WEDDING GIFT ETIQUETTE
1. How much should one spend for a wedding gift? If you are a friend, principal sponsor or relative. Should it really be expensive?
Give only what you can afford., that's the rule of thumb. A gift need not be expensive, but something which you believe the couple will appreciate. You may even be creative, and still be within your budget. Just keep in mind that you are helping the couple start their new life together.
2. If the newlyweds have a bridal registry, would it be okay not to get from their list? Or if we get from their list, can we not buy the brand they requested and just buy another brand? Would it be okay to give gift cheques?
The gift registry is the couple's way of saying "we like or need these items", so if you can afford what are on their registry, it is safest to buy what's on the list because you know you are giving them what they want. However, it is not required that you buy from the registry, you are free to buy wherever you choose.
Gift checks or GCs, just like cash or check gifts are acceptable - as a matter of fact, even welcomed. They can use the GCs, the cash or the check to buy what they really need, so you are sure to satisfy the couple.
3. If a friend, can't make it to the wedding, do they still need to give or send a gift?
It is ideal to send a gift even if you are not attending the wedding. It is one way of celebrating with the couple on their joyous occasion, and showing them that you care enough to help them get a head start as they build their home together.
4. Is it okay to give a gift even the wedding invite says no gifts please just donate to their chosen charity or cash gifts only.
If the invitation says "No gifts please", and they mentioned the charity organization, then your check should be addressed to the charity organization, as desired by the couple. However if you feel like giving the couple a gift which you know they will truly like, then by all means do so.
5. Should I bring the gift to the wedding or just send before/.after the wedding?
In the Philippines, it is traditional to bring the gift to the wedding reception, and gifts are placed on a designated table where the gifts are numbered, and the giver signs on a registry. But it is also nice to send the gifts to the home of either bride or groom before the wedding day, thus relieving them of the difficulty of bringing the gifts home, especially if your gift is too bulky or heavy.
Etiquette states that sending the gift to the couple within one year after a wedding is still acceptable. But it is a good idea to have the gift in their home before they arrive from the honeymoon, lest you, yourself may forget to send the gift altogether.
This article was published in the June, 2010 issue of WORKING MOM magazine