Gift Giving Etiquette


If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do about gift giving, here’s a guide for you to follow.

Timing: When do I send the gift?

Gifts can be sent as early as the wedding invitation arrives. Early, right?

The wedding has come and gone and you still haven’t sent a gift? No worries! Most resources say that you have one year after the wedding before you’re really out of etiquette code.  That said, one source says that you really only have three months — which may have more to do with you remembering to send the gift rather than the etiquette of gift giving!

Gifts & Cash: What should I give and how much should I spend?

All the good gifts from the registry are gone?! No problem! You are NOT obliged to give the couple something from the registry. In fact, we have some suggestions for alternatives to registry gifts. How much do you have to spend? Whatever your budget allows + how much you like the couple.

If you want (or the couple requests), you are permitted to give cash to the couple.  The amount? Whatever you’re comfortable with giving.  For cash gifts, check out these handy tips about the etiquette of cash gift giving.

Absence: If I can’t attend, do I still have to send something?

Contrary to popular belief, you are only obligated to send a congratulatory card if you can’t attend the wedding; you don’t have to send a gift. Despite this, many people feel obliged to send something — in part because it further shows your congratulations, support, happiness, and regret that you cannot attend.  

Looking for more info on gift giving — either as the couple or as guests? Check out our other tips on gift giving. And hey, why not consider giving the gift of a free premium photo album?

Do you have other etiquette tips you’d like to share?

~ Natasha

5 Responses

  1. Seems like in American cultures it’s more taboo to just give cash, but if you’re going to an Asian wedding it’s almost weird if you’re not just giving cash (or a check). So don’t be shy next time you want to break out the checkbook!

  2. […] of when to send, how much to send, and what to do if you can’t attend), check out our blog on gift giving advice or what to do about wedding gifts. We also have blogs on best man gifts, gift ideas for the maid […]

  3. […] their friends and they weren’t sure how to approach it — if at all. They now know that their guests have a full year to send the gift. They also know that times are tough economically and they’re very grateful that their […]

  4. […] if you are not attending a wedding, you should not feel required to send a congratulatory gift. The Wedding Lens blog emphasizes this point. Good luck as you look for that next special present. – Brett […]

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