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Wedding gifting tips

edding etiquette can be tricky… even when you’re a guest! Between what to wear, who to bring, and what to arrive with, there’s a lot of gray areas. So we’re breaking down the most commonly asked of these things — gift giving — so you can RSVP stress-free. Take a scroll below for the complete guide on how to handle everything from cash vs. gifting to when you should be sending things. Trust us: You’ll thank us for this once wedding season is in full swing!
Photography by Weddings by Scott and Dana
Registry talk.

A registry is essentially a curation of all the items the couple wants and needs for their new life together. So if you’re looking to gift them something they’ll love and use throughout the years, this is your best bet. (You BFF has, after all, been dreaming about having her own KitchenAid for years!). Want it to feel more personal? Pair your selection with a sweet message (I can’t wait for a baking day with you!) to make it feel all the more special.

Still want to give them something physical that’s not already been scanned for? Going off-registry is okay too! (Just be sure to browse their registry ahead of time to make sure it’s in sync with their style.)
The cash debate.

We’ll get this out there right away: giving cash is A-Ok. That said, it’s a bit more of a complicated option than, say, giving them a dish set off their registry. Here’s why: While an amount can be seen as particularly generous to one couple, it may be perceived as stingy to another. If you know the couple well, you should be able to dodge this scenario. However, if not, consider going with a gift card to one of the stores they registered for.
Photography by Laurelyn Savannah Photography
Spending sense.

Speaking of cash, knowing how much to shell out can depend on a few things (which no longer includes the price-per-plate etiquette!). These include your relationship with the duo (are they a close BFF or a distant cousin?) and the location of the event (NYC vs. a more laid-back setting). With this mindset, you can ensure a close pal holding a more casual affair will still be gifted appropriately compared to, say, your v. classy coworker’s wedding.

The below guide from Zola.com lays this out nicely:

For coworkers or distant relatives: $50-$75

For friends or relatives: $75-$100

For besties, immediate family, or people in the wedding party: $100-$150+

If you get a plus one on your invite, opt for 1.5-2x more

Suggested: If the wedding is in a big, urban city: $150-200+

Bridal party etiquette.

Calling all members of the bride tribe! There are a few things to note. Like, you should be buying a gift for both the shower and the wedding, going in on a group item with the other ‘maids is fine, and you may be expected to expense other small things that pop up.

However, before you begin sweating over the finances (we get it, it can be a lot!) consider this option: If you’re in the wedding party, an expensive selection isn’t expected. If you’re already paying a hefty fee for flights, hotels, dresses, the bachelorette party and more, getting the couple something small and meaningful (like a personalize scrapbook or frame of you two) is just as good as a high-end item in their book. Now you know!

Photography by Kat Braman

Going all in.

We’ll be frank, newlyweds loveee receiving their coveted, big-ticket items. So rather than opting to take out a loan to do so (kidding!), it’s a terrific idea to band together with a few friends on one more pricey item. (Hint hint: Bridal party, this is a great option for you!)
Photography by Natalie Bray
Timing is everything.

Traditionally its been thought that you have up to one year to present the happy couple with their present. However, we’re here to tell you this custom has changed. Thanks largely in part to online registries and faster shipping (looking at you Prime!), the new timeline you should abide by is up to two months after their wedding. And if you’re really looking to hit the sweet spot on timing, send your selection about two weeks before their wedding (straight to their residence, of course!).
Photography by La Tavola
Year-round registry.

The good news about a couple’s registry is that it serves as the perfect way to pick something out for all of their celebrations throughout the year. From Christmas to birthdays, their scans are all fair game (and some of the best opportunities to ensure the new Mr. and Mrs. cross off all the items they’ve been eyeing!)

Co-founder Livent - Planning & Styling.
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