Should you give a wedding gift if you can't attend a wedding - The British Hamper Company

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Should You Give A Wedding Gift Even If You Can't Attend?

11 Apr 2024

Been invited to a wedding but can’t go? 

There are many different reasons why people can’t make weddings (according to studies, around 20% of invited guests will decline a wedding invitation).

Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • A clash with another wedding…yep, we’re still catching up post-covid…so you may be flooded with invites.
  • Can’t afford all that a wedding entails (travel, accommodation, clothes, etc.).
  • Child-care issues.
  • Booked holiday.
  • Struggling with annual leave.


Whatever your reason, are you wondering how to respond and whether to gift or not?

We’ve got some tips on this potentially tricky situation…



  • It’s polite to decline ASAP, perhaps the couple can offer the place to someone else.

  • Though you’re not obliged to, it’s thoughtful to send an extra note telling them why you can’t attend and letting them know how much you appreciate the invitation.



On Wedding Gifts:

  • Did you know that traditional wedding etiquette states that if you can’t attend the wedding you’re NOT obligated to send a wedding gift?

  • So, the above applies BUT really it all depends on your relationship with the Happy Couple:

- If you don’t know the couple that well, in addition to the formal RSVP,  you could send a card with a message. Afterall, just because you can’t go, it doesn’t mean you don’t wish them well.

- Likewise if you are just evening guests.

- If they’re close friends or family then you’ll probably want to give them a gift anyway (perhaps spending slightly less, but that is completely up to you).

  • Change the mindset - how about thinking about the gift as ‘a gift’ and not as part payment for the lovely event you can’t attend…?


If you HAVE decided to give a gift, may we suggest taking a look at our fantastic range of luxury food and drink hampers which can be delivered straight to the couple?

We also have specialty wedding hampers!

Filled with delicious food and drink from top quality small artisan producers, and including UK delivery, these hampers make charming unique wedding gifts. 

Our hampers are suitable for all budgets and tastes and we have a range for those with special dietary requirements too. We also offer a bespoke make-your-own service where you can create a personalised wedding gift for your loved ones.

Thrilling to receive and exciting to open, what a wonderful way to celebrate the start of married life!