How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Gift
Receiving a wedding save the date is an honor, although it comes with a few expectations. A long held tradition, wedding gifts are a fun opportunity to help newlywed couples establish their home. After all, who doesn’t enjoy an excuse to shop? However, purchasing a wedding gift is not always as simple as it sounds. Presently, there are a number of hang ups guests may experience. Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions, and for tips on how to choose the perfect gift.
Do I Have to Bring a Wedding Gift?
Bringing a gift to a wedding is simply proper etiquette. Even if you cannot attend the wedding, and have politely declined. If you are strapped for cash, no worries. While two weeks before or after the date is preferred, it is perfectly acceptable to send a gift up to a year following. The only occasion that you should not send a gift, is if you are not attending due to disinterest in your relationship with the couple.
There are some scenarios in which a gift is optional. For example, if the bride and groom have opted for a destination wedding that requires guests to cover the travel expenses. When an atypical amount is necessary for you to attend, you can pass on the guilt. When in doubt, remember that your attendance is more important than a gift. A couple should be more concerned with you being a part of their union, than making up the cost of the wedding.
Before You Start Shopping
Shopping for a wedding gift can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Before you head out, define who you are shopping for. By asking yourself the following questions, you will narrow down the options.
1) What kind of lifestyle do they live? - Consider how the people you are buying for live. Minimalists do not want clutter, so avoid any trinkets and select something that will be frequently used. More often, people are requesting experiences rather than material goods. If you feel this is the case, contribute money to a travel or honeymoon fund.
2) Do they have room for bulkier household items? – Some couples do not have the space for large items. If you know this is the case, avoid gifts that take up significant room. Do not choose anything that will clutter countertops, or take up limited floor space.
3) Do they move a lot? Or will they be moving? – If a couple is in temporary housing, do not gift anything that will be difficult to move. For example large appliances. Gifts such as these often have to be sold for far less than they are worth, and repurchased later.
How Much Should I Spend?
There is no rule as to how much you should spend on a wedding gift. Some people claim that you should make up the cost of your dinner, but this is entirely untrue. Courteous couples should put both low and high priced gifts on their registry, to accommodate a variety of guests. Get an idea of a price range, by comparing items on the couple’s registry. Note the least expensive individual item, and the most expensive individual item. Anywhere between the two of these is considered respectable.
Do I Have to Choose from the Registry?
Physical gifts remain one of the most traditional forms of a wedding gift. Despite this, people rarely bring a gift directly to weddings anymore. Instead, modern registries allow guests to conveniently ship a gift directly to a couple’s home. This being said, you do not necessarily have to purchase an item from the registry. Doing so simply ensures that you buy a gift the couple has approved.
What Do I Bring for a “No Gift” Request?
More and more, couples are asking guests not to purchase any gifts. Should you encounter this request, view the gift etiquette as optional. Stating “no gift” is a polite way for couples to relay that they strongly prefer your presence. If you choose to ignore their wishes, gift money instead of an item. Or you can donate money to a charity of their choice.