Wedding Gift Etiquette- Do’s and Don’ts
Your friends are getting married and you couldn’t be happier for them when you receive their invitation in the mail. But now you’re wondering what to do about a gift. First, be sure to read the invitation carefully as some will specify their preference on gifts. If the invitation doesn’t state anything regarding gifts or a link to a wedding website and registry, keep in mind that it is still proper etiquette to give a gift to the couple. Now the hard part: what to get, how to get it and where to get it from. Rest assured we are here to help and guide you through the do’s and don’ts of wedding gifting.
Do: Bring a card
Cards are perfect. In fact, they are preferred. When attending a wedding, showing up with a card is a great way to show your love and support for the couple, without burdening them with a large package to try to get home.
Do: Give Cash
Cash is always a great gift! If the registry is picked over, or if you just aren’t sure what to get for a gift, cash is a wonderful option. You can send this to the couple before the wedding, or even bring it in a card on the wedding day. Although it may seem like an easy gift, giving cash is beneficial for the couple, as they can use it as needed. Maybe they want to put money towards their honeymoon, or a fun activity. Maybe that one big ticket item on their registry wasn’t purchased and they can use the cash to buy that for themselves, or maybe they want to get a puppy – you just never know.
Do: Send a gift even if you can’t attend
It is customary to send a wedding gift, even if you cannot attend the wedding. Think of it this way, the couple value you and your friendship enough to invite you to one of the biggest moments in their lives together. Sending a gift lets them know that you care about them even if you cannot make it.
Do: Send the gift close to (or before) the wedding date
I am sure all of you have heard “you have 1 year after the wedding to send a gift.” Although this may still ring true for some, we have found that receiving a gift closer to the date is much more ideal. Wedding registries and lists are created by the couple to start their new life together. Within a year of their marriage, it is quite possible that they have moved on to the next phase of their lives; a baby on the way, a new home, a move out of state, etc. It is impossible to know what could happen in a year, the ideal approach is to give a gift as close to the wedding date as possible.
Do: Shop the registry
Shop the registry. Use the tool the couple provided for you. The couple has spent time together deciding on items that they need to start their married life together. Maybe they are moving in together after the wedding and need multiple kitchen items or bedroom furniture, or maybe they want to complete their dining set. Either way, they have put a lot of thought and effort into creating a list of items that will help them start their lives together. Unless you are a part of the bridal party, or an extremely close friend of the couple who can give a gift with more meaning than something off the registry – ALWAYS shop the registry.
Don’t: Bring a large gift to the wedding
Although it may seem like a great idea to bring your wedding gift to the big day, don’t. Wedding registries are now designed so you can ship an item to the couple – take this route instead. Having to worry about getting a gift home at the end of the evening is the last thing that the bride and groom will have on their minds.
Don’t: Feel Pressure to Spend
There is no amount that you should spend on a wedding gift, it really depends on your personal budget and what you can afford. Don’t feel the pressure to buy something out of your price range. Recently, it has been noted that buying a gift based on your relationship with the couple is the best way to determine how much you should spend. Below is a quick guide to reference.
- Coworker or distant friend: $50 – 75
- Relative or Friend: $75 – 100
- Close Relative or Friend: $100 – 150
About the author: Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s most experienced Wine Country Wedding Experts & largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Sonoma County. Over the past 6 years Milestone has helped hundreds of couples simplify the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events.
After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available to help produce events in a stress reduced and highly professional manner. www.MilestoneEventsGroup.com