Do I Have to Buy a Wedding Gift?

Buying a Wedding Gift Isn't as Daunting as It Seems

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Upon receiving an invitation to a wedding, you may have come across mention of a gift registry and wondered what you were going to get as a wedding gift, let alone if it is optional.

Are Wedding Gifts Required?

It is possible that you are broke, unable to attend, going to a destination wedding or perhaps are even in the wedding party itself. While it is customary for guests to give wedding gifts to the bride and groom, people tend to fall into the trap of believing that these gifts are in exchange for their invitation.

The truth is that a wedding invitation is completely separate from a wedding gift. In fact, a wedding gift is a token of your affection for the happy new couple—nothing more and nothing less. Usually, wedding gifts are sent as soon as the invitation is received, rather than brought to the wedding. Even if you have already given a shower present or engagement gift, traditionally it is a good practice to give a wedding gift as well.

The Gift Etiquette for Second Weddings

Some wedding guests may feel that for a second wedding, a gift is not necessary. These guests may be indulged to simply bring a card instead, particularly if they have already given a wedding gift for the first wedding. This choice is left to the discretion of the wedding guest. Depending on the relationship you have with the couple and your care for their new marriage, however, it is always recommended to perform the nice gesture of giving them something for their new life together.

What to Buy for a Wedding Gift

Physical gifts are the most traditional and formal for weddings. Typically, the bride and groom will send wedding invitations with information to their wedding website and reception details which often includes gift registry. Taking a look at the couple's gift registry will give you some ideas of what they are looking for, which may include household, sentimental or small gifts.

Outside of physical gifts, it is also deemed appropriate to give the gift of money or make a donation to a charity in the couple's names.

Are Gifts Common for Destination Weddings or If You're in the Wedding?

The short answer is yes, even if you are in the wedding party or going to a destination wedding, it is a common formality to give the bride and groom a wedding present. These particular exceptions do not change how you feel about the couple or the journey they are about to take together. The gift is a personal decision that depends on your relationship to the bride and the groom and your feelings for their new marriage. Determining how much to spend on a wedding gift is also up to personal discretion, however, typically couples understand that budgets vary. Because of this, the gift registry is a great place to look at the type of gifts the couple is looking for to fit your budget and their needs.