Wedding Gift Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts for Wedding Guests

Wedding Gift Etiquette

Wedding season is here!  It’s that lovely time of the year when couples are getting married, and it’s an exciting time to celebrate love.  If you’ve received an invitation to a wedding, and you aren’t sure about proper gift etiquette, then these 5 dos and don’ts will help with the puzzling question. . . “What gift should I get?”  In the modern times we live in, most couples will use an online registry which makes things pretty easy because you know exactly what they want and where to get it!  Companies like Zola Weddings & Registry offer a simple and easy-to-use online registry for wedding gifts and cash funds.  Online registries are basically a one-stop-shop for giving (and getting) the perfect gift.

Before you dive into our top 5 dos and don’ts for wedding guests, here are a few things to consider before making a decision on what to gift the couple.

Things to consider. . .

What does the invitation say?  Most wedding invitations will indicate whether the bride and groom would like to receive gifts.  Some couples will list their wedding website which will have a link to an online registry, or they may specify that they would prefer cash.  If the invitation does not specify any gift options, it’s still proper etiquette to give a gift to the couple anyway.

Are you bringing a plus one?  If you’re bringing another guest, you should definitely consider giving a little more.  Keep in mind that the couple is paying for two guests now.  To make things easier you can both get a gift together for good measure.

Wedding Gift Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts for Wedding Guests Zola Wedding Registry Philly In Love Philadelphia Weddings


Don’t purchase an item that isn’t on the registry.

Keep in mind that the couple selected items that they would love to have, so straying away from what they would want may not be the best option.  Always keep the couple in mind, and don’t make a decision based off of what you may think they want or simply what you would like to give them instead.


Bring cash in lieu of a gift.

Don’t see anything on the registry that you would like to buy?  Simply give the couple money (or a gift card) instead, it’s best to give something rather than nothing if you aren’t getting something from the registry.


Send a gift even if you can’t attend.

If you received an invitation but cannot attend the wedding, it is proper etiquette to still send a gift to the couple.  It’s a simple way of saying “Congratulations”, and to thank them for the invite.


Send your gift close to the wedding date.

The best time to give the couple their gift is either 3 months before the wedding or 3 months after the wedding.  There is no specific time stamp for when you should give the couple your gift, but it would be best to send the gift before you receive a thank you card from the couple.


Don’t bring the gift to the wedding.

It would be best to ship any gifts or money by mail.  If you’re opposed to sending money by mail then bring the money in an envelope the day of the wedding and personally give it to the couple (or a member of the wedding party).  You don’t want to leave the burden of transporting gifts at the end of the night.