Wedding Gift Etiquette

Dos and Don'ts for Giving & Receiving Wedding Gifts

Giving and receiving a wedding gift requires etiquette on the behalf of the couple and their guests. While some may view rules of etiquette as restrictive or outdated wedding gift etiquette does serve a purpose. The guests have the opportunity to give a gift they feel best represents their well-wishes for the couple. The couple in turn has the opportunity to express their appreciation to the guest. Lastly, wedding gift etiquette ensures both the guests and the couple are aware of their obligations to one another. Like wedding invitation, wedding attire and wedding reception etiquette, wedding gift etiquette is based on respecting the thoughts and feelings of others.

  1. Wedding gift etiquette expected of the couple Do not ask for gifts: whether for your wedding, or any other occasion, it is considered extremely poor taste to ask for gifts. This includes mentioning bridal registry information on the wedding invitations.

    Do not ask for money: just like asking for a gift it is inappropriate to ask for money. If you prefer to receive money inform your parents and wedding party: they can pass that information on to inquiring guests.

    Send thank-you cards: send a thank you card as soon as you receive a gift. All thank you cards should be sent out within three months of the wedding.
  2. Wedding gift etiquette expected of the guest

    When to send the gift: the gift should be sent as soon as the wedding invitation is received. Ideally the gift should be sent before or the day of the wedding.

    Where to send the gift: the gift should be sent to the bride's home or her parents' home. In some regions a special gift table is set up at the reception; at the end of the night the bride's or groom's parents will collect the gifts for safekeeping until the happy couple return from their honeymoon.

    How much to spend on the gift: the amount spent on the gift should be determined by the closeness of your relationship and affection for the couple. And of course what your budget allows.

    What to buy the couple: ask the couple's parents they can tell you or let you know where the couple has registered. However, you are not required to buy items from the registry. Feel free to buy a unique wedding gift not on the list. If the couple is just starting out a traditional wedding gift such as cutlery may be appreciated.

    Is money an acceptable gift? Money or a gift certificate is a perfectly acceptable gift. For couples saving for the down payment on a house money would be a much appreciated gift.

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