A wedding gift is never a given - an invitation to a wedding isn't a quid pro quo situation where they owe you a gift. But with most couples expecting cash gifts these days, and some even planning to pay for the wedding with the cash received, it can feel a little awkward, and even potentially hurtful, to not receive even a token from guests invited.
Most guests wouldn't dream of arriving without a wedding gift, but some will. Some will even come without so much as a card. If you're the type of person to never show up without a gift, it can be a little surprising and disappointing, so arm yourself early with the knowledge that at least a few of your guests will show up empty handed.
Do you send a thank you card if there was no wedding gift received? Do you wait and see if a gift arrives later? There is quite a bit of etiquette around the whole wedding gifting thing, so let's break it down.
No wedding gift received? Your first reaction should be...
This advice is a little contradictory, but bare with us. You need to both wait it out, and let it go.
Tradition dictates that wedding gifts can be sent up to a year after a wedding. That's super old school, and today, three months is probably your maximum window after the wedding to send on a gift, and you'll receive most 'late' gifts within the first month.
But some couples don't realise this. So, first things first, just because you didn't receive a gift at or before your wedding, doesn't mean they don't have one planned, so don't lose your reason.
But, having said that, let it go. It's important to remember that your guests spent time and money coming to celebrate with you, and their presence truly was your present.
You may not feel that way towards the table of your parents' friends you didn't want to invite, or the plus one you begrudgingly gave to your pal's new girlfriend, but there's no point getting worked up about it. Wedding gifts are a bonus, not mandatory for attendance, after all.
Do you send a thank you card if you didn't receive a wedding gift?
The short answer is - yes, you do. Take the high road, girl.
Send a thank you note for their attendance, and try your best to make it personal and specific - there is nothing worse than a generic thank you note, and you definitely don't want to seem passive aggressive.
There is a chance that some wedding gifts - especially if it's from someone you really can't imagine not bringing a present - are lost, misplaced, given to the wrong person or even stolen at a wedding.
If you write a thank you note expressing your gratitude for their presence and make no mention of a gift, anyone with their heads screwed on will realise you never received their gift - for whatever reason. That's their cue to get in touch with you to make sure you received it.
And, in the event that that guest really didn't bring along a wedding gift, it's a gracious and polite gesture to have sent the thank you card. Your momma raised you right!
Should I let the guest know if I think their gift was lost?
Nope. Absolutely no way should you broach the subject of a lost or otherwise missing gift. It will be impossible for you, as the host, to bring it up without seeming like you're fishing for a gift.
It will be mortifying for you and them if it turns out they never sent one. Just don't do it. As much as it's frustrating to think a gift is lost, asking for one - no matter how subtle you think you're being - is probably more rude than the guest not bringing one in the first place. Avoid.