The etiquette guide to wedding gifting

Posted On By admin

In spite of changing tastes, and OTT extravagance being passed over in favour of a personalised and intimate aesthetic, wedding gifts remain an integral part of nuptial culture. And, whether it’s sugared almonds for guests or bridesmaid ‘proposals’, the newlyweds aren’t the only ones who get in on the fun. However, it opens up a minefield of potential etiquette faux pas for the family and friends of the happy couple; whom do you get a gift for, what do you give, and how?

The most important question is often the first; how much should guests spend on a gift? International luxury wedding planner Kristina Kempton offers her take on the age-old question: “[You should] spend what you feel comfortable with, but [still] a reasonable amount.” Weddings are a pricey affair, for hosts and guests alike, and no one wants to be known as the stingy friend. That being said, an increasingly common request from couples is for ’no gifts’, while in some instances, there may be a request for a donation to a chosen charity. If not, it’s still a nice idea to give something; it’s good manners, after all.

Can I give cash as a wedding gift?

Cash can be an awkward gift. First of all, the couple know exactly how much you think they are worth, and it’s just not very personal. Kempton explains, “If the couple has requested cash, then yes – but gifts are a nicer option.” The only situation where you’ll get a free pass is if it’s a very close family member or friend who you know would get more use out of cash than another pair of champagne flutes.

Do I still give a gift if it’s an expensive destination wedding?

The short answer is yes, but keep in mind that if you’re bringing the gift along to the wedding, it should make sense. After a destination wedding, couples often go on their honeymoon straight from the big event, and the last thing they want is to lug bulky items with them or abandon gifts altogether to avoid overweight luggage charges. “It doesn’t need to be hugely expensive or over the top, but a personal or thoughtful gift for the couple won’t go unnoticed,” says Kempton. A Polaroid camera, for example, could be the perfect gift for the couple to capture happy memories of the honeymoon and beyond.

Should I send a gift if I can’t attend the wedding?

The pushback and cancellation of large events during the pandemic mean the next few years are going to have us in a wedding chokehold and, inevitably, there may be dates you simply can’t make work. Though gifts wouldn’t be expected, sending a card ahead of the wedding would be a lovely gesture to show your appreciation for being invited.

wedding gift table

Are group gifts acceptable?

Yes, if the ‘group’ in question makes sense. You may all have been colleagues from an old job and know there’s that speaker or coffee machine the couple has been lusting after for years. In situations like this, where the individual guests wouldn’t be able to afford the item on their own, it’s absolutely acceptable to pool money together to buy something you know will mean a lot to them.

I’m a bridesmaid/groomsman – do I need to give an extra gift?

If you are a close friend of the bride or groom, it’s safe to assume you know them and their tastes better than almost anyone – so you get a free pass to give a gift to one half of the happy couple. The condition to this deviation is that it should have more meaning than just any generic gift, perhaps “something from your childhood [or] an item to be an heirloom,” says Kempton.

I’m a plus one, do I give a gift?

“A gift from you and your plus one combined is acceptable,” says Kempton. When selecting the gift, however, think carefully about who is best placed to choose. If you’ve both spent significant amounts of time with the newlyweds then by all means offer your input. However, if you’re a new boyfriend/girlfriend being introduced for the first time, best to let your other half make the call.

“It doesn’t need to be hugely expensive or over the top, but a personal or thoughtful gift for the couple won’t go unnoticed.”

Kristina Kempton

Should I bring my gift to the wedding or send it in advance?

As with destination weddings, sending a gift in advance leaves one less thing for the couple to think about. Weddings are overwhelming without also considering the logistics of getting gifts home. Kempton adds, “If they fly straight off on their honeymoon, it means when they return home they can make an occasion of opening all their gifts.”

Do I have to buy something from the wedding registry?

“Not necessarily. The reason people have a registry is to give guests [an idea] of items they actually want or need,” says Kempton. So though it’s helpful if you’re known for giving a pair of socks at Christmas, if you’ve seen something that you know the couple would truly appreciate, well, who doesn’t love a surprise?

So, what are the best wedding gifts to get the happy couple?

Thinking outside the box is always a good idea. Kempton suggests, “For the more adventurous, you could gift them an experience they have always wanted to do.” Or, for something more traditional, “a stunning set of crystal candlestick holders or a bespoke scent.” If the couple is all about sentimentality consider “a gift that could turn into an heirloom; if they have children [or plan to], it can be handed down through generations to come.”

We’ve rounded up our top wedding gift picks below to make the search a little less painful, and all those happy couples even happier.

​​For the hosts with the most

Les Ottomans palm tree candlesticks

£170 each

Buy Now

Emilia Wickstead cocktail napkins


Buy Now

For seasoned travellers

St. Barths Freedom by Vassi Chamberlain


Buy Now

Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Travel Case


Buy Now

For the sentimental couple

Smythson Panama leather Correspondence Case


Buy Now

Polaroid Go Instant Camera


Buy Now

For luxury lovers

Aerin Classic Embossed Leather and Brass Bar Set


Buy Now

Sage Barista Bean-to-Cup coffee machine


Buy Now

For the couple who have everything

Diptyque Tubéreuse Candle


Buy Now

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial Champagne case


Buy Now

Read more: London’s best bridal boutiques

The post The etiquette guide to wedding gifting appeared first on Luxury London.

Lascia un commento