When it comes to people you care about, it’s pretty much a given that any time money enters the equation, things might start to get a little sticky, especially when it comes to wedding gift etiquette. Most of us are thrilled to be giving our just-married friends and family presents to start their lives together, but it can be confusing to the nth degree to pinpoint the exact amount we’re supposed to give.
To lift the mystery a little, we enlisted Anja Winikka, site director at The Knot, who offered 10 tips about wedding gift etiquette, including how much to give for a wedding gift if you’re going the money route, when to give it and when it’s OK not to give money at all.
Anja Winikka: How much you give really depends on your relationship with the bride and groom. Here’s a useful breakdown:
There’s no hard-and-fast etiquette rule on this one, but it’s customary to give a bigger gift since the couple is now hosting (read: paying for) two guests to eat and drink rather than one.
Determine how much you want to spend total on wedding-related gifts and then break it down this way:
We strongly recommend sticking to the registry. The couple created it for a reason and you’ll definitely be getting them something they’ll love. If you really want to go off registry, though, think of their personalities and find a gift that’s geared toward their likes and hobbies. If all else fails, you can never go wrong with a crystal ice/Champagne bucket from Tiffany's.
Fact. Guests technically have up to one year after the wedding to send the couple a wedding gift, but you really should give it sooner if you can. That way, you won’t forget, and it’ll be off your plate.
At the wedding, consider giving the gift to a close family member — one of the bride's or groom’s parents is ideal — they’re likely holding on to everything or they’ll know who is. The bride and groom have so much going on, it will be difficult for them to figure out where to put it and who to give it to for safe keeping. Otherwise, give it to the bride or groom at brunch the next day if it’s a weekend affair.
You can definitely send a check in the mail. This one’s all about your comfort level — if you prefer to mail it and not have to worry about it at the wedding, then do that! If you’d rather give it in person, then that’s OK too.
Generally, if you’re spending a good amount of money to get to the wedding, then it’s OK to give less than you normally would. But make sure that you do give a gift. Although a destination wedding can be extra-expensive for guests, you should give something. The couple will understand you’ve spent a lot between the travel and hotel, so don’t feel pressure to give an overly generous gift.
Not necessarily. The gift should directly relate to your now-relationship with the couple and how much you can personally afford.
It falls along the same lines as giving a check, as both are giving money, but if you personally feel there’s a stigma, just write a check.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
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