Last minute wedding invitation – do I send a gift?

Hi! Just got a last minute invite to a friend’s wedding, which is next weekend (Aug. 7). She’s not someone I see all the time, but ran into her at a party yesterday and now she’s begging me to come to her wedding. I’m REALLY low on funds and wasn’t prepared to come up with a wedding gift in a week. What do I do? Is no gift a horrible thing to do? Am I expected to “pay” for my meal with a monetary gift? Is a small token/gift acceptable? Do I have up to a year to give a gift if I choose to wait till I have more funds available? Help!!!!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

If you’d like to attend then see if she’s registered and send a gift off the registry that you can afford. If she’s not registerd then just make your own wedding gift selection based on your relationship and budget. Please send that as soon as possible since the gift should arrive at the home of the bride before the wedding.

The idea that you have to “cover the amount of the dinner” with a monetary gift and that you have up to a year to send a gift isn’t true and really doesn’t make sense. A gift isn’t a ticket for admission, it’s a token of the guest’s esteem. I don’t know who started this or where it began, but it’s certainly not the case. We don’t host a wedding in hopes to make money or cover our costs. Just like any other party the reception is hosted to thank our friends and family for their support and attendance.

Nancy Tucker

The Queen is correct, you are not expected to match the amount of the meal. I’m not sure where that is coming from lately. A small memento of your relationship would be totally appropriate. Check her registry and and, the Queen says, if nothing fits your budget just get something tasteful but inexpensive.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Great advice and so true. If you are attending, you should give a gift. The gift could even be handmade.