Wedding Gift Etiquette Explained: Everything You Need to Know
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Your Wedding Gift Etiquette Questions Answered

So you have a date, a dress-code-approved outfit, and a fierce craving for bubbly. The last thing left on your wedding guest to-do list is probably figuring out a wedding gift. If you find yourself struggling, we have some answers!

Explore our wedding gift etiquette guide below where we’ve answered all of your questions. From how much to spend to what to buy, we’ve got your etiquette puzzles solved.

Being a wedding guest introduces lots of decisions — like what to wear, which menu options to choose, and what to bring as a gift. Here’s everything you need to know about wedding gift etiquette to help your decision-making process.

How much should I spend on a wedding gift?

You’ve probably heard various “rules” from etiquette experts when it comes to wedding gifts — like the ones that tell you not to spend less than $50 or instruct you to use the price-per-plate as a measuring factor. It’s tempting to assign a dollar value to gifts, especially when it comes to weddings. But the reality is that it’s completely up to you to decide how much to spend on a wedding gift.

Consider your own budget and your relationship to the couple. If you’re close friends, family members, or part of the wedding party, you might decide to send a gift in the $50 to $100 range. For people who you don’t know as well, like co-workers, shopping from the registry for something around the $25 mark is more than OK. Scale these figures up or down depending on your budget, and make a final decision that feels right for you.

When should I shop for the wedding gift?

We recommend starting to think about your wedding gift ideas soon after you receive the wedding invitation. You don’t need to buy it right away, but you should have some idea of what you might like to give to the happy couple.

People often worry about what happens if the wedding is postponed or canceled, but you can always save your gift for the new date or return or repurpose it. If you’re ordering something with a short shelf life (like baked goods), make plans early then order the gift closer to the wedding day.

What should I buy?

Most major retailers allow couples to create a wedding registry, which guests can easily access online or in store. You can typically find these highlighted on the couple’s wedding website or invitation. In general, it’s a good idea to stick to these registries because a lot of effort goes into creating them.

If the couple doesn’t have a registry or there’s nothing in your price range, try thinking of some nice household items that someone might like, but would likely not purchase on their own. Aim to find something that creates a spa-like, hotel feel with a touch of luxury. You could also explore experiential gifts, which gives the happy couple a chance to create even more wonderful memories. 

Here are some wedding gift ideas we love:

Colorful beach towels for their upcoming honeymoon
A gift card to their favorite local bookstore
Luxury dinnerware to celebrate their love of cooking and hosting
Personalized print artwork to honor the day they met
A gift voucher for a couple’s photography shoot to capture new memories
Tickets to a concert, show, or other event that they’re excited about
An annual membership to an attraction they love to visit
A donation to a charity of the couple’s choice

Still stuck on ideas for the perfect gift? Remember, if all else fails, no one is going to be upset about receiving a lovely card with a check or cash inside.

Is a group gift appropriate?

While some people might say you should send a personal gift, there’s nothing wrong with contributing to a group gift. In fact, this is a wonderful way to give the couple something they’ll really love in a way that suits everyone’s budgets.

Group together with some of your best friends or your fellow bridesmaids or groomsmen, and choose something from the couple’s registry that’s outside your usual budget to send as a group gift. Alternatively, put your shared money toward a spa package, activity experience, or their honeymoon fund.

Can I give a joint engagement party and wedding gift?

Like most things with weddings, a joint gift is a personal choice. As long as you think the couple wouldn’t be offended by your joint gift for an event like an engagement party or bachelorette party, go ahead! But if the recipients lean more traditional, they may expect a separate wedding or bridal shower gift.

If buying two gifts doesn’t line up with your budget or isn’t practical, consider sending a heartfelt congratulations card as an engagement gift or wedding shower gift, and a larger gift for the wedding day itself. This allows you to choose a gift that suits you while still recognizing both events.

When should I give money as a wedding gift?

You’re welcome to give money as a wedding gift at any time. Often, couples would love to ask for money as a wedding gift but aren’t sure how. Offering to give money toward their honeymoon fund, renovation project, or house deposit is a lovely wedding gift idea.

Sometimes a couple will specifically request a monetary gift. Sites like Blueprint Registry enable a couple to set up a honeymoon fund, a home project fund, or just a general fund for a big-ticket item. For a small fee, you can contribute a cash gift to the couple that goes toward a particular fund.

How soon should I give a wedding gift?

Ideally, it’s best to send a physical gift shortly after receiving the wedding invitation, or within three months of the wedding date. Aim to have your gift arrive just before the wedding, and avoid delivery dates over the honeymoon period — unless you know there’s someone looking after the home to receive packages.

Traditional etiquette suggests that you have up to a year after the wedding ceremony to send a gift, but once you’ve attended the wedding it’s easy for this to slip your mind. That said, being late is better than nothing! You can always send an online card when you remember, and add a gift card as a thoughtful gift.

Should I bring the gift to the wedding?

If you can avoid it, it’s best to not bring your gift to the actual wedding — especially if it’s a destination wedding! The couple won’t want to have to carry it around, and chances are they’ll already have quite a few things packed with them.

Having your wedding present shipped straight to the happy couple’s home will make things much easier. You can order your gift early and choose a delivery date that works for you, meaning the newlyweds have less to worry about on their big day.

Should I send a gift if I can’t attend the wedding?

If you’ve been invited to watch the couple tie the knot, it’s polite to send a gift even if you can’t attend. An exception here would be if it’s not within your budget or ability to do so.

In those moments, an online congratulations card makes a lovely gift and is the perfect way to share your well wishes with the couple. Our online cards are easy to customize so you can choose the colors and wording to suit your style.

Should I expect a Thank You card?

While we don’t think anyone should expect anything from the newlyweds, it’s considered good etiquette for them to send a thank you card after receiving your gift. These typically are sent out within three months of the big day, but it might take the happy couple a while to get around to it.

Navigate gift giving with these wedding gift etiquette tips

Whether this is your first wedding invite or not, wedding gift etiquette can feel confusing. But as this guide shows, many of the choices are up to you once you’ve covered the main bases like “Should I send a gift?” and “When should I send a gift?” 

Use this guide to help you come up with the perfect wedding gift and send it to the soon-to-be newlyweds at just the right time. For something thoughtful alongside the gift, consider one of our digital congratulations cards. It’s easy to personalize with color choices and wording to create something unique and heartfelt for the happy couple.