Wedding Gift Etiquette: All Your Questions Answered + A Gift Guide

Wedding Gift Etiquette: All Your Questions Answered + A Gift Guide

Wedding Gift Etiquette: All Your Questions Answered + A Gift Guide

Wedding season is in full swing and picking out the ideal gift for the bride and groom can at times be challenging. Maybe they didn’t create a registry so you’re not certain what to get them, or you waited until the last minute and now there’s nothing left on it choose from. Then there’s issues like finding a gift in your price range (what should you spend anyways?). Here are all your answers to wedding gift etiquette along with 40 suggestions that couples will love (and they won’t get returned). 

I like to follow a guideline based on the relationship (not the cost per plate), but it’s also about what you can afford. I suggest not spending less than $50 dollars though. Think about how long you’ve known the individual or couple. You will generally want to invest more on someone you’ve been friends with for years, over a co-worker you’ve known for only a few months.

  • Close Friend or Close Relative: $150+
  • Friend or Relative $100 - $150
  • Co-worker, Distant Family-Friend, or Distant Relative: $75-$100

Another good way to figure out how much to spend is to consider what you’re invited to. If you’re invited to multiple events split up your budget and spend the most on the wedding gift.

  • Shower gift: 20% 
  • Engagement gift: 20% 
  • Wedding: 60% 

Yes, a little more. Remember that the couple will spend money to host your plus one (dinner + drinks). Discuss with your date how much they can chip in and figure out a price point well in advance.

You can spend less. If you’re breaking the bank to purchase a dress, catch a flight, and pay for a hotel room—the bride and groom will understand you’ve already invested a ton of money to be there for their memorable day.

You don’t have to, but it’s a great idea to check and see what they’re asking for. After all, you don’t want to get them a set of dinnerware to have someone purchase it off of their registry. The registry is created to make it easier on the guests, but if you find something else that you know that they’ll love there’s no rule that says you can’t purchase it because it wasn’t listed on there.

Some ideas (listed below) are state-of-the-art appliances and cookware (think copper pans, a soda water maker, or a lavish espresso maker); luxurious spa products (like bedding, a decorative candle, or a bathtub caddy); upgraded barware for entertaining (an elegant decanter, martini set, or crystal coasters); home decor (coffee table books, a beautiful vase, or a picture frame); and practical gifts (like an address embosser, Google Nest, herb & spice carousel, measuring spoons, or a French press).

Yes, definitely. Big-ticket items are a wonderful idea, just ask the couple ahead of time. A few examples are day trips or memorable excursions during their honeymoon—like an elegant dinner cruise, a spa package, hiring a photographer, taking a cooking class, or a private flight. It’s also okay to ask another guest or a group of friends to go in on a splurge-worthy item.

For me, personally I suggest not giving cash unless it’s a large sum. 

It’s not a yes or no, one size fits all answer. Consider your relationship to the couple; if you’re close, or if they’re a family member, proper wedding gift etiquette is to send a gift. If they’re a distant relative or someone you haven’t seen in years, then sending a congratulations card is fine.

One to two weeks before the wedding is fine but you have up until two months after the wedding has passed to mail your gift. However, it’s better to send it sooner rather than later. If you’re buying off their registry, it will be mailed to the address listed. If you’re purchasing it on your own, be sure to get the address. If they don’t have a registry, send it to the address on the invitation. 

When it comes to proper wedding gift etiquette, it’s customary to mail your gift. This makes it easier on the couple or whoever is handling the gifts. If you’re giving a card with money, then you can bring it to the venue and give it to whoever’s in charge of gifts. Be sure not to hand it to the couple since they’ll be busy attending to their guests and enjoying the reception.

Yes, but typically if you were invited to the shower the amount of money you spend on the gift can be a lot less, especially if you’re planning on spending a generous amount on the wedding gift. Don’t feel the need to splurge for both events. Think shower—save; wedding—splurge.

