Wedding Gift Do’s and Don’ts

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While weddings are one of the happiest celebrations, finding a gift for the new couple is not — especially if its your son or daughter who’s getting married! Wedding gift etiquette can get even more challenging¬†if its a destination wedding, only a wedding ceremony or only a reception, or if the couple has stated that they prefer no gifts. Perhaps you’re not even worried about your own gift, but someone in your family is needing guidance. Whatever the case, there are always questions about wedding etiquette for giving gifts. Here’s our quick guide to help you – or anyone of your friends or family.

Wedding Etiquette: Giving Gifts


Do I need to give a gift if:

  • I received an invitation, but will not be attending the wedding?
    • Yes, it is customary to give or send a gift if you are invited to a wedding, even if you’re not attending.
  • I only received an announcement in the mail, but not an invitation?
    • While it will be a nice gesture, you are not required to send a gift if you were not invited to the wedding. You can also send a congratulatory note or card instead.
  • I already gave a gift at the bridal shower?
    • If you are invited to both the bridal shower and the wedding, you should bring a gift to both events. These are separate events, and your bridal shower gift will likely revolve around the bride alone or the party theme. Figure out your wedding gift budget before purchasing either gifts.
  • I’m already spending a lot of money to attend the destination wedding?
    • Destination weddings can get very costly, and guests have the right to feel that going to the wedding is already a present. Many couples will let the guests know that there is no need to bring a wedding gift, and if they do, then it is okay not to bring one. However, if the couple does not make this known, the proper wedding etiquette would be to bring a gift. It is acceptable, though, to factor in your costs in attending the wedding when you purchase the gift.

Okay, I will bring or send a gift, but…

  • How much should I spend?
    • Your budget will be entirely up to you. Take into consideration two things: your relationship with the couple, and your budget. If you are buying separate gifts for the bridal shower and the wedding, figure out your overall budget first, then work on the budget for each gift.
  • Should I get something on their wedding registry?
    • Choosing something from the wedding registry makes the gift giving a lot easier. There is no need to second guess what you will get because the couple has already enlisted the items that they prefer to receive as a gift. However, if you are close to the couple, then you may opt to give them something more personal and meaningful. As the mom, you can give a piece of jewelry to your daughter or daughter in law, perhaps something from your own collection.
  • Can I give cash?
    • Many parents agree or offer to share some expenses in the wedding. This will be completely your and your children’s decision. As a wedding guest, cash or gift certificates are a great gift idea.

Rules frequently change, especially when it comes to wedding etiquette! If you’re in doubt, trust your gut! At the end of the day, it will be all about good manners and consideration of the couple.

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