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Your Guide to Wedding Gift Etiquette

When it comes to gifting the bride and groom, the amount of money you should spend and when to give your gift are all valid questions. Since this is a friend or family member tying the knot, you’ll want to make sure you do things the right way and follow proper wedding gift etiquette, so your gift is received in good spirits. Although gifts don’t surmount to all of the care and happiness you have for the just-married couple, they’re a necessary and warm gesture that the couple will appreciate as they begin their life together. Use our simple wedding gift etiquette guide below to start your gifting process.

Jump straight to the section below that fits your gift question best:

How Much Do You Spend on a Wedding Gift?

The amount of money you spend on a wedding gift depends on your relationship with the bride and groom. You’ll want to consider how close you are to the happy couple before purchasing a gift so your selection is appropriate. When it comes to general gift etiquette though, try not to spend less than $50 on a wedding gift no matter your relationship with the couple. Follow our suggested spending categories below, organized by your relationship with the bride or groom:

Should You Spend More on a Wedding Gift If You’re Bringing a Date?

If you’re bringing a date to the wedding, you should spend a little more on your wedding gift to take into account that the couple will be hosting your date in the count for food and drinks. Showing up to the wedding with a second person means double the thought in gifting. You should discuss with your date in advance if they’ll be chipping in on the wedding gift, and then you can plan out the perfect gift from there.

Do You Have to Bring a Gift to a Shower?

If you’ve been invited to the bridal shower, you’ll be expected to bring a gift for the bride-to-be or the couple (if it’s a co-ed shower). However, you can lower the amount spent on the bridal shower gift if you plan on spending a moderate to large amount of money on the wedding gift. Don’t feel pressured to go overboard with your bridal shower gift — it’s completely acceptable to stay within a range that you feel comfortable with for this occasion. A small but meaningful gift, along with a heartfelt bridal shower card will do the trick. Try gifting the bride or couple with a custom pillow they can use in their home together.

Should You Buy a Shower Gift and a Wedding Gift?

Yes, you should definitely buy a wedding gift for the couple, even if you’ve already given a shower gift. If you’re involved in multiple events, each event will require a gift. However, you can split up your budget accordingly to meet the standards for each event. When choosing gifts, remember to always spend more on the wedding gift than the shower gift. Try giving the bride custom wine glasses at her bridal shower and saving the bigger gift for the big day.


Should You Still Bring a Wedding Gift If You’re Attending Multiple Events?

Whether you’re in the wedding party or find yourself invited to multiple wedding events, you should still buy a wedding gift for the couple as proper wedding gift etiquette. If you’re attending multiple events that require a gift like the engagement party and the shower, budget accordingly and allot a certain amount of money to each gift so you can stay within your overall budget. Keep in mind that you should spend less on non-wedding gifts.

Is Cash Acceptable As a Wedding Gift?

Cash is becoming more and more of an acceptable wedding gift in modern wedding tradition. If the couple is already living together, you may want to consider giving them cash or a check since they may not be in need of gifts for their home. If the couple also has a honeymoon fund, you can consider giving them cash for their upcoming travels.

How Much Time Do You Have to Give a Wedding Gift?

You have up to three months to give a wedding gift after the wedding day has passed. Original gift etiquette suggest one year, but with the ease of online shopping and a variety of shipping options, it’s better to send the gift to the couple as soon as you can. You can mail your gift to the couple’s address (or whoever is responsible for handling gifts) one to two weeks before the wedding. If you’re unable to do so, the three-month rule kicks in after the big day.

If you’re giving a gift late, try going the personalized route with a special gift such as a custom canvas print or framed photo that features a beautiful wedding shot of the couple.


Wedding Gift Tips

Use the couple’s wedding registry. When it comes to choosing a gift, look to the couple’s wedding registry first to see what works best. Couples use a wedding registry to make things as easy as possible for guests who are unsure of what the couple needs or wants. The gifts included in the registry are certified gifts that the couple will love and usually consist of home decor, kitchen or bath needs, and entertainment items. However, you’re not obligated to purchase a gift using the registry. If you don’t use the registry, you can consider purchasing a gift that relates to the couple’s personality or favorite hobby.

Consider your relationship with the couple before purchasing a gift. It’s always important to think about your relationship with the couple before spending money. If you’re very close with the couple, budget for their gift in advance so you’re not feeling too overwhelmed when it’s time to purchase a gift. If you’re not close with the couple, spend what you can and do your best to make the gift special.

Mail your wedding gift. Although guests used to bring their gifts to the actual wedding, modern wedding gift etiquette calls for mailing your gift to make things easier on the couple. By mailing your gift to the couple or gift handler’s house, the couple can avoid moving gifts from the venue to their home as many couples receive a great deal of gifts. If you’re giving the couple a wedding card with money in it, it is okay to give the card to the designated person handling gifts at the wedding. Avoid giving cards to the couple directly as they’ll be busy greeting guests and enjoying their reception.

Destination weddings. If you’re attending a destination wedding, you can take into account money spent on travel and lodging when you purchase your gift. The couple will be more understanding about the value of your gift being less than normal since you’ve spent a great deal of money on accommodations. When it comes to destination weddings, give the couple a gift but spend what you are most comfortable with financially.

Now that you’ve set your budget, you can plan accordingly for the happy couple’s wedding. Gift-giving for special occasions like this can seem confusing at first but with a bit of guidance and a few do’s and don’ts, you can make sure your gift is appropriate and perfect for the newly married couple.