Wedding Gift Etiquette – 6 Tips For Choosing The Best Gift

Updated on 29 August 2017
With wedding season in full swing, it can be difficult knowing what to give to the couple and what the appropriate wedding gift etiquette is. We’ve come up with 6 tips for how to choose the ideal wedding gift, which we hope that you’ll find helpful.

Wedding Gift Etiquette – how can I make a registry wedding gift more personal?

Make the message on the accompanying card as personal as possible, whether with a romantic quotation or a reference to the item and how the couple can use it together. For example, “we hope that these champagne flutes will toast to many happy moments spent together”. If you know the future bride well, and she’s looking for tips on how to set up her gift registry, then she might find this article helpful. You could also add a personal touch by giving them a photo frame, including a photo of the couple with your gift.

vera-wang-wedgwood-photo-frameDo I have to choose from the wedding registry?

If you’re not keen on choosing from the wedding registry, I’d suggest having a look at it anyway to get an idea of their personal taste. Ask their family or close friends for pointers, to ensure that you choose thoughtful wedding gifts that both of the couple like. The new trend for asking for cash instead of presents makes some guests feel awkward, so don’t feel like you have to go along with it. Instead, consider giving them a personalized item like a needlepoint embroidery of their wedding invitation or a personalized Jeroboam of champagne, and pairing it with a small item from the gift registry, such as napkin rings.

How much should I spend on the ideal wedding gift?

The old guideline used to be that you should at least cover the approximate cost of the bridal dinner but these days things are more flexible and it’s a matter of personal taste and budget. It also depends on how close you are to the couple.


How can I contribute to a more expensive gift on the list?

Consider clubbing together with other friends or family to contribute to luxury wedding gifts such as a tableware set. Alternatively, you can just buy part of the item such as cups and saucers rather than the whole set.

What if the couple have requested no gifts?

They might appreciate a charity donation on their behalf or you offering your time to help them prepare the wedding. An alternative would be an album filled with photos and mementos of the wedding, or arrange a picnic for them and drink to their good health!

When should I send the gift?

It’s usual to give the gift beforehand or on the day. If you’re bringing your gift to the ceremony, do check whether there will be a secure place to leave it – I know of one occasion where cash donations were stolen! If sending the gift after the wedding, try to do so immediately afterwards.

Of course, the most important thing is the wedding itself but I hope that you’ve found these tips on wedding gift etiquette and how to choose an appropriate wedding gift helpful. Do you have any that you’d like to add?

Wedding Gift Etiquette - Tips for Choosing the Best Gift

  • Michelle

    Great post. The couple of weddings we’ve been to recently, the couples have asked for monetary donations to their honeymoons. xx

  • Such a great post! I think chipping in for a more expensive present is a great idea, that way the couple gets
    something really special

    Rachel xxx

    The Daily

    • I like that idea too, and I’ve done it a few times for friends’ weddings and leaving gifts

  • Mr S and I have the Vera Wang glasses in the first picture, we often use them to toast special occasions 🙂

  • Most of my married friends don’t have a wedding registry, being Asian it’s customary to give ‘hong bao’: red packets of money to help the newlyweds ‘on their way’. That said I ordered a bottle of my best friend’s favourite champagne and had it personalised with the bride and groom’s initials to add a little extra sparkle (bubble?) to the accompanying traditional hong bao. It’s been three years, and that champagne is still sitting in the fridge…x

    Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • Are they not big drinkers then? I’d go round and offer to drink it with them ;-). Very interesting about hong bao

  • ooh thank you so much! I am invited next weekend to the 60s wedding anniversary of my boyfriends grandparents and of course I am still having no clue what to give them as a present. But I think the idea of a nice photo album is amazing!!

    Xx, Fanny


    • I’m sure that they will love the photo album idea Fannael – have a lovely time and thanks for stopping by

  • Such good tips here – I had no idea that it was customary to cover the cost of the bridal dinner! Those vera wang glasses are adorable, I wouldn’t mind a pair myself!

