Advice on Gift Purchasing

Following the acceptance of a wedding invitation, you now have to worry about … gifts!  What kinds of gifts are appropriate and to which occasions should you bring them?  Here is some advice on gifting to the bride and groom.

You should expect to buy about three gifts. These gifts are for the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and for the wedding day.  If there is an engagement party you should bring a gift to that event too.  Keep in mind that aside from the wedding gift, the most important is to bring a gift to the bridal shower.  That’s because the purpose of the shower is for the bride to be “showered” with gifts.  The other events can serve as simple events to celebrate the upcoming wedding.

Gift Table

Photo Credit: Lnk.Si, Flickr

What Gifts to Give:

You can either get the couple a gift from their wedding registry or give them cash.

Top tip: Once the registry list comes out, purchase the gifts right away!  Then you can get first dibs.

A couple just starting off and still looking to buy a house together might prefer monetary gifts to pay for those costs, and probably for their honeymoon too.  Other couples that are already settled might prefer gifts to help them around their home.  A good idea would be to ask the bride or groom’s parents to see which type of gift the couple might prefer.  You could also ask other members of the wedding such as the maid of honor.

If you do purchase from the registry, it would be wise to ship the gift to the couple’s home before the wedding.  That way they don’t have to worry about moving the sometimes large gifts after the reception.

Gift Wrapping

Photo Credit: Roberto Verzo, Flickr

How Much Should You Spend on Gifts?

The amount of money you spend on a gift greatly depends on many factors.  These include: finances, traditions in your family or social circle, your close relationship to the couple, and whether much of your expenses will go toward transportation and lodging.  Before buying anything, consider every event that you would want to bring a gift to.  Then calculate a total cost that you are willing to spend. Depending on your closeness to the couple, the closer you are, the more you are expected to gift.  If you are already traveling great distances to attend events, then it is acceptable to gift a little less.  The couple should understand and appreciate your effort to participate in their celebrations.

Once you have the total amount that you would want to spend on the gifts, you can break it down into percentages.  This way you can ensure that the majority goes to the wedding gift.


20% of your total on the engagement gift

20% of your total on the shower gift

60% of your total on the wedding gift

If you’re not invited to all of these events, allot the extra portion to the wedding gift!   And of course if there are other celebration events such as a bachelorette party, feel free to distribute monetary portions accordingly.

When in doubt, just go with something from the heart.  Whether it’s a sentimental card, sincere good wishes, or showing your true happiness for the couple, you really can’t go wrong.

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