Wedding Gift Giving 101

Wedding Gift Table

When it comes time to give a gift for your friend or relative’s wedding, what should you do? Should you give cash? How much? Should you give a wedding gift from a certain place? How’s a person to know what’s appropriate these days?

Here are some tips to get you started so you can feel comfortable giving a wedding gift that will be just perfect.

The Registry

Time was when every happy couple registered for everything they needed for their home at one store. These days couples register at a number of different stores or not at all. The way to find out if your couple has a bridal registry is to ask one of the parents or someone in the bridal party. They’ll know where and if the couple is registered. Once you find out that they are registered, you can visit the store online and type in either the bride’s or groom’s last name where it indicates on the “Bridal Registry” portion of the site. Whatever the couple has chosen as their wish list will appear and be available for you to buy. You can either buy it there online or print the registry out and head to the store to get it in person. Pick out as many items as your budget allows. You don’t have to buy just one item. Often a few smaller items will allow the couple to get more of what they need and want.

The Cash Option

If you would just rather give cash, there are some guidelines. How much you give should depend on if you are a single or a married couple. If you’re going stag, you can give $100 and that’s a really nice gift. If you’re a couple, you should give double that. But don’t just stuff a couple of crumpled bills in an envelope. Make a special trip to the bank and ask for some new bills that are fresh and crisp. Put those inside a nice wedding card. You could also write a check. That’s a good idea if you’re worried about your gift getting lost or stolen. Many people think you’re supposed to give a gift that covers the cost of your dinner. While that has become urban legend, it’s not really a good basis for your gift giving. How would you know what your dinner cost? Weddings can range from the casual barbecue to the formal sit-down dinner. No matter what kind of wedding you are invited to, you still want to give a generous gift.

Go Non-Traditional

Of course, there are non-traditional gifts you could give like gift certificates to the bride and groom’s favorite stores. Those are much appreciated. Just be sure to package your gift card up nicely in a small box or gift basket with a bow so it’s presented well. Another option is gifting them with a weekend trip away or tickets to a show or other live event. Be as creative as you like.

As for when to present your gift…

If you’re giving a bulky or bigger gift, send it on ahead to the bride’s parents’ house so they don’t have to lug it from the reception. If you’re giving cash or checks, bring them to the wedding and hand them to the bride or groom in person.

Are you a wedding guest? Find more pointers here: