March 15, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Gift Etiquette

Have you ever felt awkward scrolling through a wedding registry as you try to figure out what to get? You’re not alone! Navigating the ins and outs of what’s expected (and what’s not) can sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable. But we’re here to guide you through wedding gift etiquette so you feel confident about your gift-giving.

5 Tips for Understanding Wedding Gift Etiquette

Understanding proper gift etiquette will help you enjoy the actual wedding instead of stressing about bringing the perfect gift. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Stick to the Registry (Most of the Time)

While it’s always a nice gesture to give something sentimental or unique, it’s generally best to stick to the wedding registry. This ensures the couple receives items they actually want and need for their new life together. If you’re a close friend or family member and you really want to go off-registry, make sure it’s something you know the couple will truly appreciate.

If you still feel uncomfortable picking a present, a great option is always cash. Aim for a reasonable amount that reflects your relationship with the couple.

2. Consider Everyone’s Price Range

Consider your budget and the couple’s price range. You don’t have to spend more than you can afford, but don’t go too low that it appears thoughtless.

If you’re unsure whether you’re over- or under-delivering, a good rule of thumb is to spend around the cost of your meal at the wedding. However, if you’re bringing a date, spending a little more is customary since you’ll be eating and drinking for two.

3. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Traditional wedding gift etiquette claims guests have up to a year after the wedding to send a present. However, we recommend purchasing your gift at least three months before the wedding and shipping it straight to the address on their registry (don’t bring it to the reception—it’ll add unnecessary stress to the big day!)

This gives you enough time to find the perfect gift without adding unnecessary stress to the couple’s big day—and let’s be honest, a post-wedding present is often forgotten.

4. Find a Balance Between Needs Vs. Wants

Understanding the delicate balance between a couple’s needs and wants is very important to wedding gift etiquette. Why? By tuning into their needs, you ensure your gift makes a difference in their new life together—and by leaning into their wants, you can add a personal touch to make it memorable. 

Striking this balance is the key to avoiding a sub-par gift that, while practical, might end up forgotten in the back of a closet.

5. Bring a Gift to Every Event You’re Invited To

A common question often arises when a wedding has multiple events: do I need to bring a gift to each one? The answer is yes. If you’re invited to the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding, bring a gift to each event. Most of your gifting budget should be spent on the wedding present itself, so smaller gifts are appropriate for other events.

I’m In the Wedding Party—Do I Have to Buy a Present?

If you’re in the wedding party, chances are you’ve already spent quite a bit of money on attire and other expenses. So do bridesmaids give wedding gifts?

Generally, wedding gift etiquette determines the answer is yes. However, if you feel that your presence and support are gift enough, don’t be afraid to have an honest conversation about your financial situation with the couple. They will likely understand and appreciate your honesty.

When it Comes to the Perfect Wedding, Choose Marinaj

man and woman kissing in the Crystal Ballroom

If you’re a bride or groom-to-be, you have enough to worry about when planning your special day. Let Marinaj take the stress out of your wedding with one of our streamlined wedding venue packages! From stunning venues to customizable menus, we’ve got everything you need for a perfect wedding. Contact us today to start planning your dream wedding!