Wedding season is back in full swing! In fact, this year is a boom time for nuptials, with 2.5 million US couples expected to wed in 2022. So the chances are that you’ve been invited to a wedding or two. You may also find yourself a little stuck as to what you should bring as a gift. It’s fair to say we’ve probably all been there! Shopping for wedding gifts can be a big challenge, no matter how well you know the couple. These days especially, when couples have often set up home together long before they tie the knot, it can be hard to know what to buy them. To help you, I’ve compiled some great gift ideas and tips to make your wedding guest experience fun, easy, and meaningful!
Buy From the Wedding Registry
Whenever possible, it’s best to shop from the wedding registry. Remember that the couple has put a lot of time and thought into curating their registry list, and they’ve done it for a reason. Items on the registry are all things they need or want (and have space for!), and so they’re all items that they’ll be grateful to receive. Most registries will include a range of items at a variety of price points, giving you a lot more flexibility. You can either choose items that suit your budget or go in with a larger group for a big-ticket item from the list. Plus, when you buy from the registry, your gift can usually be shipped directly to the couple so you don’t have to bring it to the wedding. It’s really an all-around win-win for everyone! (Hint: even if you don’t want to buy from the registry, it’s a good idea to check it out as it will give you a better idea of the couple’s taste.)
If you’re attending a multicultural wedding, take some time to learn about the culture(s) represented, and how their weddings are typically celebrated. This way, you can better enjoy and appreciate your experience on the day. But you’ll also be able to learn about appropriate gift ideas. For example, money is the traditional wedding gift for Japanese weddings and must be placed in a special Goshugi envelope. Cash gifts at Jewish weddings are presented in multiples of 18, while in Buddhist and Hindu tradition, cash gifts should end in 1 for good luck.
If you’re attending a destination wedding, plane tickets and accommodation costs can add up quickly. Couples usually understand this, and they won’t expect a big gift from you, knowing how much you’re already spending to be there. In fact, many couples specifically tell their guests not to buy them a gift when they’re attending a destination wedding. That being said, giving the couple a simple, commemorative gift is a great idea. Just a little something special for their home that they can enjoy (and remember you by). For example, a signature throw or decorative pillow from the Jennifer Adams offerings is always a great choice! Be sure to have this delivered to them just before they leave for the wedding or just after they arrive home, instead of taking it to the wedding and expecting them to bring it home with them.
Group gifts are a wonderful way to go in together and get the couple a big-purchase item. Sharing the cost of an expensive item is not only great for the group, but it can also really benefit the newlyweds. It gives them the opportunity to receive something they really love and want, but perhaps may not be able to afford on their own. In fact, these kinds of group gifts are often considered by couples to be their favorite gifts.
No matter what you choose to buy the newlyweds, be sure to shop, buy, and ship your gift before the wedding. That way you’re done and don’t need to think about it anymore. But if you need to wait, try to send a gift no later than two to three months after the wedding. The old rule of thumb was before their first anniversary, but couples today assume otherwise if you wait that long.
Can’t Make It?
Sometimes it’s just not possible for you to come to the wedding in person. Etiquette says to send a gift anyway, depending on your relationship to the couple. For example, for a co-worker or casual acquaintance, it’s not essential, but if they’re a close friend or family member, you should send a gift. Sending a little thoughtful something lets the couple know how much you care for them, even if you are unable to attend the ceremony.
Give from the Heart
Last but not least…always give from the heart! Weddings are a celebration of love and union, a celebration shared by family, friends, and those closest to the couple’s heart. So, the best gift you can give is to simply find a way to let the couple know how happy you are for them!
Which wedding gift-giving ideas and tips have worked for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!