Hooray! You’re going to a wedding and have the privilege of watching two people commit to one another for the rest of their lives (and you’ll probably get to eat some good food, too).
As wedding season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about wedding gifts. We’ve broken down the do’s and don’ts for wedding gift etiquette to ensure a smooth-sailing, stress-free wedding season for everyone involved.
1. Cash is Okay —
It might seem impersonal to hand over cash, but in a lot of cases, the couple actually prefers it. There are some cultural exceptions to this, so it you’re really uncertain about it, ask the bride or groom’s family members or close friends. Although it might not be a particularly memorable wedding gift, cash can especially help out younger couples who need money for a place to live, or to pay off student loans (and don’t necessarily NEED another toaster).
2. Stick to the Registry —
Couples register for a reason: they need the basics. Buying the couple towels isn’t terribly exciting (unless you love towels), but it is something that they will use frequently. When in doubt, stick to the registry and you can’t go wrong.
3. Ship it —
Instead of bringing the gift to the wedding, consider shipping it to the bride or groom’s home instead. Bringing gifts to the wedding can be a hassle, as members of the wedding party are then responsible for both transporting the gift and making sure the gift gets to the couple after their honeymoon. Skip the middleman and simply ship the gift or check to the bride or groom’s home address (preferably before their wedding).
1. Wait a Year —
There’s an old belief that you have a year to give the couple their wedding gift. We recommend that you don’t do this, and that instead you give the gift to the couple on time, or even a little before the big day. You can get away with giving the gift a couple months after the wedding, but any later than that could be seen as rude.
2. Underspend —
Be generous and don’t underspend. The amount of money you give should depend on how close you are to the couple, the location of the wedding, and the amount of people in your group. On the contrary, how much you spend should not be based on the price per plate that the couple is paying for you to attend the wedding. Our final recommendations? $50 – $75 for a casual acquaintance, $75 – $125 for a friend, and $125 – $175 for a close friend or relative. If it’s a destination wedding, you can spend less (around $50 – $100), and if you bring a guest, consider spending a little more.
3. Sweat it —
Don’t sweat it! At the end of the day, weddings are more about the couple and their lifelong commitment to one another than wedding gifts. That being said, stick to our guide and relax! It’s time to make some moves on the dance floor and witness one of the most exciting and powerful events in anyone’s life.
Looking for other gift ideas this summer? Check out our Graduation Gift Guide!