Wedding season is upon us. Wedding traditions are changing. Though the wedding gift is still part of the customs, but wedding gift etiquette isn’t what it used to be. Here’s what you need to know before you send your gift.
Popular opinion is wedding gifts can be given within a year of the nuptials. That idea may be popular, but it’s not considered polite. Think about your own standards of etiquette when you’re gift shopping. A good rule of thumb would be to give a wedding gift as soon after the wedding as you would expect a thank you note for the gift. You want to be thanked right away, so it’s only fair that you give the gift right away. If you need a hard deadline, three months is an acceptable amount of time to get your gift in the hands of the happy couple.
If you were invited to the ceremony and you don’t attend, it’s polite to send a gift anyway. If you go to the ceremony, it’s polite to give a gift – no matter how far you travel. If it’s a destination wedding and you attend the wedding, it’s polite to give a gift. The only time it’s not tacky to not give a gift is if it’s the second wedding for either the bride or the groom and you gave a gift for the first wedding.
What and How Much
Typically, gift registry information is not included in announcements. Ask the bride and groom where they are registered. How much you spend is mandated only by how much you can spend. The amount of money spent on each wedding is different, the income of every guest is different; all people are not expected to spend a set amount. Registries are handy for this; you can select a gift that matches your budget. Personal gifts the couple won’t forget or cash are also acceptable gifts. A good way to think about it is to let the relationship you have with the bride and groom – as well as your budget — dictate what kind of gift you give.
The rules for giving gifts aren’t as strict as they once were. Couples are getting married later and have established jobs and live so they don’t need a kick start to furnishing their homes the way couples once did. A gift is never expected (at least it’s not supposed to be), but a token to remember one of the most important days in a couple’s history is appreciated.