Wedding Gift Etiquette for Guests

As wedding season is in full swing, purchasing wedding gifts may be at the forefront of your mind. Being on both sides of the gift-giving and receiving this year, I thought I would share a thing or two I’ve learned about gift etiquette that I’d like to share with you today!

Zola Card 1 The Registry

As I have shared in previous posts, registering for gifts as a couple during your engagement is such an exciting time! For someone who tends to lean on the more practical side of things, it was a bit challenging for me to realize what we could have to build our home, versus only registering for the things that we needed. However, it was so wonderful to stroll the aisle (and virtual aisles online!) picking out items that we could imagine in our home. Most brides and grooms spend quality time picking out items to put on their registry, so if you are looking for a gift that you want the bride and groom to love, stick to the registry. However, I don’t think that means you can’t buy something off of the registry for the newlywed couple. We received an engraved pizza cutter as a gift, and it was one of the cleverest gifts that we received! If you do choose to not purchase an item off of the registry, be sure that you get a gift receipt.

As a bride, the biggest tip I would give those who either don’t have a lot of wedding experience or someone wanting to get the happy couple something that they’d like, don’t ask the bride or groom want they want. The couple took the time to make the registry for a reason, where they handpicked items they’d like, so they would be pleased with anything from those lists. In addition, often the bride and groom are so distracted by planning their wedding, they can’t remember what they even registered for in the first place. Don’t be that guest that bothers the soon-to-be newlyweds only a few weeks (or days– it happens!) before their wedding.

Zola Card 2 How Much To GiveWith the amount of weddings Jody and I have attended in the past year, while planning our own, I know firsthand how it can financially add up over the course of a few months. I do my best to plan ahead – either I purchase both the bridal shower and wedding gift at the same time, or I make sure I note at the beginning of each month in my planner what gifts need to be purchased for that month. Even during the months where the money is tight, I do the best I can to at least cover my plate. If finances are tight (or it’s a very busy wedding season), I think it also a wonderful idea to go the meaningful route. That could be a handwritten letter with marriage advice, a sweet Mr. and Mrs. Picture frame, or a bottle of bubbly for the couple to share on their first anniversary!

Zola Card 3 - When To GiveIn the past, it would still be considered “on time” if guests bought a gift for the happy couple within a year of the wedding. However, especially with how attainable and convenient wedding gift shopping is now with online registries, I suggest purchasing the gift within three months of the wedding. Chances are, if you wait longer than three months, you may forget about it and the bride and groom may think you didn’t think of them during their special time. While it is not required to purchase a gift, it is customary to get one for each event you attend.

While I personally didn’t use Zola for our registry, I can definitely see why so many people choose to! Not only can you add any staple branded products, but you can also include experiences, monetary funds and more in one central location. This prevents having to register at several different locations, and remember what you registered for where – I know that was a problem I had! It even makes the process super simple for guests too. There is a group gifting option, where your guests can donate the amount that they are so graciously willing to contribute to a high-priced item that you may not normally receive. Additionally, it is all online and will ship right to the bride and groom, which means not having to lug around a wedding gift to the actual event. That is such an incentive for those out-of-town guests!

I hope a few of these tips help in the midst of this wedding season! We only have two more weddings this season, but I’m sure these tips will serve as great reminders as we head to our next wedding as guests, rather than the guests of honor. I’d love to know; do you have any other tips when it comes to purchasing gifts for a wedding? Tell me in the comments below!

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