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Wediquette Wednesday: If I’m not attending the wedding, do I have to buy a shower gift?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. This week, we’re answering a question about shower gifts.


Question: My husband’s distant cousin is getting married in a couple of months. They aren’t particularly close, I’ve never met her and the wedding is out of state. While we aren’t planning to attend the wedding, we are of course sending a gift. That said, a shower invitation just arrived in the mail and I’m not sure what to do since we aren’t going to that party or the wedding. Do we have to buy a shower gift?

Answer: When it comes to gifting for weddings and the various related parties and showers, it can get confusing. The hard and fast rule is if you are invited to the wedding, you are expected to send a gift, even if you do not attend. The cost of any gift is determined by the closeness of your relationship to the betrothed and your budget. If you do not attend a shower, you aren’t obligated to buy a gift for it. Also, if you attend many showers, you are only obliged to bring a gift to the first one. You can send a present of course, but it isn’t expected and if you do, it can be an inexpensive token, such as kitchen towels or a photo frame. For all of the festivities, be sure to R.S.V.P., whether or not you plan to attend, so the host can plan for food, beverages and favors. Stick to these guidelines and friends and family will clamor to invite you to their fêtes.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.



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