Handy Rules for Wedding Guest Gifting (that You Should Probably Already Know)

There are few occasions more deserving of a celebration than the magic of two people finding each other in this life. When it comes to giving a gift to the bride and groom at a wedding, however, it’s difficult to know what the rules should be. 

Many of us have the same questions about how much we should spend, when we should give the gift, and whether it’s suitable to give money instead of an actual item. However, you don’t want to be the person to actually ask about this stuff before the wedding. Here are some golden rules to save you some unnecessary embarrassment. 

How Much to Spend on the Gift

The amount you’re expected to spend on a wedding gift will depend on the relationship you have with the bride, groom or even the bridesmaids. Think about how close you are with this couple before you start splashing cash. For instance, you probably shouldn’t spend less than £50 if you have a strong friendship with the couple. 

If you’re very close to the bride and groom, try to keep your gift spend somewhere in the region of £100 and above. If you’re just a distant relative or coworker, then you can spend a little less, just try not to be too cheap. If you’re bringing a date to the wedding, then you might be expected in some cultures to spend a little more on the gift too. 

Remember, the couple are going to be hosting your guest as well as you, and it costs quite a lot of money to pay for food and drink for each individual person. Showing up to the wedding with a second person means that you should have more cash to spend together on the gift, and you can think more carefully about the present too. 

What’s the Situations with Showers and Weddings?

If you’re invited to a bridal shower, you’ll usually be expected to bring a gift for the happy couple to that event. However, you don’t need to spend nearly as much on this gift as you would at the actual wedding ceremony. Don’t feel under pressure to go too far with a bridal shower or engagement party gift. Something small and meaningful is usually a good choice here. 

So, what about if you’re going to both the shower and the wedding? Unfortunately, you probably will be expected to supply a gift for both occasions, particularly if you’re close to the couple in question. Just because you’ve already spent money on the couple at the shower doesn’t mean that you can spend less on the wedding either. However, if you’re limited with cash, then you might want to let the bride and groom know this beforehand. 

Sometimes, you’ll be able to get away with just bringing a card to the shower or engagement party if you’re focusing on saving your money for a present on the big day instead. Talk to the bride and groom to let them know what your plans are. 

Do You Have to Give the Gift on the Day?

You have about 3 months to give a wedding gift after the big day comes and goes. If you’re waiting on something to arrive in the post, then you can consider leaving things a little longer. Original gift etiquette used to say that you could wait up to a year to give a gift, depending on the situation, but you probably won’t need that long in a world where online shopping exists. 

There should usually be a pretty good reason why your gift was late if you’re going to be sending it after the day. For instance, if you’re getting something custom made, it makes sense that it would take longer, and you might have to wait a while. 

If you’re giving cash as a wedding gift, then you should probably make sure that it’s available on the actual day of the wedding. Cash is becoming more of an acceptable wedding gift in the modern world, so don’t be afraid to give this instead of a physical product if you want to. If your couple actually asks you for cash, then it may be that they don’t actually need anything for the home and want the cash to go towards their honeymoon fund or travels instead. 

If the cash is intended to be for something that’s coming up soon, it’s particularly important to make sure that you get it to them on time. 

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