Have a couple of brides and grooms to shop for this wedding season? Knowing how much to spend and what to buy can often be a challenge.
Here’s our list of the top tips to master wedding gift giving.
1. Stick to the registry
Always check the wedding invitation or website to see if the bride and groom you’re buying for has a wedding gift registry to eliminate the chance of buying them something they don’t need or want. We get it, you want to be creative, but according to The Knot nearly 85% of brides want you to select an item from their wedding registry. Chances are the people you’re buying for have either lived on their own or together so are only in need of select household items.
Popular gift registry options include: Hudson’s Bay, Home Outfitters, William Sonoma and Bed Bath & Beyond. Most gift registries are viewable online and you can usually purchase your gift without even having to leave your home. The earlier you buy, the better so that you’ll have your pick of gifts to choose from.
If the couple doesn’t appear to have a registry that’s a definite indication that they’d appreciate a cash gift. Cash is king anyways, so if you don’t have time to shop the registry, cash is always a good option.
2. Consider a group gift
The big ticket items on a registry, tend to be most appreciated by the couple and are also the least likely to get purchased. If you’re part of a group of friends attending the wedding or a member of the bridal party, consider chipping in on that luxurious luggage set or must-have vacuum that’s on their list. The other great thing about a group gift is you can avoid buying the bride and groom bits and pieces from their registry. If nobody else chooses to buy them the pillowcases and matching comforter to the bedding set you purchased, they’re going to have to fit the bill for the remaining items. And to reiterate, don’t forget to coordinate the group gift as early a possible so your have some different options to choose from.
3. Don’t spend less than $50 per person
If you’re not married yourself, there’s a good chance you’re in the dark on how much it costs to throw an amazing wedding. According to Weddingbells’ 2014 reader survey, the cost of an average wedding in Canada is nearly $31,700 (including the honeymoon) and in cities like Vancouver, weddings can often range closer to $40,000 to $45,000. That said, it’s not to say that as a guest you should feel more obligated to spend more on couples throwing overly lavish weddings than couples opting for a more modest, casual affair.
Our recommendation is to spend what you think is appropriate to your relationship and also consider what’s affordable for you personally. Here’s what The Knot recommends, and we couldn’t agree more:
- Coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $50 to $75
- Relative or friend: $75 to $100
- Close relative or close friend: $100 to $150
Even if you’re someone’s +1 at the wedding, the above still applies (don’t think you’re off the hook).
4. Don’t forget the gift
Look for the gift table or envelope box as soon as you arrive at the wedding reception so that you don’t forget later – it’s typically located directly at the entrance for this very reason. If for whatever reason you were unable to purchase a gift before the wedding day, be sure to do so as soon a possible, afterwards. If you’re buying an item off their registry, it may need to be shipped from another store and may not get to the couple immediately. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the gift gets to the couple within two months after their wedding.
If you did forgot your gift at home or are planning to purchase it later, it’s a good idea to let the parents of the bride & groom know. You don’t want the couple thinking that they potentially left your gift behind at the venue.
5. Make sure they know the gift is from you
Ensure that your wedding card is securely adhered to your wedding gift. It’s not uncommon for cards to go astray when gifts are transported from the wedding venue to the couple’s home and you don’t want to be thanked for a gift you didn’t give; talk about awkward. If you’re giving cash, ensure it’s contained within a traditional card or money holder card to avoid any confusion; tossing some cash into the envelope box with a post-it attached is not a good idea (we know you’re better than that). Be sure to include everyone on the card who chipped in for the gift as this is what the bride and groom will reference when they’re writing their thank you cards.