Wedding Gift Etiquette


A momentous occasion like wedding can get perplexing when money enters the equation. Surely, all love to gift the newly-wed, but making up your mind about the wedding gift becomes tricky when it’s occupied with so many questions. You have to know the basics of wedding gift etiquette. Here is a comprehensive guide about all that you want to know about a wedding gift.

Wedding Gift Etiquette: Everything You Should Know About Giving Wedding Gift

When giving a wedding gift, you may encounter all those bewildering questions like; what to give, what to spend, when to give, should it be a cash gift? Here comes the answer to all these questions.

What to Give

Inquire into Wedding Registry!

Wedding registries are the most efficient way of choosing a gift that would please the couple. According to a research, around 85% brides want their guests to choose a gift from their wedding registry. Opting for a wedding registry is getting quite common these days. About 98% couples get at least one (3 to 4 maximum) wedding registry in stores or online. Whether a single registry or more, the sole purpose is to give their guests a great variety to choose from. Look into the couple’s wedding website (if any) for the list of items they have registered for. Normally, you have to buy it from the very store the couple is registered in. But some retailers make it handier by offering it to be purchased online.

Pick out the Best!

Wedding registry is more about the items that are functional for both the bride and the groom, to be used in their future life. So you will get gift items hailing directly from bedroom, kitchen, bathroom or garden in the registry. Other non-traditional items can also be settled on. It may include travel gear, for honeymoon particularly, gardening accessories or camping gear. So if you really want to buy a gift of the couple’s choice, stick to the wedding registry, set up by the couple. That's the number 1 rule of wedding gift etiquette.

Gift of Couple’s Dream

There are certain big-ticket items that are hard to be purchased by a single person. Few of the closely-related guests can chip in to buy them something exceptional. Wedding registry can also have some highly-expensive items that cannot be afforded by a single guest. A group of friends or bridal party may band together to buy that luxurious gift.

How Much to Spend

The second point about wedding gift etiquette is determining the cost of the gift. There is no cardinal rule regarding how much one should spend on the wedding gift. There are certain myths that keep the matter mystifying for the guests. For example, a common concept is that one should spend equal to the price the couple has spent per plate. But that is not the right scale to measure it on. An acquaintance can have a more lavished wedding than a close family member. Would you pay higher to the acquaintance over a close pal? Not Really! So decide the exact amount by calling these points to mind.

  • See Your Earnings!

    The very basic point that would ascertain the amount you are going to spend on the wedding gift is your income. Spend the amount that would not affect your monthly budget. Whether acquaintance or close relatives, spending more than your affordability is not recommended. At the same time, a gift less than $50 would be considered against wedding etiquette.

  • Relation You Share

    The cost should be finalized on the basis of your connection to the couple. Cost of the gift for a blood relation should be different from the cost you would pay to a co-worker. Here is a guide that would make it easier for you to decide;

    Colleague, acquaintance or a distant relation: $50 to $75

    Friends and relative: $75 to $100

    Close kinship: $100 to $150

  • Area or Location

    Think of the area you belong to, before deciding the cost of the gift. If you belong to a rural area, paying less (as your budget allows) would not seem weird. Being an urbanite, you surely would be expected to give a lavished gift of about $150 to $200+.

When to Give

The next wedding gift etiquette is about the right time for giving the gift. Sometimes sending a wedding gift gets delayed because of certain financial issues. That’s normal and ok! The maximum limit of sending a wedding gift is from six months ahead to one year after wedding. Try to give your gift within two months after the wedding.

Cash Gift

Some myths wrongly suggest a cash gift as a cheap practice. But these days, more and more couples are opting for cash gifts. Some of them would simply declare, ‘cash gift is welcomed’ through the words of mouth or in their wedding registry. A couple prefer a cash gift as it will assist them financially after marriage. So giving a cash gift can surely be considered as a good option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does it seem rude to buy a gift other than the couple’s wedding registry?”

Ans: “Buying a gift is your personal choice. You can do it your way. But we would recommend you to use the wedding registry. It would make sure that they like the gift. And if it’s not from the registry, gift should be returnable, just in case they don’t like it.”

Q: What if I am invited to all three functions; engagement, shower and wedding. Should I buy a gift for each of these?

Ans: “Yes, you are supposed to buy gifts for all three parties. The best way to deal with this situation is to allocate the budget for all three. The maximum should be for wedding. For example, 20% for engagement, 20% for bridal shower gift and 60% for the wedding gift.”

Q: “Is it against wedding gift etiquette to mention any specific gifts like cash or some gift item to receive, in our wedding invite?”

Ans: It seems quite an uncouth practice and makes the guests believe that all you are expecting is a bundle of gifts. These people love you and would surely bring something for you, whether from registry or on personal choice. If you do want some specific gifts, let your family or bridal part spread the words for you.”

Q: How to spread the word about a cash gift registry?”

Ans: “Though some wedding websites let you spread the word among the attendees. But getting help from the bridal party or close family members for spreading the words of mouth is an effective way.”