While protocol demands that you carry a gift for the newly weds, the etiquette surrounding the same can prove to be somewhat iffy. If you have not attended your fair share of weddings or if a considerable amount of time has passed since you last attended one, then it is quite natural that you might have a number of doubts regarding the same - like the kind of gifts to take, is carrying cash acceptable, how much is considered a proper sum, do you need to gift the couple something if you are not planning on attending the wedding, etc. In this article, you can find some wedding gift etiquette, which will help you when such occasions arise.
Once a couple announces their engagement, there are many occasions that will call for gifts to be given. If you can't make it to the occasion, according to the right etiquette, you can send a gift till one full year after the wedding. But it is considered rude to send a gift so late. You should send one within three months of the event. You can even send gifts before the wedding and it is not rude to send the gifts over to the newly weds' home afterwards.
In case you receive the announcement card but no invitation to attend the reception, then you can send a gift if you wish. It is considered alright if you do not send the gift. You can just mail a congratulatory card over to the couple. When you attend, it is a rule that you carry a gift along with you. Only when you need to attend a destination wedding, that makes it costly for you to travel, it is alright for not bringing a gift as your presence in the reception is counted as a gift. You can send back a nice photograph (of the marriage) of the couple in a fancy frame.
When you are invited to a good friends or relative's wedding and won't be able to attend it due to any reason, be sure you send them a gift as soon as you receive the invitation. If you are invited by someone you know, you can send a congratulatory card with the RSVP declining the invitation. If you are invited to the wedding of some business associate, you can kindly decline, but still send over the gift.
Many times, the bride and groom get themselves registered to a specialty or departmental store. This helps the guests from stressing themselves out over which wedding gifts to purchase. The couples choose gifts they want or do not wish to receive. You just have to choose one of the gifts from the list and gift it to them. But if you wish, you can always gift them something you would like.
Giving Cash - Etiquette to Follow
In case you have chosen to give cash to the couple, the next dilemma that arises is how much. The national average of the US for gifting a cash amount is divided into 3 categorizes. These categorizes are divided according to the relation of the guest with the bride or groom. Cash is considered one of the best gifts, because it can help the newly weds set up their home in a variety of ways. There is no fixed amount that can be termed as an ideal cash gift. You can gift any amount according to your budget.
When buying a gift for a co-worker or distant family member, it is okay to buy a USD 50 to USD 75 wedding gift. If you are attending the wedding of your relative or friend, then it is acceptable to gift a USD 75 to USD 100 wedding gift. In case it is the wedding of a very close relative or friend, you should gift a wedding gift no less than USD 100 to USD 150 or more.
Wedding gifts depend on personal preference and choice. You may gift anything that is appropriate and will be useful to the couple. If the couple is registered, while going through the list, do not hesitate when choosing a gift you like that turns out to be the least expensive. It is not the price of the gift that counts, but the feelings of the giver. Make sure you gift the newly weds a gift that is suitable according to the wedding gift etiquette. How much to give depends on your budget and your relation with the bride or groom.