There are a lot of unwritten rules with weddings, especially when it comes to purchasing a wedding gift. Do those who gift at the bridal shower need to also bring a gift to the wedding? Do couples prefer cash over registry gifts? And, if you do choose to go with cash, "how much should you spend?"
Luckily, we're here to provide you with a few tips that'll help you answer those questions (and more)! Thanks to Zola for these helpful cards to guide you through all your gifting questions.
The answer to this one is pretty straight-forward: if you plan on giving a physical gift to the couple for their shower or wedding day, try your best to stick to their registry. There's a reason that almost every couple registers with a site or store(s) before their big day. Wedding registries make it simple for both the gift giver and the recipient, and ensure that your gift will be loved and used for years to come.
That being said, it's always fun to "spice" it up a bit by presenting your gift in a unique way, or adding some personalization. Or, what I personally like to do, is to get something off the registry, and pair it with something unique that I found on my own. For instance, pair silverware or cutlery with a personalized cutting board, or top off a household item with something unique, like a set of mr. and mrs. mugs or a wedding-themed candle.
When the first of my friends was stepping up to the alter, I was totally oblivious as to how much I should spend on their gift (and frankly, it's still something that plagues me today). Something you'll hear over-and-over again is to give enough to cover your place setting at the wedding, but how are you supposed to know how much that is? And, say the wedding is a black tie, lavish affair - are you supposed to spend hundreds of dollars?
Rather than worrying about reimbursing your hosts for your presence at the wedding, you should gift according to how close you are with the couple, and how comfortable you are financially. According to a recent survey by The Knot, wedding guests spend an average of about $118 on a gift for a wedding. I'd say this is a healthy number to work around, especially if you're bringing a date. If the wedding is for a distant relative or a friend you don't see often, I think it's safe to err on the lower end of that number. Attending a wedding for two of your closest friends? Probably a good idea to spend a bit more.
Something that's always debated in the wedding world is when to give your gift. And the truth is, there isn't an easy answer for that!
In general, the couple should receive your gift before or immediately after their wedding. Giving something other than cash? It's best to send it straight to their home, or bring it to the bridal shower. Luckily, online shopping has made it easier than ever to get a gift shipped directly to the recipient, so shipping woes go out the window!
Additionally, if you're close with the couple and are attending the bridal shower, you should bring a gift that can be unwrapped. This is the best time to give sentimental gifts that can be used on the wedding day, like personalized hangers or custom gift boxes.
By far the most popular wedding gift is cash: it's an easy (fast) way to give a gift, and avoids any awkwardness with duplicate gifts or gifts that the couple can't use.
Modern registry websites like Zola have made it easy and more thoughtful than ever to gift cash as a wedding gift. Couples can set up a fund for anything they can see themselves using their wedding gift money on, like honeymoons, date nights and even gym memberships. When giving cash through a registry, you can pay with a credit card to make it easier on your wallet, and not have to worry about having the cash or check go during a hectic wedding day.
If you do decide to move forward with a cash or check in a card, make sure you place the envelope in a safe place, and address the check to the correct person. Bonus tip: don't assume the bride is changing her name!
Know any other tips or tricks when it comes to gifting for the wedding? Make sure to leave a comment below, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!