wedding guest etiquette

Julian Beattie Photography

So you have been invited to a wedding, how exciting!  If you are a little unsure about what expectations there are when it comes to gift giving, here are a few points on how to navigate wedding gift giving etiquette.

  1. Firstly, you always need to give a gift...yes, always. Even if you can't make it to the wedding. Send it or drop it off beforehand. Even if you've paid for a flight to get there. Even if you know they don't need anything. 
  2. While it's not a golden rule, it's a sound idea to buy from the bridal registry if there is one. Deciding for yourself that they'd be better off with a new toaster isn't usually a winning idea. Of course if you know the betrothed really well and you're sure you've got a smashing gift idea then go for it.
  3. If you've left it too late and there's nothing left on the registry in your price range, you can always buy a gift card from the same store.
  4. Yes you can give money as a gift but ideally only if that's what the couple has requested - and more and more are doing so via a 'wishing well'.
  5. When it comes to the questions of how much is enough, there's no need to stick like glue to the old rule of thumb that you give what it costs to cover you per head since depending whether the wedding is a backyard barbie or on the ski-fields in Europe that could get a little unbalanced. Give an amount you feel comfortable with - only you know what that is.
  6. If the couple has asked for money and you just can't bring yourself to do it, you are better of giving a gift card, a bottle of wine, perhaps a keepsake, but it's definitely best to steer clear of toasters and kettles as the wishing well request is a fair hint they've already got them or wish to choose those everyday items themselves.
  7. Don't even think about re-gifting from the present cupboard. Save that for your longlost rellies at Christmas.
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