Bridal Etiquette Series: The Wedding Guest’s Guide to Gift-Giving

As a wedding guest, gift-giving can be tough! We totally get it. Not only is there the question of what to give but also how much to give, when to give and more. Who knew gifts could be so stressful? Today, we’re setting the record straight so you’ll be more than prepared (and excited) to give your next wedding gift. Explore eight popular FAQs below, and be sure to leave your own gift-giving tips in the comments!

What should I buy for the couple?
Anything off of their registry! Recently married yourself or been married for a few years? Think about the items, gadgets and gizmos you most use on a regular basis, whether it’s a coffee maker, a beautiful serving tray or a vacuum, knowing they’ll probably appreciate the practicality, as well.

Can I give an off-registry gift?
Technically, you can – but we recommend shopping straight off of the registry, if at all possible. Most couples put thought and effort into creating their registry, so it’s courteous to purchase gifts you already know they want and need.

How much should I spend?
First and foremost, always remember, “it’s the thought that counts.” However, don’t let this be an excuse for grabbing a $4.99 spatula for the happy couple and calling it a day. We recommend spending around $40-50 for distant friends and/or coworkers, and increasing your budget for relatives and closer friends.

Am I obligated to give multiple gifts?
No. You’re only obligated to give one wedding gift per couple; however, if you’re in a wedding party and close to the bride, you may want to consider throwing in an extra little something, such as a nice cookbook and a Dutch oven.

Can I give the couple a monetary gift?
First, consider the type of wedding. Is it traditional? Stick to gifting home items to help the new couple move in together. If it’s a more modern wedding and the couple already lives together, chances are they probably have some of the items they already need, and cash would be more acceptable in this situation.

Can I bring a gift to a wedding?
Avoid bringing a gift to the wedding. The family of the bride and groom will already have many personal items to pack up and bring home after the reception, so save them some stress by mailing your gift directly to the new couple’s home or by dropping it off in person. Besides, the gift could get lost in the shuffle of the wedding day.

How long do I have to send a gift?
Technically, guests have one year to send a wedding gift; however, more and more, guests are giving gifts either before or directly after the wedding. For maximum consideration, send the gift as soon as you possibly can.

Can I split the cost of a gift with friends or family members?
Absolutely! We see this frequently. Just make sure everyone is on the same page when dividing up the cost.

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