Wedding Gift Dos and Don'ts
When it comes to weddings, both the bride & groom, and the
guests worry about wedding gift etiquette. These do’s and don’ts
will keep you on the right gift giving track!
I bet your wondering where the idea of wedding gifts originated?
You’ll have to travel back to the time when men no longer
bartered for their wives. With the tradition of choosing your
bride, also came the tradition of friends and family bearing
gifts. In those days articles were functional and useful
additions to the couple’s house, making their lives easier.
The Grecians were into presenting lush and lavish gifts. It was
a big competition to see who could present the most lavish gift.
Brides and grooms were presented with precious jewelry, gold
vases, magnificent clothing or furniture.
These days’ things have really changed. Wedding gift etiquette
of the past, simply does not work today. For couples who have
been married before they already have all the household toys, so
what is one to buy? Even if a couple has not been married
before, most have run their own households so they still have
everything they need. Many couples request no gifts. Some will
ask for cash gifts, so they can put the funds towards a
vacation, a house, or bigger ticket item. Is this okay? How big
of wedding gift should one buy? It seems no matter what a person
buys, they feel they’ve not spent enough, or bought the wrong
type of gift. Relax!! And go with the modern day flow!
The best thing the bride and groom can do for their guests, it
to let them know what you are looking for. Funny, brides and
grooms feel bad playing the “what they need” card, and guests
are too uncomfortable to broche the subject for fear of
offending the bride and groom.
First, it’s okay for the wedding couple to ask for cash only.
The correct way is to include a little note in the invitation
that reads something like. Because we are saving for [insert
item] we would appreciate cash donations in lieu of gifts.
Thanks so much! It’s simple and to the point and these days
people understand. For many it’s much easier than trying to
figure out what you need.
If you are blending two households that are financially set, and
you don’t want any gifts or cash, then make a note of this on
your invitation. Some people will feel uncomfortable with not
providing a gift. So you could include a note that reads. We
would like to decline any gifts. If you would like to give,
please donate to our favorite charity [insert here]. Many
thanks! Or, you can indicate they can donate to their favorite
If you are going to be accepting gifts, then do your guests a
favor and have several wedding gift registries set up at various
stores. This will alleviate a lot of stress for your guests and
insure you receive items you really need or want.
My daughter’s wedding is coming up shortly. Her and her fiancée
are planning to take a 6 month backpacking trip into South
America, right after the wedding. So their gift registry is made
up of the camping supplies they will need. Be creative! Fine
tune your gift registry to what “you” want and need. It will
please your guests to know they are spending their hard earned
money on something you will actually use.
These days, anything goes. The only big tip about wedding gift
etiquette is to be polite in your requests. You’ll feel better
and so will your guests!