A guide to wedding gift etiquette

With wedding season around the corner, it’s time to start making room in your budget for that perfect gift for the happy couple. Here are some etiquette tips to ensure that your gift is received in good graces.


There isn’t a black and white rule on how much you should spend on a wedding gift but the price tag shouldn’t dip below the $50 mark. The amount will vary and will depend on your relationship to the couple. If you are invited to multiple celebrations, guests are expected to bring gifts to each party but you can follow the 60-20-20 rule. Spend 60% of your budget on the wedding gift, 20% on the shower gift and 20% on the engagement gift. Always spend more on the wedding gift as that is the most meaningful event. If you decide to bring a date, you should bring a bigger gift, as the couple is now hosting an extra guest on their special day.

Wedding registry

Couples make a wedding registry to lessen the stress of gift giving for their guests and to avoid receiving duplicate items or things that they already have. By choosing an item off the couple’s registry, you’ll have the peace of mind that you are gifting something that they’ll love. If you go off-registry, at least browse through the registry to get an idea of the couple’s style and what they need.

Give cash

Cash is becoming more and more acceptable. If the couple is already living together, cash is a great option as they may not need a lot of things for their home. Contributing to their online honeymoon fund is also a fun way to give. In some cultures, cash is the traditional gift.

Buy a group gift

If you’ve waited until the last minute to look at the registry and there are only big ticket items left, don’t fret. Gather up your friends and go in on a more expensive item that you couldn’t have afforded on your own.


If you have to miss the celebration, you should still send something to acknowledge the couple’s special day. You should always send a gift if invited but if you are not in a financial position to do so, at least send a heartfelt note with your warm wishes.


Original gift giving etiquette suggests that you have one year to give a gift after the wedding date has passed, but with the convenience of online shopping, two to three months has become the cutoff. It’s better late than never, but try to send the gift as soon as possible.

Mail the gift

Don’t drag a wrapped present to the reception. There are enough details to worry about for the big day and the last thing that a couple or their families want to stress about is transporting gifts from the reception. Mailing a gift to the couple’s home makes it easier on everyone. If you have your mind set on hand delivering your gift, do it before the wedding weekend or once the happy couple returns from their honeymoon.

Destination weddings

Heading somewhere tropical to celebrate the nuptials? Traveling somewhere sunny is not an excuse to skip out on purchasing a wedding gift but you can take into account the money spent on travel and lodging when looking at your budget. Couples understand that you’ve already used your funds to be present on their special day.

Stick to these tips to avoid making a gift giving faux pas and ensure that your gift leaves a lasting impression for the right reasons.

By | 2018-04-13T16:56:45-05:00 April 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A guide to wedding gift etiquette

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