Photo from INeedWeddingHelp.com
The first wedding I attended in the US was a friend/coworker’s.Â I was “fresh-off-the-boat” thenÂ and I was not familiar with the gift-giving etiquette in the US.Â Gift-giving rules/etiquette from my country was very different.Â I have educated myself with wedding guest etiquette in the US since.Â Looking back, I felt so stupid with the gift I gave my friend/coworker.
So here’s what I’ve learned from my mistake:
- If you’re not sure, ask.
- The internet is your best friend.Â You can find almost all the answers to your questions online.
- If you’re coming from another country, educate yourself with the traditions and etiquette of the country you’re currently in.
And here are the answers toÂ the more important giftÂ questions I had:
How much should my gift cost?
Some would suggest using the price-per-plate as basis.Â But it’s preferable to base the value on your relationship with the couple.Â The closer you are to the couple, the higher the value.Â Other factors you might also want to consider are your finances, travel and lodging expenses, expenses on other related events.Â Do not spend less than $50.
TheKnot.com suggested the following:
- Coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $50-$75
- Relative or friend: $75-$100
- Close relative or close friend: $100-$150+
By the way, monetary gifts are always appreciated.Â Even though the couple has a gift registry or has not said anything about what they prefer, monetaryÂ gifts areÂ usually what is most preferred.
Can I send a gift that is not in the couple’s gift registry?
It is suggested to refrain from doing so.Â Gift registries are there for a reason… so guests could know what the couple wants.
Can I bring my gift to the wedding?
There’s really no rule about bringing a gift to the wedding.Â But weddings can be very hectic and stressful for the couple, so shipping the gift to them before the weddingÂ is the more thoughtful option.Â You can, however, bring monetary gifts to the wedding.
When should I send my gift?
You have up to about a year after the wedding to send your gift.Â But try to send your gift within two months of the wedding.
Do I still have to send a gift if I am unable to attend the wedding?
WhileÂ the bridal shower is the only wedding-related event that requires a gift, it is common practice to send a giftÂ for the wedding even when you’re unable to attend.
Up nextÂ on the Wedding Guest Etiquette Series: Giving a toast