Posted by on December 7, 2010
A wedding is a special event, not just for the bride and groom, but also for the people attending the wedding. An invitation to a wedding can be a symbol that the bride and groom consider you to be close friends of the family. There are important rules of etiquette that apply to the wedding, from ways to respond to the invitation to guidelines for purchasing wedding gifts.
Although the emphasis on the wedding is the love and commitment the new couple shows, it is important to follow wedding gift guidelines so that you are not perceived as being rude.
One of the key things with wedding gift guidelines is to know when it is appropriate to give a gift and when it is not. If you receive an invitation to the wedding, you should absolutely purchase a gift if you attend. Often it is also a good idea to send a gift even if you cannot attend the wedding. The only situation where it is polite to not send a gift is if you have been out of touch with the couple for several years.
There are events related to the wedding that have gift guidelines as well. For instance, if you receive an announcement of the wedding after the fact, you should not feel obligated to send a gift. A congratulatory card will suffice in this case.
If you are invited to the engagement party, you should not feel obligated to bring a gift then, since there will be a time at the wedding for giving gifts. However, if you are invited to the wedding shower, it is polite to bring a gift. However, in this case if you do not attend, you do not have to purchase a gift.
A tricky area in wedding gift guidelines is knowing what you should purchase for the new couple. Though some will try to convince you that there are formulas to follow, there are no real formulas. The only thing that should determine the gift that you give the new couple is how close you feel to them, as well as your own budget. Of course, with the advent of wedding registries, it’s easy to pick out a gift, but if you are more comfortable picking out a gift without consulting the bridal registry, feel free to do so.
If you do purchase a gift, the final lesson in wedding gift guidelines is when and where to give the gift.
Wedding gifts may be given as soon as the marriage is announced. You can send the gifts to the bride’s home if you send it prior to the wedding itself.
It is also be permissible, and probably most customary, to bring the gift to the reception.
If you give your gift after the wedding, the custom is to send it to the new couple’s home.
Beyond this, there are no hard and fast rules with wedding gift guidelines. Don’t let the responsibility of purchasing a wedding gift detract from the true purpose of the day, which is celebrating the love that the new couple have each other.