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Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. Though these events can be very fun, they can also be more expensive for guests. With flights, hotels and car rentals to consider, attending a destination wedding can be quite pricey. The extra costs associated with this kind of wedding leave many guests asking this question: “Do I need to get a gift for a destination wedding?”

The answer, unfortunately, isn’t "cut and dry." Luckily, we are going to give you a guide that tells you everything you need to know about destination wedding gift giving etiquette.

Figure Out the Couple's Gift Wishes

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As we have just pointed out, destination weddings are becoming more popular. Many couples are very aware that their guests are going to spend a great deal to get to their special day. Destination wedding couples might actually make it easy for their guests to decide if they should give a gift. They might specifically request that you don’t purchase a present. The invitation or the wedding website will provide this information. Often couples will say something like "your presence is the present."

You can choose to follow these directions (and not feel terrible for failing to give them a gift). Another option is to get them a small gift that might have sentimental value. You can do this whether or not they specifically state a "no gifts" policy on the invitation or website. So think small... and take your travel costs into account if you decide to get a gift, and you want to know how much you should spend.

Think About Your Travel Costs

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By making a budget of your travel costs, you can better figure out what you might want to spend on a gift if the couple is open to gifts. Hotels, car rentals and flights can all add up. If the destination wedding isn’t particularly far away, you might have more room in your budget to spend on a traditional wedding gift. However, if the wedding is in Scotland and you live in California, you can downsize your gift to an amount you are more comfortable with spending on top of your travel expenses.

Send Your Gift, Don’t Bring It

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Couples might cringe if you bring their registered pots and pans to the wedding. Actually, this is probably true for any kind of wedding. It is even more true for a destination wedding, however. In general, anything listed on a registry that isn’t a gift card should be sent to the specified address. Not only will this give you more room in your suitcase, but the couple will also avoid the problem of trying to figure out how to get your gift home without incurring extra baggage fees. So, one of the most important rules for destination wedding gifts: always send them in advance of the wedding rather than bringing them with you.

If You Can’t Attend, Try To Give a Gift

wedding gifts for an vacation wedding

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Most couples are aware of the costs associated with attending a destination wedding. Because of this, the number of guests who are invited is usually kept low. If you receive an invitation to a destination wedding, you should consider it an honor. Because of this, even if you can’t attend, you should get a gift. The couple thought enough of you to invite you, so it is nice to return that thoughtfulness with a present, no matter how small. This is a way to let them know that you appreciate their gesture (even though you cannot attend).

Your Turn…

What is your opinion on destination wedding gift giving? To gift or not to gift? Use the comments section to join the discussion.