Wedding gift etiquette can be a tough thing to get right as a guest at a wedding, it can be incredibly stressful too, no one wants to buy a ‘bad gift’ or something that won’t be received well. So we wanted to run you through everything relating to buying wedding gifts for someone special's big day!
Do I have to buy both a wedding gift and bridal shower gift?
Traditionally speaking, wedding day etiquette suggests that yes, you will be expected to buy gifts for both the wedding day and for the bridal shower. If you’re on a strict budget, there’s a great way a friend once told me about that I always think of when I hear this question: the 70/30 rule. Once you’ve set yourself a budget for how much you can put aside for gifts on that special person’s wedding day, split it 70/30. By that I mean that 70% will be allocated for the actual wedding gift while 30% will be allocated for the bridal shower gift. As for how much you could be expected to spend, that will depend on a few factors such as what your budget will allow, how close you are to the bride or groom and how much you’ll be willing to spend, regardless of budget.
Do I buy for the bride or the bride and groom?
When it comes to who you should aim your gifts towards, for the bridal shower, you’ll traditionally be buying for the bride alone. For the wedding gift, it’ll usually be something for the couple rather than just the bride. As for what the gift will specifically be, generally the couple will set up a gift registry for their wedding day gifts (and possibly bridal shower) to give guests a good idea of what they’ll need in their newly married life. You don’t have to buy off this list necessarily, although traditionally it’s been an expectation. Alternatively, you can be straight forward and ask the bride if there's anything specific she needs for her newly married life.
Do I have to choose a gift off the registry?
While everyone will have their own unique thoughts on this, it’s becoming more and more common in todays era of weddings to buy a gift that comes from the heart - something meaningful should always be well received. The other problem is that as it gets closer to the wedding day, it becomes far harder to afford certain things on the couples gift registry (those pesky people that get in early and steal the budget friendly gift ideas first instead of procrastinating for 6 months like I tend to!) It sometimes becomes hard to afford (or find) certain gifts the bride and groom are after.
When should I give the bride her bridal shower gift?
If you won’t be able to attend the bridal shower, we’d suggest either asking someone else that you’re close to who may be attending to take it along for you, or if you don’t have someone who can do that for you, mail it to the bride a few weeks out. However, if you’ll be attending the bridal shower, it’s important to take the gift along with you - the main focal point of the bridal shower is the bride receiving the gifts from the people that attend the event!
What type of gift should I buy for the couple?
If the bride and groom have a gift registry set up, this is a great place to find something perfect to buy for them. However, if there’s no registry (or it’s already been completed by other guests) there are ultimately two ways you can go about finding a good gift for the lovely couple. Firstly, you can do the simplest thing and ask the bride or groom if there’s anything else you, specifically, can buy to help them in their new life together. While this removes any ‘surprise’ aspect from the gift-giving, it’s a good way to ensure your money is well spent on a gift they’ll get use out of. Alternatively, you can spend some time searching for something the bride may need in her newly married life such as a charcuterie board, glassware, art for their home as a married couple, kitchenware or essentially almost any home-related goods.