Wedding Gifts 101
RSVP'D Yes Please!
You're on you're way to the happy couple's dream day - but what to do with the gift? Many weddings include a table or box for gifts at the reception. However, it's important to check the wedding invitation as some couples specify that box gifts are not preferred. Translation: mail the box gift to their home before the wedding or attend the wedding with a congratulatory wedding card of cash. Box gifts are often difficult for the bride and groom to transport after the reception depending on the number of gifts received by all the guests. Also, many couples take limos from their home the day of the wedding or fly out early the next day for a honeymoon - so when in doubt, cash is king for the busy bride and groom.
RSVP'd No Thank You
If you can't attend the wedding because of a prior obligation or illness, you’re not obligated to give a gift, but if you choose to give a gift after the big shin-dig, it's always appreciated by the bride and groom, especially if you are close to the couple. Another golden rule of thumb, if the couple attended your wedding or frequently attend and provide gifts at your family parties, you should too, despite your absence.
Will the bride and groom believe the gift got lost in the mail?
If you attended the fabulous affair, you should send a gift ideally as close to the wedding date as possible. Brides and grooms spend a lot of money per head for the reception (can range from $75 to close to $200) so don't let them think you short-changed them. You danced, you laughed, and you ate great food with the best of them - so aim for sending a late gift within 3 months of the wedding before the memories become fuzzy. Inviting the couple over for dinner as a creative way to give them their late wedding gift gains extra points.
How Much Should You Spend for a Wedding Gift ?
Cover Your Plate! If you're going solo, $100 is an acceptable gift and should be doubled for an extra mouth they're feeding.
Friends of the Bride or Groom? It's less about WHO you're friends with when it comes to spending money on a wedding gift, and more about HOW WELL you know them. Based on your relationship with the bride and groom and whether or not you were invited with a date, you can spend anywhere from $150 to close to $500 for you and your date. If you are a far-away cousin or a co-worker that hasn't yet shared many weekends with the happy couple, stay on the lower end. Raise the stakes to the higher end if you have the honor of being in the bridal party or a close family member.
- Tally it all up! Where #1 and #2 are good general rules to follow, there are a few other things to help decide if you're giving just enough for the biggest milestone in this couple's life. If you have missed their engagement party or a bridal shower, it never hurts to add a little more to the amount you were planning on giving. Following the golden rule of giving, if the happy couple recently had gone to your wedding, it's easy to follow the same math they did by matching approximately the same amount for their wedding.