Wedding Gift Etiquette: Dos & Don’ts
Whether you have been asked to attend a full wedding and reception in your hometown, invited to a destination wedding or simply sent a wedding announcement, you probably have some questions about the proper etiquette for wedding gifts. Wedding etiquette may seem old-fashioned, but there are a lot of unwritten rules when it comes to weddings, especially when it comes to purchasing a wedding gift. The best advice anyone can give you is to trust your instincts, as in the end it really boils down to good manners and common sense. But in the meantime, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on the etiquette of wedding gifts.
Do you need to give a gift?
If you have been invited to a wedding ceremony and don’t plan on attending, it is still customary to give the newlyweds a wedding gift. If you have simply received a wedding announcement in the mail, without an invitation, you are not required to give a gift. It would still be nice to give something, as most people do, but there is no wedding etiquette faux pas in only congratulating the happy couple on their marriage. If you have been asked to attend a destination wedding, you may feel like it is a costly endeavor. The couple hosting such a wedding will often let their guests know that their presence is quite enough, and in such cases, a wedding gift is not necessary. However, if they don’t make this known, you are still expected to give a gift. If this is the case, it is absolutely acceptable to factor the costs of attending the wedding into your budget and bring a smaller gift. It is also worth mentioning that a bridal shower and a wedding ceremony are two different events, so if you have been invited to both, keep in mind that two separate gifts are required.
Should you stick to the registry?
The answer to this question is pretty straightforward – if you plan on giving a physical gift to the couple on their wedding day, try your best to stick to the registry. Couples register with a website or a store before their wedding day because such registries make the situation much simpler for both the gift giver and the recipient, and they ensure that your gift would be used and loved for years to come. That being said, if you are a part of the wedding party, and therefore close to the bride or groom, you might be able to opt for a more special wedding gift. A great idea would also be to personalize your gift by wrapping it in a store which has its own unique gift packaging supply assortment, where you can find beautiful wedding-appropriate arrangements.
Is cash acceptable?
It might seem impersonal to hand over cash, but in most cases, the couple actually prefers it over a myriad of impractical gifts, as they are able to use this present in the way they need it most to start their life together. Some modern registry websites make giving cash as a wedding gift easier and more thoughtful, with the option of buying gift cards or setting up personalized funds. Keep in mind that there are some cultural exceptions to giving cash, so it’s best to consult the bride or groom’s family or friends if you are uncertain about it. If you do decide to move forward with cash or a check in a card, make sure you address the check to the right person and place the envelope in a safe place.
How much should you spend?
There is no set amount when it comes to spending on a newly married couple. Something you will hear quite often is to spend enough to cover your place setting at the wedding, but the amount should not be based on that. Rather than worrying about reimbursing the hosts, you should gift according to how close your relationship with the couple is and how comfortable you are financially. If the wedding is for a distant relative or a friend you don’t see very often, it is acceptable to spend a little less. If you are attending a wedding of your closest friends or family members, however, then it’s best to be generous, especially if you are bringing a date to the celebration.
When should you give your gift?
There is an old belief that you have up to a year from the date of the wedding to give the couple your gift. While this wedding etiquette still technically endures, it comes with some common-sense precautions. Realistically, sooner is always better. A year after the wedding, most couples will have moved on to the next phase of their life together. The ideal manner would be to give a gift as close to the wedding as possible, taking up to three months after the event date. On the other hand, if you happen to encounter extreme circumstances, it is also true that a wedding gift, like any good deed, is better given late than never.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Scarlet Gratton is a passionate writer and a regular contributor at highstylife interested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves traveling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.
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