Wedding Gifts: Explained

Weddings. They are a great source of happiness and joy, but they can also be downright confusing when it comes to giving a gift.  Since Bespoken already has you covered on every amazing gift that you could ever need for a wedding celebration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify when to give as well.

If you are invited to the ceremony, it is customary to send a gift.

This holds true even if you are not able to attend, but only applies if you are formally invited to the actual wedding ceremony. That being said, if you are invited to a belated wedding reception (after a destination wedding or elopement) giving a gift is not obligatory, although many people give one anyway. Wedding announcements do not require gifts to be set either, but many friends and family members still do.

Don’t wait a year to send a gift.

As with most things, the sooner the better, so getting the gift giving done by the wedding, or within three months is preferable. For those of the receiving end of the gifts, it is best to send out your thank-you letters as soon as possible, or up to three months after the wedding. Although, if you miss the three month mark, it is better to send the thank-you letters late than to never send them at all. 

Even if your friend didn’t give you a gift, it is still proper to give one to them.

 It is important to hold yourself to a higher standard, and follow etiquette by giving a gift to the happy couple, even if they did not do the same for you. As your mother would say, “two wrongs do not make a right.” Do not make the same mistake that your friend made, and if you are truly upset about their lack of giving, it is best to have a conversation with them rather than retaliate.

Attending a destination wedding does not mean that you don’t give a gift.

Even though attending a destination wedding can be pricey, it does not need to be used as an excuse to not give a gift. That being said, you also have a right to reflect on your financial situation, and decide on how much you can spend on a gift for the couple. Trust me, they will understand if you don’t present them with a cherry red Ferrari.

Give gifts for both the shower and the wedding.  

 When attending a shower, it is customary to give a gift, if you do not attend a shower, then you are not obligated to give a gift. The shower and wedding ceremony are counted as two separate events, so you still have the responsibility of giving a gift at the actual wedding as well. If there are multiple showers, you don’t have to give a gift at each one, just at the shower that you feel most comfortable giving at, or you can divide your gifting budget over the course of all of the showers.

If you gave at the first marriage, you do not have to give for the second.

 Second marriages are common, but if you attended the bride or groom’s first wedding ceremony and gave a gift, you are not obligated to give at the second. If the couple has requested that no gifts be given, then it is nice to respect those wishes, although some friends and family will always want to give a gift.

Even though a lot of this may see pomp and arbitrary, they are honestly just governed by good manners and common sense. Just remember to give thoughtfully and to thank graciously.