Bridal and Weddings

Top 5 Tips for Wedding Gift Etiquette

How much should you spend on a wedding gift? Do you still have to send a gift, if you’re not going to attend the wedding? Is it polite to give gift vouchers or cash to a couple who ‘has it all’? This week we’re going to demystify wedding gift etiquette – and answer all these tricky questions and more.

1. When you’re already spending a lot of money to travel to a wedding

Many people resent going to many weddings per year. Especially if they are further away. Why? Because they have to pay for travel, a new outfit and accommodation.

So if you’re travelling to a wedding, should you buy an expensive gift on top? The answer is ‘no’. In these cases it’s fine to give a very small but affordable gift.

Either choose the most inexpensive item on the gift registry list. Or give the couple a small, meaningful present like a framed photo.

Wedding ring and engagement rings and yellow roses

2. When you don’t attend the wedding at all

If you RSVP ‘no’, then you should still send a gift. Especially if the couple has included gifting instructions.

There might be an online gift registry list or a honeymoon account on the invite. However, even if there are no instructions, you should still send something.

It’s a way of thanking them for the invitation. It also shows you want to celebrate their marriage.

If you decide not to go, then the best time to send your gift would be before the wedding when you send your RSVP. However, it’s also within the bounds of etiquette to send your gift up to 60 days after the day of the wedding.

All of that said, as the couple, you should never expect a gift. Putting expectations on others is rude. If you don’t get a gift from a non-attending friend or relative, be understanding. They could be experiencing financial problems or other issues that you’re not aware of.

Wedding invitations Image credit / via Kasal.com

Image credit / via Kasal.com

3. When you cannot afford anything on the gift registry list

If you cannot afford anything on a wedding gift registry list, don’t panic. You can simply ask one of the other guests to chip in on a gift with you.

Alternatively, find out if the gift registry shop has any cheaper non-listed items that match the ones the couple has chosen. For example, if the gift registry list has a set of tea cups on it, you could add a sugar bowl from the same collection.

4. For couples: when cash makes sense but you’re embarrassed to ask

In Mediterranean countries a wad of crisp bank notes is the only proper wedding gift. But in the UK asking for money can cause a lot of controversy.

However, there is a clever way around this for couples who’d rather get cash. You simply don’t ask for it directly.

Instead, tell your closest relatives and friends to speak for you. When no wedding gifting instructions are given on the invite, guests will eventually start asking around to see what everybody else is going to give the couple.

This is when family and friends can casually mention that you’re saving for a baby/honeymoon/house – and say something like ‘I’m sure Sarah and John would be so grateful if you wanted to help with that’.

Not convinced? There are also retail banks, travel agents and websites where you can register a honeymoon or cash gift account. And several of the big department stores will open a wedding gift voucher account for your guests to deposit money.

How much cash should you give? The same amount as you’d have spent on a gift.

Pink sapphire inspired pink wedding theme WeddingBoard_TheDiamondStore01b

5. When the couple says NO gifts

‘No gifts’ really does mean no gifts. Giving a couple a gift, when they’ve expressly told you not to, could make them (and the other guests) feel very uncomfortable. Having said that, many people are sticklers to tradition and gifting has been a wedding custom for centuries.

Therefore some of your guests might feel equally uncomfortable if they’re told not to buy you anything. So, they’ll bring you something anyway.

If this happens to you and someone does bring you a gift when you’ve told them not to, just smile. Say ‘thank you, you shouldn’t have’ and don’t make a fuss.

And finally…

If you’re the happy couple, the done thing is to always say thanks, no matter what. Your big day is a celebration of your love in the company of your closest family and friends. Gifts can never be more important than that.

What to read next? Discover our beautiful bridal jewellery collections.

Follow us on Facebook to get more inspiring articles!