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How to Choose a Wedding Gift

Updated on September 7, 2011

How to decide

You have been invited to a wedding. You immediately consider two things, one, what do I wear? And two, what will I give?

If you are invited to the ceremony and/or reception and are not able to go you should still send a gift, if you are going then a gift is a must.

The traditional process is to send a gift to the bride in advance of the wedding. In some cases, gifts are brought to the reception and placed on a special table. Either way you need a gift.

There may be a third consideration for than anyone who is single, do you take a date and if so who? But that is a whole other hub.

Back to the gift; what you will give depends upon your relationship to the bride and groom and depends upon who the bride and groom are.

If the bride or groom is a beloved sibling you are better placed to know what would be appropriate and what they want.

If the bride or groom are a distant cousin then that can be a bit tricky. You, if you have not already been informed, may want to know if the couple is registered with a bridal registry. The registry will have a list of gifts the couple favour and you can pick from the list.

If they are not registered, then it might be time to get to know the happy duo a bit better. Ask another family member who is going to the wedding for some information about the two.

What do they like; what interests do they have?

The only rule I have about gifts of any kind including wedding gifts is do not go into debt to buy it. Often the invitation comes far enough in advance so you can save some money for the gift, buy what you can afford.

Now coming back to your relationship with the happy couple, the closer you are to them the more expensive your gift may be or rather than letting money set the gift, the more relevant to who they are the gift can be.

If they are tree huggers, you may want to plant or dedicate a tree to them.

You can make or buy a card if the organization does not provide one that informs the couple about your gift.

If the married couple are older they are likely to have accumulated a number of items over the years either through a previous marriage or other relationship or living on their own. They may prefer that you make a donation to a favoured charity. Do not worry, if this is the case, they will tell you. Honour their request.

If the couple are young and just starting out and you have some skills such as flower arranging you may want to offer your skills as a gift. You could make a bouquet or bouquets for example, or perhaps you are a hobby photographer, and can create a digital memory of their special day.

I am not fond of household appliances as gifts unless we are talking washers and dryers, stoves and refrigerators, forget the four slice toaster and the grill.

Personally, and for some, this is too common, I like cash. I can do what I want with it and given the cost of weddings some extra money can be very useful.

For my wife’s nephew who recently got married a group of us got together and bought him a piano, he had recently moved and loves to play but could not afford one and his bride-to-be loved the idea.

No matter what you decide to give the gift should match your budget and your relationship to the people who are getting married.


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