    Erin xx

  • Ooh great tips especially now it’s wedding season! I’m nearly always stuck for ideas!

  • Wedding gifts are always a minefield of trouble 😉

    • They certainly can be, Frankie when the couple doesn’t consider their guests at all, it’s sad

  • I really like your tip on giving personalised items as wedding gifts – what a lovely idea! I’ve actually got a wedding to attend this very weekend and at this point with no present in tow; I’ll keep this in mind 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Lancome and Elizabeth Arden Beauty Giveaway! |x

  • Darn it, I could have used this post a week ago 😀 I’ll just have to bookmark it for the next wedding!

  • Good tips. I admire the idea of having personalized gifts and looking at the wedding registry to get a sense of the couple’s style. I don’t always like purchasing directly from the registry, but I think it’s a good insight into what the couple likes and might need.

  • How wonderful, and I wish I had known about this Vera Wang partnership earlier in the year, as I had three weddings to attend and help with. But, only one more to go. I love Wedgwood, such a classic brand. A few friends and I did chip in together for a wedding gift one year for a mate. It was the perfect thing since all of us lived in different areas. Great post Suze. xx/Madison

    • I hope you have fun at the wedding, Madison. I agree that it’s nice to all chip in for a present

  • I’m a massive fan of Vera Wang – had no idea she had launched wedding gifts via Wedgwood.I do love those champagne flutes!

  • These all look so fancy! I love Vera Wang

  • These tips are so cute. I never know what to gift on a wedding, so I usually go for cash.

    Sun and Sany – Bulgarian travel and leisure blog

  • Alfredo Ciano

    Wedding Ideal Gift ? A Serious Choice…

  • We had some of the Vera Wang for Wedgewood china on our wedding gift list – I absolutely love it….though I think it is probably always going to sit safely in the cupboard waiting for the Queen! 😀

    • I hope that you do get to use it, Shikha! It’s my father in law who uses the best china every day with his partner, who helped me to realize that we need to enjoy things while we can

  • Choosing the wedding gift is one of the hardest things to do, well I always struggle and I don’t know what to get, if they don’t create a gift registry. Personalised items can make a good gift!

    Ela BellaWorld

    • Personally, I prefer a wedding registry or a personalized gift as opposed to cash, just seems more elegant

  • The problem that I have with some brides and grooms is that they get so freaking upset when someone buys something that is not up to their requirement aka not expensive enough for them. It didn’t happen to me but I had a friend who was so upset because her gift was returned to her because it was deemed unsuitable to the bride and groom’s standard. She was not rich and the gift was all she could really afford, what happened to its the thought that matters? I know such incident are rare and few but it does exists. 🙁

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Wow that’s terrible! It must have been very upsetting for your friend and I’m guessing, the end of their friendship

  • Really useful guide! I love the Vera Wang for Wedgewood range, they have such an eclectic gifting range – I found a really beautiful set of photo frames for my best friend’s birthday a couple of years ago but wish I’d known about the engraving option! x

    • Engraving is such a lovely idea, isn’t it! I think it works particularly well on a photo frame

  • I just love Vera Wang, we actually received one of their beautiful photo frames for our wedding. Very elegant. Thanks for this Suze, would be useful for my friend’s wedding in August. 🙂 x

  • Vera Wang is my go-to brand for weddings! The range is exquisite!!!

  • Great tips! I would encourage all gifts to be sent BEFORE the wedding though, because having to worry about hauling gifts around after the reception (especially if they are bulky) is a bummer!

  • Vera Wang seems to be a popular choice on wedding gift lists I’ve seen, a friend of mine mainly had the brand as her number one choice, but I actually decided to go for something different for her which she loved.

    I have noticed the point below about sending gifts before the wedding, very wise thinking!

    Great post Suze.

    Laura xo