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Do you owe the bride and groom a gift if you aren’t attending the wedding? Experts weigh in

Wedding season is very nearly upon us — with many people already planning ahead for the spring, summer and even fall months.
With the prices of such luxury experiences as travel, wedding attire and gift-giving still rising, a new debate has hit the internet.
Do you need to send a gift to the newlyweds if you aren’t attending their wedding?
Users have gone on the subreddit thread “r/wedding” over the years to seek advice — and to voice their opinions.
One user took a stance on the matter when declining a wedding invite, telling the Reddit community that a gift should not be a requirement.
“If you’re not attending, any monetary gift is a bonus and not a requirement,” said user “Serious-Yam6730.”
Another user wrote, “If you’re not attending, then any kind of gift is very generous. We’re in the U.K. and the only gifts sent to us by people not attending were from those who live overseas,” according to user “ki5aca.”
Although many social media posters agreed that sending a gift is the polite thing to do assuming people have the monetary means to do so, many also said it isn’t a necessity for those not attending the wedding.
“I don’t expect anything from people that aren’t coming,” wrote “metsgirl289” — presumably a bride-to-be.
The internet has debated whether you need to give a wedding gift if you don’t attend. galaganov – stock.adobe.com
Etiquette expert weighs in
Florida-based etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore told Fox News Digital it’s always a kind gesture to send a gift, even if you’re skipping the event.
“It’s considered thoughtful to send a gift even if you can’t attend the wedding,” she said this week.
“This gesture shows your love and friendship and honors the couple’s special day,” she said.
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Whitmore said if finances are a concern when it comes to giving something, then there is another way to go.
“If you’re not close to the couple, or if sending a gift would be a financial strain, send a heartfelt card with your best wishes instead,” she suggested.
Florida-based etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore told Fox News Digital it’s always a kind gesture to send a gift, even if you’re skipping the event. Igor – stock.adobe.com
If you do choose to send a gift regardless of whether you attend the wedding, Whitmore said the amount spent should depend on your relationship with the couple and your personal budget.
“A common approach is to cover the cost of your plate at the wedding, but this is no longer valid since most people have no idea what their meal (and drinks) might cost,” she noted.
She suggested a guideline of spending $25-$50 per wedding gift for a distant relative or acquaintance, $50-$150 on a gift for a friend or relative, and $100-$200 or more on a close friend or close relative who is getting married.
Whitmore also noted it’s courtesy to send the wedding gift to the couple’s home before the wedding day or up to a month after the event.
“If this is a second (or third) wedding for the couple, they may insist that their guests do not bring a gift,” she also noted.

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