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To gift or not to gift? 

Come wedding season, there are some years you might have more wedding invitations on your refrigerator than you do magnets to hold them up. Though some invitations are to weddings you’re eager to attend, others may be save-the-dates for weddings you didn’t realize you’d even get an invite to in the first place: Wait, when was the last time I actually talked to Linda? Have I even met her fiancé?

It’s understood that every guest invited to a wedding may not be able to attend, so don’t fret about trying to fly across the country for a couple you don’t know that well. But, when you’re not able to attend a wedding that you’ve been invited to, you may be left wondering how to appropriately handle the gift situation. Do you send a wedding gift if you won’t be there for the couple’s Big Day?

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Opinions vary on the subject. Many feel that it’s up to the guest to decide whether or not to send a gift when they’re not attending the celebration. Others feel a wedding is the one circumstance when gifts aren’t optional. For example, Lizzie Post, Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter, believes a wedding invitation is a “big deal invite,” and proper wedding gift etiquette requires guests to honor an invitation with a present no matter what.

The one thing they all agree on? A wedding invitation should be acknowledged with a congratulations (beyond your RSVP card), no matter how close you are to the couple. If you’re able to include small gift from their registry or a check for the amount you feel is appropriate along with your warm wishes, that’s wonderful. The couple and their families thought enough of you to send you an invitation to such a momentous occasion, after all.