Wedding Gifts & Wedding Parties: Etiquette Rules For Guests!
As a Wedding Guest, What's Your Responsibility, Gift-Wise?
You're just been invited to a wedding and probably to all those other parties that go along with the festivities like the engagement party, a shower or two, maybe even the bachelor or bachelorette party... So what are you responsible for, gift-wise?
Here's the etiquette rules for you when it comes to wedding guests and gifts...
Preliminary Wedding Parties...
The first party where you're most likely to be invited is the engagement party. Contrary to popular belief, guests are not required to bring gifts to an engagement party, although you may if you choose. If the party is hosted by the family of the couple, at their home, it would be gracious to take a bottle of good wine (if not extending a gift).
Close female friends of the bride and family members will likely be invited to showers. A bride should have no more than three, and if you're invited to more than one, you are only obligated to extend one gift. It's the maid/matron of honor's job to host the shower, which may be done in conjunction with the other maids.
Bachelor parties are next on the list. It is the best man's job to host the bachelor party for the groom (which may be done in conjunction with other members of the bridal party)--so it's up to him to pay the tab. Gifts are not extended.
Bachelorette parties are a different story. Since the maid of honor is responsible for hosting the shower, she is not responsible for hosting this event. In this case, everyone should pay their own way, including the bride. Gifts are not extended.
NOTE: Destination bachelor/bachelorette parties are also a different cup of tea. In this case, everyone should pay their own way, including the bride and groom.
* If you receive an invitation to a wedding, you are obligated to send a gift, whether you attend or not.
* A wedding gift may be sent up to a year after the wedding date.
* A wedding announcement, sent after the wedding date, does not obligate the recipient to send a gift, although you may if you choose.
NOTE: You should always receive a thank-you note within three weeks of sending or giving a wedding gift--or any gift relating to any wedding party or festivity.
P.S. Visit Deborah McCoy, AAWP: www.aa-wp.com