Black and White Wedding

Destination Wedding: Empty-handed Guests

May 1, 2018 4 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


    May 2, 2019

    Our nephew let us down badly. We accepted the invitation to travel 700 miles from Germany to Somerset (a destination for the couple and almost all guests) AND we gave them not just a resent but I offered to underwrite two concerts for his chorale, to the value of $6000 (his father told us he’d be pleased to discuss this at the reception). Guess what – my enquiries about a hotel were evaded by his mother, and in fact the official hotel had been block-booked for the couple’s colleagues and buddies (we finished up in a disastrous Fawlty Towers place). And despite the $6000 offer we were not invited to the party in the eve of the wedding (in the hotel from which we had been excluded) . In the end we were so short of sleep (after being wakened up by fox/chicken fights every night) and our cramped room exacerbated our feelings of exclusion – that we cried off. At which point the hosts realised that we were on location after all; but it was too late, and we have broken up with that side of the family. So much for an expensive trip and a gift – all for nothing if the hosts are selfish!

  2. 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!

  3. Reply

    Libby Brown

    May 16, 2018

    They may send you a gift later!

  4. 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.