WEDDING GIFTING ETIQUETTE
You've been invited to a wedding and you probably already have your outfit chosen, complete with the perfect pair of heels. The RSVP has been returned and you can't wait to see the joyous couple tie the knot. But you still quite didn’t figure out what to give them as a wedding gift. Before you even hit the shops, you should understand wedding gifting etiquette to make sure that your money and time won’t be wasted and that the newlyweds couple will LOVE and use the gift you send them.
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions you need to know before you go wedding gift shopping:
How much should you spend on a wedding gift?
When deciding on a budget, you need to consider what you can afford, your relationship with the couple and the other costs of attending the wedding. A fair budget is $75 to $100, but if you need to spend less, I always say it is the thought that counts the most. A handmade or personalized gift can be just as special as an expensive one. You will probably spend more on your sister's wedding gift than on your partner's work colleague's gift. If you are traveling abroad for a destination wedding, you are already outlying a lot financially, so expensive gifts are less common or even unexpected.
Spending too much on a gift can also be a fopa. You don't want to show up with a present that costs five times what the parents spent as it could make them feel uncomfortable.
How much should you spend if you are coming as an individual compared to coming as a couple? How about if you are coming as a family of four?
In some cultures, it is expected that the wedding gifts should cover the costs of the wedding, such as food and drink (or even the total cost). For others, it is not even thought about. Generally speaking, if you are a couple or family, the gift doesn't need to be more costly compared to what you would spend as a single person.
Should you spend more on a wedding gift if you are close friends or family and if so, how much?
Yes, usually you would spend more on a good friend or family member. Around $100 - $200 would be appropriate, but again it goes back to your personal budget. Your loved ones wouldn't expect you to spend more than you can afford.
Do you need to order from the wedding registry?
There's no hard and fast rule that says you must use the wedding registry but it is good manners if you can. Bride probably spent some time putting the registry together, so you know that if you decide to give them something from their registry it will be well used and fit their style & home!
What are some alternative gifts if you don't order from the registry?
In this case, you should consider buying a gift the bride and groom can use together. Or anything you are sure the couple needs or would love is ideal if you aren't buying from the registry. It might be gift vouchers, an experience, spa certificates, or a luxury food and wine subscription they can enjoy on their date nights! You can also send them a beautifully curated gift box made for newlyweds with a personal gift note from you. Wedding gift boxes became so popular and it is such a fun experience to receive beautifully wrapped gifts right to their doorstep filled with pampering gifts they can enjoy together! You can find our favourite wedding gift basketshere.
Can you give gift cards as a wedding gift? If so, what kind of gift cards?
Yes, gift cards are an acceptable gift if you know the couple will use them. Luxury gift cards that can be used for items the couple might not usually buy for themselves can be special. Practical gift cards for home decor or hardware stores can be perfect for couples starting out or building a new home!
Can you give money as a wedding gift? If so, how much?
Money can be given as a gift. You can follow the same rules as previously discussed with gifts when it comes to the amount. A bank transfer or giving the pretty envelope with card & money to the couple before the day is much preferred than gifting it to them on the day off the wedding, where it can get lost or misplaced.
When should you buy a wedding gift?
Usually, you buy the gift before the wedding and give it to the couple on the big day. There might be a table for gifts. Or if you see each other often, you can give it to them at their home shortly after their wedding. If you order a gift from their wedding registry, you can get it delivered directly to their home before the wedding or shortly after the wedding day.
Should you bring any gift to the wedding?
If you already have given a gift through a registry, you can also bring a card to the wedding if you wish. Flowers aren't usually given since they probably will have many flowers left over from the wedding day. However, plants in lovely pots can be a great alternative. This is a natural gift they can nurture and care for that will last longer than a week. It is also symbolic as it grows and thrives like their love.
Is it ok to purchase wedding gifts as a group? For example, a group of friends? And how is it with family?
Yes, this can be amazing. If you all pool your money together, you can buy a fabulous gift as a group. In this case, make sure the gift is something the couple really wants or needs and ensure nobody else is giving them the same gift.
Do you give a gift if you are attending a virtual wedding?
Due to Covid, many guests are being invited to weddings as virtual guests. In fact, some are getting invited when they may not have been invited otherwise. That means your wedding invitations this year could be higher than normal. When it comes to gift-giving, this can work out to be expensive. For virtual weddings, it is nice to send a gift, but something small and affordable is fine.
Hope this blog post sparked some ideas for what to buy the happy couple and helped you get ready for this important shopping trip. If in doubt, talk to the bride and groom about their gift. Knowing you are giving them a gift they will adore is a nice feeling. Just don't buy them towels, pets, or workout equipment!
Owner & creator of My Handmade Wedding Co