Wedding gift etiquette can be overwhelming. How much are you supposed to spend? What if it’s a destination wedding? Do you have to shop from the registry? Is cash okay in lieu of a gift? With gifting etiquette changing over the years, it’s okay to be a bit confused. That’s why we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about wedding gift giving, the do’s and don’ts of wedding gifts, and personalized wedding gift ideas!
Wedding Gift Etiquette 101
Wedding gift etiquette has evolved over the years. For example, while it used to be customary for your gift to cover your plate, it’s now more common to take into account how well you know the couple, if you’re in the wedding, how much you’re spending on travel and lodging, and your personal finances. While it’s customary to give a gift as a wedding attendee, how much you spend is based on these factors.
Wedding registries have also evolved, with some couples forgoing registries all together and asking for contributions to their honeymoon or first home fund. If a couple has a registry, they probably spent a lot of time making it, so if you find something on there you want to buy for them, it’s typically best not to stray.
Of course, if you are close with the couple, straying from the registry for a more personalized gift is always an option. The art of giving a personalized wedding gift is no easy feat. It’s crucial that you’re aware of their style, taste, and preferences, especially if you’re getting something for their home. If you know them well and know what they like, a unique, personalized wedding gift may be the best one they get.
Do I Need to Give a Gift?
Yes, if you’re attending a wedding, you should always give a gift, however, the amount is flexible. If you’re feeling financially strained, you don’t need to go over the top, but you should still always give something as an attendee. And make sure to give or send the couple a note of congratulations and well wishes.
How Much Should I Spend?
Traditional wedding gift etiquette says that you should spend as much on a wedding gift as you assume the couple is spending on the reception dinner. For example, if you think your meal costs $150, that’s what you should give the couple. There are a few other things you should be taking into consideration though, including how well you know the couple, how far you travelled, and your personal financial situation. If you’re very close to the couple, you may consider giving them more, whereas if you travelled a far distance and have to pay for a hotel, you may only have room in your budget for a smaller amount/gift.
Do I Need to Purchase From the Gift Registry?
It’s not required to give the couple a gift from the registry, but there are instances when straying from the registry is better than others. For example, if you know the couple really well, you’re more likely to be able to pick out a great gift you know they’ll love. This is especially true for personalized wedding gifts.
What If It’s a Destination Wedding?
Although destination weddings can be expensive, giving a wedding gift is still courteous for a destination wedding. However, you don’t have to spend as much as you would have if flights and hotel stays weren’t involved. Start by figuring out your personal budget, and if you’re stressed about travel expenses, it’s okay for your gift to be more modest. It’s also becoming more common for couples to ask guests not to give gifts for destination weddings, so look out for phrases like “your presence is present enough” on the invite.
6 Wedding Gift Dos and Don’ts
- Do: bring cash in lieu of a gift- if you don’t see anything on the registry you’d like to buy, giving the couple money is always appreciated.
- Do: spend within your budget- you shouldn’t be going into debt over a wedding gift. Figure out what you can comfortably afford and buy a gift within your budget.
- Do: send a gift even if you can’t attend- it’s a way to say congratulations and thank them for the invite.
- Don’t: bring your gift to the wedding (unless it’s cash and a card). Ship it so the couple doesn’t have to transport it home.
- Don’t: go rogue- unless you’re very close with the couple and confident in giving them a personalized gift, it’s best to stick to the registry.
- Don’t: wait a year- while technically gift giving etiquette says you have a year to give a gift, sooner is always better, and you should send a gift as close to the wedding date as possible.
20 Personalized Wedding Gift Ideas
- Personalized couples print with their names and date of the wedding
- Serving platter with an engraved monogram
- Brooklinen bedding bundle with sheets and pillow covers
- Retro espresso machine
- SMEG toaster or kettle
- Our Place Always Pan
- Luggage set
- Monogrammed marble coasters
- Tea pot and cup set
- Heavy weight faux fur throw blanket
- Monogrammed cotton robes
- Custom photo book of their travels or relationship over the years
- Ceramic cookware set
- Stoneware dinner set
- KOIOS electric tea kettle
- Picture frame gallery wall set
- Premium Turkish towel set
- Farberware 15-piece white and gold knife set
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- Marshall bluetooth speaker
We hope you love these personalized wedding gift ideas! Choose one you know the special couple will use and love!
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