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Wedding Gift Etiquette

Nine tips for nuptial gifting from the editors of
Rules of Engagement
You’ve been invited to an Engagement Party. The only problem is that the couple hasn’t registered yet! Don’t fret…this is when you can have the most fun with your gifting. You may either buy decorative items for the home (appliances are best given at the Shower) or take the opportunity to show off your creativity. How about a membership to a Wine Club; personalized gifts like cooking lessons; or anything monogrammed (towels, sheets, glasses, etc.) And remember, Gift Cards are always appreciated.

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It’s Your Call
If you think the betrothed are registered, but you don’t know where…make the call! You can get the 411 from the parents of the bride or groom, a bridesmaid, groomsman, Aunt Heloise….even the happy couple. But before you bug them, make sure you check out our registry finder or the invitation (sometimes gift information is included for your convenience).

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What Price is Right?
(And FYI…$1 is not the right price here.) As a rule, give what you can afford. Keep in mind, you may want to be a bit more generous depending upon the style of the reception or whether you're bringing the kids or a date (for you single folk).

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Presents of Mind
Use your head when gifting. When you buy from the couple's registry, they’re guaranteed to like it (registries are a nice way of saying “Get us this”.) If you want to be creative, and you think they’ll appreciate something “outside the box” (or off the registry)...then go for it! Just make sure it’s not too similar to something they may have on their registry. The upside is that they’ll always remember which gift was from you.

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Check It Out
Giving the gift of money, but don't know who to make the check out to? If it’s before the wedding, make it out to either the bride (using her maiden name) or the groom. If it’s after, make it out to "Mr. & Mrs. Right" (unless the bride keeps her maiden name, "Miss Independent" — then put both names.)
To Give or Not to Give
If the invite says “No Gifts, Please”, it means the couple doesn’t want to put you on the spot to buy them a gift. Your presence will be their present…but don’t take them up on it! A thoughtful gift is always appreciated. If the couple is filthy rich and doesn’t need help starting their life out together, then fine. In that case, donate to a charity in their honor. (You didn’t really think you could get away without spending a dime, did you?)

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Leave Home Without It
Do you really feel like carrying around your gift all day long? Not to mention, bringing it gives the starry-eyed couple the responsibility of getting it home safely. Let them be carefree and enjoy their wedding day by sending your gift to the address they’ve chosen on their registry. They'll appreciate it!

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No Time Like The Present
Wedding Etiquette states that guests have up to one year after the wedding to send a gift (which is generally accepted). C’mon now… that’s nice to know, but if you couldn’t figure out your gift during the engagement, do you really think you’re going to be inspired after it’s over and done with? We say it can be a little late, but try to get it there by the time they get back from their honeymoon or soon after. Otherwise, it will hang over your head all year!

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What's Black, White and Read all over?
No... not a blushing bride and groom all mixed up by their new blender instructions. It's gift advice and there's plenty of it. But, we hope this list gives you a realistic approach to wedding gift giving. If ever in doubt, always put yourself in their wedding shoes and think of what you'd appreciate from your guests.

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