Giving Wedding Gifts to the Couple

Wedding Etiquette on Giving Gifts to the Couple

Giving wedding gifts to the couple sometimes be stressful and even pricey, especially if you’re attending all three engagement party, bridal shower and the wedding.  How much are you suppose to spend? Are you suppose to only choose from the registry or find something more personal between you and the couple?  Do you give cash instead of gifts, knowing the couple’s situation?

Here are a few etiquette tips on giving wedding gifts to the couple to ease your mind.

+ There are no minimum or maximum on cash gifts.  You need to look at your personal budget and the relationship to the couple.  Here’s a rough guideline for you if you have no idea how much to spend.  If you are a co-worker or a distant friend $75-100, relatives and friends $100-$125, close relatives and close friends should be $100-$150.

+ If you are invited with a plus one, there’s no traditional rule to this, but it’s customary to give a bigger gift since the couple is now paying for the two guests.

+ If you know you’re a part of all three big events such as the engagement party, bridal shower and the wedding, make sure to budget your financials in advance.  It might feel weird to give them a big gift at the engagement party then bring a small congratulations card to the wedding.  Think about how much you want to spend overall, and budget them 20% engagement party, 20% bridal shower and then 60% wedding gift.

+ It is customary to follow the couple’s wishlist on their registry.  However if your financial situation doesn’t fit with their wishlist, you might look at the registry as a guideline and find something elsewhere.  Don’t get offended though if they have exchanged your gift something else later!

+ If the couple are a really close friend of yours, and you would like to be creative on the wedding gift, there’s no rule saying that you can’t.  I personally loved all the creative gifts our friends got for us, but we’re pretty artsy like that.  One tip I would give you though is to keep it somewhat small.  If it’s a huge painting for them, unless they absolutely love it, it might stay in the attic and will become an awkward subject between you guys.

+ There’s nothing wrong with sending the wedding gifts in advance, or shortly after the wedding.  It’s a hassle for you to bring a big gift to the wedding in your lovely dress, and it is also a hassle for someone at the wedding to move all the gifts to a locked room, and then to the car at the end of the night and then deliver it again to the couple’s home after their honeymoon.  Mailing the gifts is the cool thing to do.

+ There is nothing wrong with cash gifts, as well as giving them a check.  Some couple might even prefer it, to contribute to their new home renovations, honeymoon, baby fund, savings, etc.

+ Please, please, write add a card with your name on the gift.  There’s nothing more awkward in not knowing who sent the gift, and being vague on the thank you card.

+ If you’re attending a destination wedding, it is okay to give a smaller gift since you’re spending much more on the traveling expense.  But make sure you do give a gift.

General rule of gift giving, give something or as much that you are comfortable with.  You don’t want all the weddings you go to be financially stressful every time.  Have fun with gift picking!



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