony. All of these things will cost them money in the long run, so gifting your services is almost like a monetary present in itself.

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