Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, December 19, 2014

For Guests Only – Wedding Gift Suggestions for the Bride and Groom

What do you buy? How much do you give? Should you use the registry? Is cash okay? We thought should look at things from the guest’s perspective. Here are a few tips when buying wedding gifts for the bride and groom:

Your first go-to is the wedding registry. If the bride and groom have a registry you could begin there. Do you have to choose a gift from a registry? No. A registry is for your convenience and you are not limited to what is on the list. It’s there for a reason. This is where the couple is telling you what they really want and need. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a gift within your budget that you’re excited to give.

GuestWedGiftsWhat do you do if the registry is picked through and there is nothing “good” to buy? Or worse yet, what if you can’t afford the remaining items? Read on, we have a few ideas for you…

Cash also works. Contributing cash versus using a traditional wedding registry is a great option that allows you to control the amount spent. This is a highly debated issue, and while some guests have no problem giving cash, whether it’s through an online service or an envelope at the wedding, some still find it a little taboo. It may put your mind at ease to know that many couples prefer cash, and while they may not feel comfortable asking for it, a cash contribution would be much appreciated. In some cultures, this is the norm. It’s expected and preferred by everyone involved. On average the typical cash gift is around $150. Can’t give that? Give what you can afford with and open heart and a while lotta love!

Make what you give meaningful. If you choose to skip past the registry and don’t want to give cash, be sure to ask yourself these questions before purchasing a boxed gift:

• Is it meaningful in some way to the couple?
• Is it a gift you know they really want?
• Is it a gift you know they really need? (According to them, not you!)
• Will they love it?
• Is it meaningful in some way to you?

If you answered yes to 3 out of 5 questions, then you’re on the right track. Another thought. Be sure your gift suits their personalities, and they’ll see it as the thoughtful gift you intended to give.

Second marriages require more thought as to what to give. If it’s the number-two “I do” for the bride, the groom, or both, a second-time couple probably doesn’t need many of the traditional registry items. No one needs two toasters. Since they already have most of the basics, you can have fun buying them cool new gadgets and appliances, season tickets to their favorite sport, tickets to a play, musical, or the ballet, or a dinner cruise. Use your imagination.

Preferably, send the gift to the bride before the wedding or to the couple soon thereafter. Gifts are often brought to the reception and placed on a special table. Contrary to popular belief, you do no have a year to send a gift. Waiting a year after attending a wedding can be considered “rude.” A gift should be sent right away or at least within three months of the wedding.

CashisOkayThough it’s not obligatory, proper etiquette suggests it’s a nice gesture to send a gift and a note even if you can’t attend the wedding, particularly if you know the couple well.

When wedding guests ask, “Where are you registered?” direct them to a honeymoon travel registry. A honeymoon registry is a trendy alternative to a traditional wedding registry and allows your guests to help you to achieve your dream honeymoon vacation by purchasing pieces of the trip as a wedding gift. It is a relatively new and exciting concept that began in the 1990s as an additional service. Check out: Travelers Joy Honeymoon Registry.

Whatever you decide to give the couple, don’t stress over it too much because in the end, it’s the thought that counts

What do you do if you haven’t received a thank you note from the bride? Awkward! It is certainly okay to call and ask the couple if they received your gift. If you find this too awkward and the gift was sent from a store, you can call the store and have it traced. Just as a gift should be sent right away or within three months of a wedding, a thank you note from the bride and groom should also be written right away or, at the very least, within three months of receiving a gift.

One tip for the bride:

1. It is NEVER okay to include any mention of gifts with your invitation. It comes across like you’re expecting a gift.

BONUS Articles: Tips to Save Money as a Wedding Guest
How to Tell Guests Where Are You Registered

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

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