Wedding Gift Ideas for When You Can’t Attend

If you can’t attend the wedding, sending a thoughtful wedding gift is a great way to send your condolences. While it’s probably not expected, it is a lovely gesture. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth either.

If the couple have a wedding gift list or inventory then you could use that, but if not, make sure your gift isn’t just the first pick off the first ‘Wedding Gift Ideas’ article that comes up on Google. It’s time to get inventive.

Here’s our favourite unique wedding gift ideas and more on how to turn down a wedding invitation.


Unique Wedding Gifts


1. Flower Subscription

The gift that keeps on giving.

A flower subscription is a lovely gift that tends to get better with time. If you opt for a 12 month subscription, your gift will still feel fresh long after the big day!

There are loads of flower subscriptions online with various subscription options so you can keep it in line with your budget. Bloom and Wild are perfect because you can choose a 3, 6 or 12 month flower plan.



2. Cooking Class

Gifting an experience is a good alternative to a physical gift, especially when it comes to wedding gifts, as the receiver already has someone to go with!

A Hitched survey found that the average number of wedding guests in the UK was 82 day guests and 103 evening guests. So if every guest bought a physical gifts, it’d be hard to find somewhere to put all those new possessions.

And when it comes to experiences, a cooking class is a good all rounder - if the couple are foodies, they’ll appreciate the experience and if not, they’ll learn some valuable (and maybe much needed) skills.

The class you choose should be dependent on their taste and location. Virgin Experience Days have a load to choose from!



3. Alcohol They Actually Like (Ditch the Champagne!)

A bottle of champers is a renowned celebration drink but how often do you crack open a bottle of champagne on the weekend?

If you’re sending the wedding gift before the lucky couple tie the knot, champagne could come in handy during the celebrations. But if not, why not opt for a really nice bottle of their favourite booze?

To make it a little more special, these personalised couples spirits are super cute. If the newlyweds are picky, then a nice bottle of their spirit of choice will be much more appreciated.

Read more of our advice on shipping alcohol.



4. A ‘His and Hers’ Alternative

The lucky couple are bound to receive a load of ‘His and Hers’, ‘His and His’ or ‘Hers and Hers’ branded items on their big day and it’s safe to say this one has been overdone.

But there is a reason ‘His and Hers’ paraphernalia is so popular - it’s nice to give something that celebrates them as a new couple and that they can each use.

We love these ‘Big Spoon Little Spoon’ pillow covers - they’re gender neutral and have both the charm of a couples gift while ditching the conventional, and dare we say boring, ‘His and Hers’ slogan.



5. Books!

Books always make a great gift, no matter what the occasion. When it comes to a wedding, guides are a good genre to go for.

Take this book on the best pubs in the UK, or if the lucky pair are into fine food try this restaurant recommendation book.

Here’s a sweet couples cook book or join the journaling craze with this daily journal for two.



6. A Smart Speaker

A Google Nest or an Amazon Alexa is one of those things you don’t think you need until you’ve got it. But once you do have it, you can’t live without it!

Homeware is always a popular wedding gift, and a smart speaker can be a great addition to the house without interfering with the decor.

And you can usually get a Google Nest Mini around the £30 mark, which makes it the perfect price point for a wedding gift when you can’t attend the wedding!



7. Personalised Matchbox

You’ll probably find a candle or two on every wedding gift list article. They’re a nice, inoffensive present, but to avoid repeat gifting, take a look at this personalised couples matchbox.

It’s nice enough to be a part of the couple’s home decor while also being practical. You could gift alongside a candle too, as a DIY candle set.

Kindred Fires have loads of nice wedding themed candles.



8. Wedding Gift Hamper

There are many wedding gift hampers out there, but nothing beats making your own.

Hamper baskets are readily available on Amazon and in craft shops, and if you DIY it you can put in all the couple’s favourite things! It shows you’ve really thought about your wedding gift and means nothing in the hamper will go to waste.

Making your own wedding hamper means you can usually save a bit of money on the gift too, which is always a bonus.



9. Environmentally-Friendly Herb Selection

Herbs are handy and you can guarantee the newlyweds will use them.

If they’re conscious of the environment, these ‘conscious spices’ are perfect and you can find lots of other sustainably-made gifts for couples on Wearth London’s website too.

Like this Vegan Recipe Box, which is great value for money!



10. ‘Sorry, We Can’t Make It’ Card

If your budget is small or you’re not that close with the couple then a 'sorry' card is a lovely gesture without breaking the bank.

If the couple has specified that they’d like money, you can just put some cash in the card too. Gifts are thoughtful but money means the couple can spend it on something they actually want and need.

Not the most unique, but an easy alternative if all else fails.



How to Turn Down a Wedding Invitation

Make sure you RSVP as soon as you can, because the sooner the couple know you can’t make it, the sooner they can reply to caterers and vendors about numbers. They could also invite someone else to replace your spot too.

Once you send your RSVP, sending a message or a card alongside your gift shows you are genuinely sorry to miss the big day.


How Much Should a Wedding Gift Cost?

Some people say that the wedding gift should cover the costs of food - usually around £60-100 a head. But if you’re saving the lucky couple that added expense by only attending the evening do, or if you can’t make it at all, then you could keep your gift a little more cost friendly.

It also depends how close you are to the couple and expectations differ from culture to culture.

If they have a wedding inventory, take a look at the gifts they’ve listed to see the kind of prices they expect guests to pay. And if you’re close, don’t be afraid to just ask!


Send Your Wedding Gifts with Parcel2Go

If you’re looking for a reliable way to ship your wedding gift, choose Parcel2Go. We work with the UK’s best couriers so you can rely on your parcel to arrive on time. And as we offer the cheapest shipping in the UK, you can spend more on the actual present and save elsewhere.

Once you buy your gift, just package it up and enter the weight and measurements of your parcel to get a free instant parcel delivery quote.



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