Wedding Gifts – Do’s and Don’t for Couples and Guests

Wedding gift box

Wedding days and wedding daze, wedding may do come in a handful.  Whether you are the one planning a wedding or just attending one, there are a lot of factors to consider and proper wedding etiquette should never be taken for granted.

A registry keeps track of who bought what and eliminates the chances of receiving duplicate presents. Some friends and relatives may want to get you a gift as soon as they hear about your engagement, so it’s best to register, at least for a few items, early on. Wedding trends and decorations evolve over the years but the art of etiquette is timeless and even in gift giving there are some dos and don’ts.  If you want to pull this day off the rightful way then keep reading.

Here are some tips for the couples planning the wedding:

  • Don’t go overboard. When choosing a wedding registry, choose a general store that caters gifts from low to high end items so that your guests could choose from a wide range of prices and would not be forced or restricted to certain amounts that they could not afford or would have a hard time buying.  Please bear in mind that your guests will also be spending on transportation, baby sitter, their preparation aside from the wedding gift itself.   It’s also advisable to stick with two or three stores only. Don’t give your guests a hard time by giving plenty of stores to choose from.
  • Register ahead of time. Early bird catches the early worm indeed.  You need to complete your registry from at least four to six months prior to the wedding.  This will give your guests ample time to choose and purchase your gifts not only for your wedding day but also for your engagement party and bridal shower as well.
  • Don’t ask for cash. If you would invite someone for a dinner party, you would not ask them to bring $50 right?  That would be awkward. It would certainly make them feel like you are asking them to pay for their food right?  Asking for cash only gifts and to write it on the wedding invitation should never be done.
  • Registry information should never be placed on a wedding invitation.  Bringing gifts on your wedding day would be a generous gesture for the guests but you should not expect them to do such.  In Canada, the bridal shower is where gifting is expected.  Guests are being guided on where the bride registered too.  Informing everyone about such is the role of your friends and family so you can stay out of it.  However, gift information can be inserted on a bridal shower invitation as well as wedding website information if you have any.
  • Register enough gifts. The more the merrier indeed.  If there are options to choose from in your wedding registry then it would be easier for your guests to pick the best gift for you.  Please bear in mind that you need to put balance in your registry, you can put pricey gifts but make sure to include low cost or medium cost gifts as well.  Choose also individual items over sets.  Keep in mind the special occasions that would come and the need for such items.  Don’t limit yourself to your current lifestyle because there is no constant thing in the world but change.  It would be memorable and thoughtful to include friends and loved ones to your important milestones in life.
  • Review your wedding registry. Registries nowadays also come with notifications but if your wedding registry doesn’t have one, you should check yours at least every week and more frequent as your wedding fast approaches.  This will keep you updated in writing your thank you notes to your generous guests.
  • Don’t fret if you have not put enough variety on your wedding registry. Don’t lose hope if you found that you were not able to get everything on your list.  Most stores do have completion program for the remaining items on your registry with great discounts.  Some stores also let your registry to remain active from months to years so forgetful guests may still catch up on your wedding gifts.
  • Don’t open your wedding gifts in front of anyone. You wouldn’t want your guests to feel ashamed or to make them feel uncomfortable as you open their gift.  It’s better to do the opening of the presents at home or when everyone has left the reception area.  You would certainly have different reactions as you open one gift from the other so to prevent the awkwardness and bringing shame to the gifter, skip this part in front of them.
  • Don’t forget to say thank you. As what mom has told us when we were still young, never forget to say thank you.  Especially in your wedding day, it is ideal to acknowledge the gifter immediately but also sending the thank you note later would be acceptable.  Wedding day itself and after the big day would be a very busy period for the newlywed couple and it would be acceptable to fall behind but make sure to send your thank you notes  not later than three months after the event. It would be nice to personalize your thank you note as you write down how you would intend to use their gift.

For the guests, there are also few rules to live by especially on the wedding gift. Feel free to check them out below.

  • First of all, you have to give the couple a gift.  It should be something that they could both use.
  •  If you have sent a wedding gift through the mail, you are not obliged to bring another one at the reception.
  • Cash gift is ideal for couples who are getting married out of town.  This will save them from shipping everything back home which would be an added expense for them.  It is also an ideal gift for couples who doesn’t have a wedding registry.  That would save you enough time and effort in picking a gift for the newly wed.

Wedding is a joyous occasion.  It is a celebration of love and commitment for the newlywed couple. Wedding gifts add up to the happiness and excitement level of the new pair but not all guests do give gifts.  If some of your guests did not give you gifts then be thankful for their presence and also send them a thank you note for showing you their love and support on your wedding day.   With a bit of research and some guidance from a wedding planner, navigating the waters of wedding etiquette can be stress and hassle free.


  1. Lynn Wright – Val,These pictures are soooo beuuitfal!!! You are the prettiest bride I have seen since your mom! You look so elegant! I wish you and Cal all the happiness and love a couple could have.You make a Beautiful couple!!LOveGrandma Lyn

Speak Your Mind