Wedding Gift Etiquette: 10 Essential Tips Every Guest Should Know


The summer blossoms are in full bloom and wedding season is upon us. That means lots of beautiful outdoor nuptials enhanced by colorful wedding flowers!

With invitations pouring in, you may be wondering what is expected of you to help celebrate the big day. We get it. Wedding etiquette is confusing. To help you find the perfect (and proper) wedding gift, we answered the top 10 most common questions for wedding attendees.

Since what to buy and how much to spend is a concern for all wedding guests, we also created a guide below so you can find quick answers for your burning etiquette questions. We hope you enjoy celebrating with the happy couple even more now that you can rest assured your gift follows etiquette rules!

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Answers to Common Gifting Etiquette Questions

How do I know what to give? Is it mandatory to buy from the wedding registry?
It’s best to buy from the registry. The couple spent time creating a registry that will help them build their life together. If you prefer to buy something not listed, check the registry to ensure you get something that will match their style and decor.

How do I find the wedding registry?
The first place to look is the couple’s wedding website. Many brides-to-be create a page on sites like The Knot or My Wedding so that they can share event details, accommodation and their registry with all guests. If they do not have a wedding webpage, try asking a family member or close friend of the bride or groom.

Can I bring the gift to the ceremony?
It used to be common for guests to bring gifts to the wedding, but now with the popularity of online shopping this is no longer the case. Most couples prefer to have gifts sent to their home so that they do not have to worry about transporting gifts between locations.


When should I send the wedding gift?
Send the gift within three months of the wedding — this can mean three months before or after the event. According to the Emily Post Institute, the notion of gifting up to a year after the wedding is false and does not follow proper etiquette.

How much should I spend on a wedding gift?
Buy within your budget, but also with your relationship to the couple in mind. If you cannot afford anything on the registry, make something thoughtful. Below is a general guide of how much you should spend on gifts.


Do I have to bring a gift to the wedding shower too?
If you are invited to multiple wedding-related activities, it is expected that you bring a gift to each one, so budget accordingly. For example, if you are going to a close relative’s wedding and plan to spend $200 on gifts, allot money before purchasing anything. You could spend $20 on the engagement party gift, $20 on a bridal shower gift and $160 on a wedding gift.


Does my wedding date have to bring a gift too?
If you bring a guest, you are expected to factor that into your gift amount since the couple will be paying more for your date. Many couples purchase gifts jointly and spend more than they would individually.

If I am traveling to a wedding, will my travel expenses lower the gifting expectations?
You should still give the couple a gift, but since you are paying for flights and accommodation it can be more thoughtful and less extravagant. Take advantage of the three month grace period if your budget is tight, but do not forget to send a small token of your well wishes.

As a member of the wedding party, do I still need to buy a gift?
Proper etiquette still calls for a gift regardless of how expensive being in a bridal party can be. It is customary for the bridal party to give something as a group. This can help lessen the cost for everyone.

What is the protocol for gifting cash as a wedding gift?
Money is quickly becoming the most popular wedding gift, either in the form of cash or check. As the trend towards getting married older grows, couples are less likely to need common registry items since many have been living together and have already built a home. It is also becoming more popular to ask for help with a honeymoon, so be sure to check the bride and groom’s wedding site to see if they have an option like this available.

Wedding Gift Etiquette Guide

We created a handy wedding etiquette guide that simplifies the answers above and will help you stick to your budget. Now that you have all your etiquette questions answered, are you excited to pick a present? If you can’t wait until the wedding and want to send your congratulations now, our floral gift finder will help you determine the perfect blooms to celebrate the bride-to-be!


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