Struggling with a gift for a wedding? We decided to put together the essential gift guide. In recent posts we’ve been providing readers with a lot of tips for the upcoming wedding season, however; most of our posts have been directed towards future brides and grooms; but what about the guests and their responsibilities? Besides the joy of seeing the bride walk down the aisle, the anticipation of waiting for the couple’s first dance, and the delight of watching the bouquet toss, one of the most traditional parts of preparing for the pending couples are selecting and giving a gift. The etiquette surrounding wedding-gift giving includes some most famously unbreakable rules and we think it’s vital to share our guide to those of you who panic about gifts every time you receive an impeccably assembled, hand-addressed envelope. So we have compiled a wedding gift-giving guide – a list of essential wedding-gift protocol for the benefit of the guests.

  • If you’re invited to the ceremony, it’s customary to send a gift – Just remember, a wedding invitation equals a wedding gift. Even if you do not attend the wedding, it is still the proper thing to send a gift.
  • Don’t use the “price-per-plate” rule – It’s a bad idea to use the price-per-plate as a measure for how much you should spend on the wedding gift — you wouldn’t give your best friend a less expensive gift just because she was having a more casual affair. Spend what you think is appropriate to your relationship with the couple, and also consider what’s reasonable in your city. Here’s one way you can break it down:
    • A coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $50-$75
    • Relative or friend: $75-$100
    • A close relative or close friend: $100-$150
    • City dweller: $150-200+
  • A registry is for your convenience – A registry is more like a guideline rather than a setlist. A registry allows guests to get a  feel for the couples likes and dislikes but as a guest, you are not just limited to what is on the registry. Although straying too far from the registry style might result in an unwanted gift so it’s still always a good idea to choose something classic, not quirky.
  • Bridal party gifts – When in the bridal party, the common question that usually comes up is: I’m spending so much already! Do I have to buy a gift? Well, the answer is, it is really up to you. Make a list of all the upcoming expenses―shower, bachelorette party, dress, transportation, and lodging―and budget accordingly. Even if you only have a little amount left for a gift, give something small and meaningful.
  • In some cultures, money is THE traditional gift – Many wonder if money is an appropriate gift and the answer is, absolutely! Or, Ii you are uncomfortable about giving cash or a check, you can give a gift certificate to a store where the bride and groom are registered.
  • Give a big group gift – Sometimes group gifts can get tricky but some married couples actually prefer bigger group gifts. If the couple has registered for an item that’s out of range for just one person to afford, ask some other guests to chip in with you. The couple would most likely never be able to afford those luxuries on their own, so sometimes group gifts are the most practical and the best received.
  • One-year rule – Just like the “pay-per-plate” rule, this rule is outdated. With the convenience of online buying and shipping, there’s little excuse for such a delay — try to send your gift within two months of the wedding. The sooner the better!
  • Entertainment gifts – Struggling to find a unique gift. How about paying for the wedding entertainment of their dreams? SGM Events can work with you to supply surprise guests or unique additions to the existing wedding entertainment. This ensures a gift that the couple will never forget.

Hopefully, our gift-giving guide will help you determine the best choice for the next wedding you have to attend.