It’s wedding season! And with it comes all of the usual etiquette questions and concerns. One of the biggest being the wedding gift. How much do you give? Is it okay to gift money? What if you’re not attending the wedding? Deciding how much to give (especially if you have more than one wedding on your calendar this summer) can be tricky. But have no fear! We’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts below to help alleviate some stress.
Wedding Gift Etiquette – Dos and Don’ts
Do: Check the Registry
If you’re stuck on what to give the happy couple, be sure to check their registry first. This ensures you get them a wedding gift you know they already love and will use. However, don’t feel like you’re restricted to that list. In fact, many couples are opting out of creating a gift registry at all. And some are choosing to register for “experiences” like their honeymoon or date nights instead. And even if you do decide to go off book, checking the registry will give you insight to the couples taste and style. This is especially helpful if you aren’t super close with them and need some inspiration.
Don’t: Give Above Your Means
The myth that your gift should equal the cost of your attendance is outdated and inaccurate. Especially if you are traveling to the wedding. At the end of the day, give whatever you are financially comfortable with. According to CNBC, the national average for a wedding gift is about $160. But that varies by region, and by relationship to the couple. Close family and friends tend to spend a bit more than distant relatives or acquaintances. But there is no wrong amount to give. Need a gift idea that won’t break the bank? Create a movie or game basket for the newlyweds. Include your favorite board games, films, snacks and beverages for a DIY date night that’s as personal as it is fun.
Do: Consider a Group Gift
If you aren’t very close to the couple, or are on a budget, a group wedding gift is a great option. Get together with a few other guests and choose one of the larger registry items to purchase together. This way, everyone contributes what they are able and nobody knows how much you spent. A cool piece of art for their new home, or a lump sum for the honeymoon are popular items for group gifting.
Do: Send a Gift Even if You Aren’t Attending
Yes, even if you aren’t able to make it, etiquette dictates you should still send a gift. And the same rules apply here as well. Send a gift that reflects your relationship to the couple. A Marrygrams card and a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant is always a solid option!
Don’t: Wait too Long to Send
Ideally, you should send your wedding gift as soon as possible. Even if the couple has a gift table at the reception, the less they have to keep track of on their big day the better. And if you’re not attending the wedding you will want to send your gift no later than 3 months after the wedding date. Of course, better late than never still applies here. But after a 3 month window if the couple hasn’t heard from you, they will most likely assume that they wont.
Do: Add a Personal Note
We’re a little biased, but you should always include a card or note with your wedding gift. You don’t need to write a novel, but a personal touch goes a long way. Thank the couple for the invitation to share in their joy with a word of advice, date night ideas, or a fond memory you share together.
Don’t: Overthink It
At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. And you don’t need to show up with the most extravagant treasures in hand. Choose a gift that is thoughtful, personal and from the heart. Whatever it is, they’re sure to love it!