Etiquette Daily
Black and White Wedding

Destination Wedding: Empty-handed Guests

May 1, 2018 3 Comments

Q. I recently had a destination wedding in Jamaica. Many of the people there, including close friends didn’t give us a wedding gift or even a well wishes card. I must say I am a little surprised and taken back. Most of the people could obviously afford to go to the wedding. Is it customary to not send a gift for guests of destination weddings? Should I send thank you’s to people that did not give us a gift?

A. It is always considered obligatory for one who attends a wedding, whether it is down the block or on a remote island, to give a gift to the wedding couple. I can only imagine that those who attended mistakenly thought that since they incurred a large amount of expenses to attend your wedding, that they need not provide a gift in addition.

The best thing you can do is write a letter to the so-far non-gift-giving guests. Thank them for being with you on your special day and express your pleasure in having them be there.

Black and White Wedding


  1. Reply

    the gold digger

    May 17, 2018

    This answer is so wrong! Send a note AND send an invoice! Honestly. These guests didn’t even pay for their dinner!

  2. Reply

    Libby Brown

    May 16, 2018

    They may send you a gift later!

  3. Reply


    May 16, 2018

    Nobody owes you a gift! They used their time off work and spent money just to be there, at a place that you chose for yourselves. Be grateful that they came to your wedding at all, and remember that you have no idea what people can “obviously afford” or not. Their finances are not your business.