Is a wedding gift required for a courthouse wedding?

January 28, 2013 | By

Question by C00KiE: Is a wedding gift required for a courthouse wedding?
There will be no reception or anything. So my question is a wedding gift required? If so, what? They've been together for a while and have a child. They also live with other people in their home (father and sister).

Best answer:

Answer by Poodie
A wedding gift is never required no matter where the wedding is held. That said, a courthouse marriage is no less deserving of a congratulatory gift than any other. Of course, given that there is no thank you for the guests in the form of a reception, I would give just a card and/or a small gift. Your additional details (how long they've been together and who they live with) are irrelevant.

What do you think? Answer below!

Hooray for the servers and the wonderful gifts they bring!
wedding gift questions
Image by Aaron Webb
At the wedding reception, this is the puzzling cultural thing that happened.

Every time a new course was served this very uptempo spanish techno sort of thing would begin to play, loudly, and with it, the spanish began to wave their napkins over their heads like helicopters. As if summoned by this gesture, the waiters would emerge from the kitchen, very quickly, to place the plates for the next course.

As a former waiter, I didn't know what to think... was this disrespectful, a summoning of servants for a rapid dispatch of their duties... or a joyous celebration of the gifts the servers were bringing, in a way including them in the festivities?

Luckily, I didn't have to concern myself with the question of whether or not to participate... I was going to take Pictures.

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Comments (9)

  1. tra la la la la la

    a wedding gift if always optional, wether they are having a wedding at st pauls cathedral followed by an 18 course dinner at the ritz or if it is a court house wedding with not even a drink in the pub afterwards.

    i think it is nice to gift the couple something to start them off in married life and to express your good wishes.
    from what you say it sounds like they dont have much money maybe a gift card to a restaurant so they can have an evening out on you or partly on you would be better then house hold items they already have
    or get them new bed linen or towels because who doesnt like nice new fluffy towels

  2. monica

    I would give a gift usually monetary like 50 to 100

  3. Alison

    In the case of a “courthouse wedding” if there are no guests then you have received a marriage announcement. You may send a card congratulating them on their union. Any gift given is optional and it’s selection is up to you.

  4. digimutt

    A wedding gift is never required. The guests are under NO obligation to give you anything at all. If they do, it is a GIFT

  5. Tim


    A wedding gift is never required regardless of the type of wedding.

  6. Mom of 2

    Wedding gifts are never required no matter what kind of wedding they have, and if they lived together or not. If you want to get something like a gift card or cash you can, but don’t feel like you have to. A wedding greeting card is enough.

  7. Jenny Lynne

    No, wedding gift not required, but for me, just me, I prefer to get the newlyweds to be something for their wedding.

  8. CrazyChick

    Well, that depends on why you normally bring a gift. Is it to say, “Congrats on throwing a great party!” or “Congratulations on starting your life together!”?

    Take a gift, like you would if they were having a fancy wedding. It’s not about the party, it’s about the commitment.

  9. Amy

    I buy wedding gifts for my family and friends as a means to celebrate the occasion, not as pay back for a reception. So, yes, I personally would buy a wedding a gift for any couple who invited me to their wedding or was close enough to me that I wanted to help celebrate their wedding. And when I say “buy a wedding gift” what I really mean is “give them cash” – everyone needs and appreciates cash. If you can’t see yourself giving cash, then buy some nice monogrammed bath towels.