Wedding Gift Etiquette: What to Get a Best Friend or Close Family Member
  1. They’ll love waking up each morning and preparing a cup of espresso with this extravagant Nespresso machine and milk frother ($300).
  2. A 10-piece nonstick copper cookware set has everything needed to take their cooking to the next level ($180).
  3. This lavish ”his and hers” deluxe facial collection is something they can share on their honeymoon ($190).
  4. These eye-catching crystal and silver coasters are ideal for displaying ($175).
  5. A Bond No. 9 “New York” signature blend candle will look lovely in their home ($160).
  6. For the couple that deserves the finest, a gold quartz and crystal decanter is an enhancement to any bar area or dining room ($445).
  7. They’ll treasure the essence (and aesthetic) of this beautiful Diptyque rose diffuser ($180).
  8. For the couple that yearns to travel, a silver 3-piece luggage set is an optimal gift that they can use on their honeymoon and for many vacations to come ($310).
  9. This gold and marble barbell barware set will come in handy when they’re entertaining guests ($198).
  10. 10.  A set of 2 crystal and silver candlestick holders are a lovely addition to fine dining ($375).
Wedding Gift Etiquette: What to Get a Friend or Relative
  1. This decorative barbell bottle collection is an excellent companion to the gold and marble barware set ($150).
  2. A silver French press for the couple that loves their high-end coffee ($149.99).
  3. This extravagant 24K gold vodka rocket decanter is a unique gift that was made to be put on display ($148).
  4. A 5-piece cocktail shaker for the cocktail connoisseur ($141).
  5. A stone spice grinder that will perfectly season any meal ($130).
  6. Ideal for recording new memories, a set of two Panama leather Mr & Mrs notebooks ($130).
  7. A 12-piece wine and champagne glass set that they’ll cherish for years to come ($130).
  8. They’ll love sleeping in on these luxurious California king sheets ($149.99).
  9. This fancy leather poker set has everything needed for a game night with friends ($130)
  10. 10. A fizzi sparkling water maker that makes tasty soda and flavored drinks ($110).
Wedding Gift Etiquette: What to Get a Co-worker or Distant Relative
  1. They’ll be able to plan their next dream vacation with this set of two coffee table books: 100 Getaways Around The World ($60).
  2. These Art Deco gold tumblers are excellent for making fancy drinks ($80).
  3. This stunning cheese board is crafted with agate shards, and embellished with gold ($78).
  4. A Google Nest Hub touch-screen speaker that has literally everything: the Internet, controls lights, answers back, music streaming, Google photos, and more ($99).
  5. Give them something they’ll use all the time, like a 16-piece herb & spice carousel ($79).
  6. This adorable 4" x 6" heart picture frame will make a sentimental photo sparkle ($95).
  7. An oak cookbook stand is a must have in any kitchen ($95).
  8. This Anniversary Journal is crafted with fine paper, a shimmer binding, and comes in a matching storage box. Perfecting for recording all their memorable moments from their first anniversary all the way up until their 60th ($85).
  9. You can never go wrong with a lush Byredo “Bohemia Bougie” scented candle ($85).
  10. 10. This Cookstone pizza dish will have them crafting mouth-watering pies ($100).
Wedding Gift Etiquette: $75 & Under
  1. These lavish rose gold measuring spoons are an upgraded version ($28).
  2. They’ll love taking a relaxing bath with a bamboo bathtub caddy $28
  3. In just 7-10 minutes this Gem Water wand boosts oxygen and alkalinity to filtered or tap water ($60).
  4. These two cookbooks are optimal for entertaining and creating delicious dishes: The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book ($12.99), and Modernist Cuisine At Home Cookbook ($70).
  5. For the wine aficionado, this 6-piece set by Vacu Vin, chills bottles, seals them, removes air, and more ($23).
  6. Everytime they sip from these ”His & Hers” highball glasses, they’ll be reminded of their wedding day ($54.95).
  7. Designed for the bride to be, this Pinch Provisions x Sugarfina wedding party kit has everything she’ll need: safety pins, bobby pins, a mirror, ring cleaning towelette, breath drops, extra wedding bands, stain remover, bandades, Sugarfina Champagne Bears, and more ($24).
  8. A classic address embosser for sending out thank you notes ($30).
  9. Top-grade matcha tea ($46) goes perfectly with this lilac steel tea kettle ($50)
  10. 10. A fancy sorbet vase to place flowers in for years to come ($33).

Have any wedding gift etiquette tips you would like to share? Comment below!

*This article contains some affiliate links.

Kristie Woszczyna

My life consists of writing, shopping, music, spending time with my boyfriend, working out, traveling and macarons from Bottega Louie. [email protected]

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