Top 5 Etiquette Guidelines for Wedding Gift-Giving

Wedding invitations are beautiful, but they come with a gift responsibility that you simply must oblige. Traditionally, it was entirely up to the guest to decide what they would give the soon-to-be husband and wife as a gift, but etiquette has changed and the couple now gets to decide what they will receive. To make it easier to get them a gift they will love, the future bride and groom often create a custom wedding registry and make it available to the guests.

If you have been invited to a friend’s wedding, the first thing you want to know is how to find the wedding registry and check what is on the list before the good options are taken. You also want to ensure your gift is purchased soon enough, inspected, wrapped, and delivered to the couple on time. We have discussed below a few unwritten rules about wedding gifts that will guide you to choose the perfect present for your loved one:

1. Buy from the wedding registry

If there is a registry, there is no need to be too creative. The couple knows what they want, and anything from their list will be highly appreciated. A study shows that 9 out of 10 couples create registries containing around 125 items, so you shouldn’t struggle finding a gift for them.

Buying from the couple’s wish list not only shows that you care for their interests but also reduces the risk of getting them something they already have. Note that the registry is ticked every time an item is purchased, so it is nearly impossible for two guests to buy the same thing.

2. Conventional is not boring

Bed, bath, and kitchen items are often found on bridal registries for a reason. While most guests may skip these items and scramble for the more glamorous options, do not be ashamed to go for the less-exciting gifts. Consider adding a modern twist to your gift by personalizing the gift. For instance, say all that was available was a set of wine glasses and a corkscrew. Consider giving the gift along with a nice bottle of wine, durable blanket and wrapped in a wicker picnic basket.

3. Send the gift immediately after the wedding

The one-year rule that has been floating around doesn’t make much sense now that we have online registries and instant shipping. Try not to exceed two months after the wedding to send your gift. Huge delays may force the couple to purchase another item to substitute your gift because they desperately needed it. Also, the couple should still be in the wedding feeling when receiving your gift.

With that said, do not feel obligated to bring the gift with you to the wedding if it’s a hassle for you or the couple as gifts can be easily damaged or lost in all the wedding cleanup. Shipping is an option. Lack of enough cash should not get in the way.

Short registries are easily exhausted and it is possible to find yourself with only big-ticket items to choose from. Don’t let this scenario discourage you, it is likely that there are other guests who are probably facing the same dilemma as you with whom you can join forces and get that expensive gift for your friend. If the couple has included in the registry an item that is too costly for just one guest to buy, ask around for anyone willing to go in on it with you.

4. Do not be too cheap

The ‘cover your plate’ rule is ridiculous and archaic. You wouldn’t give your friend a cheap gift just because they are planning a low-budget wedding. Spend what you believe is a material portrayal of your relationship with the couple. Also, ensure the value of your gift is relative to where the couple lives. For instance, while a friend or co-worker would be fine with a $75 gift at least, someone in New York City or some other urban market may expect double that. As a general rule, your gift should be worth no less than $50.