Five Wedding Gift Etiquette Rules Guests Should Always Follow (2023)

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You’re excited about a wedding invitation you received in the mail. Accepting the invitation means being faced with the question of an appropriate gift, but you have no idea what to give. Traditional wedding etiquette indicates a gift is not mandatory but is highly encouraged. Weddings are milestones deserving of celebration.

You want to honor the couple on their big day. With so many options, narrowing down the choices can be a little overwhelming. This article explains wedding gift etiquette rules guests should follow to buy a gift a couple would love confidently.

Consider them as you look for the ideal gift. It breaks down everything you need to know about wedding gift rules etiquette. By adhering to the tried-and-true rules, you’ll find the perfect gift for the newlyweds without making an accidental faux pas.

1. Use the Registry

Gift Registry


Rule number one is, use the couple’s registry. Most guests appreciate all the help they are offered. That’s the reason to take advantage of the wedding registry. Browsing the internet for a wedding gift can be overwhelming, especially if you’re uncertain about what they want.

There are great wedding suggestions available, but every couple has different preferences and needs. Check their registry as your first step in choosing a gift. The couple spent time selecting what they wanted or needed. Their list likely contains many wedding gift ideas in various price ranges that give you some flexibility in choosing something they’ll love.

If you shop off-registry, you take the chance of getting the couple something they have, don’t need, or have no space for it. Save some of the stress of shopping by using the resources available to you. You can use the registry for engagement gifts, bridal shower gifts, and bachelor and bachelorette party gifts.

2. Wedding Shower Gift Etiquette Rules

Wedding Shower Gift Etiquette Rules


The history of bridal showers dates back when a young Dutch girl’s father refused to pay a dowry to a poor miller. Villagers gave the couple goods and gifts they needed to set up a household. Today, some couples have accumulated the needed items, but the tradition continues.

The intent is to help the bride feel special, take a break from planning the wedding, and enjoy the company of female family members and friends. The wedding shower gift etiquette rules constantly change. It can be challenging to know what is appropriate. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Who should host the bridal shower?

In the past, the bride’s family didn’t host the party. It is acceptable for anyone to host a shower today. The bride may have some ideas or requests for a shower. It’s a wise idea to discuss her wishes before throwing a party.

Who should be invited?

Every female on the guest list doesn’t have to be invited to a shower. It should be a celebration with close friends and family. Anyone asked to the shower is expected to be invited to the wedding. Consult the bride about her guest list.

Does the hostess give a gift?

Gifts are typically expected from everyone at the shower, including the host. Co-hosting a shower with all the bridesmaids helps to share the financial responsibility. You can also save money by coordinating a major gift purchase or buy a small, meaningful gift.

What’s the difference between a shower and a wedding gift?

Even if you buy a shower gift, a wedding gift is still expected. Shower gifts are usually smaller. There’s no set amount for either gift.

What kinds of gifts are appropriate?

Purchasing something from the bridal registry guarantees the gift is something the bride will use. It is acceptable to buy a gift you have in mind that suits the couple. Items for the home are traditionally appropriate gifts. They don’t have to be only for women.

3. Give a Wedding Gift of Cash

Give a Wedding Gift of Cash


Some couples set up honeymoon or cash funds that allow you to contribute toward something special. Most to-be-weds appreciate gifts of money. It provides extra cash on hand. Donating to a cash fund is a little more personal than a new duvet set or pots and pans.

Cash gifts don’t require going to a store to purchase or wrapping it. The couple doesn’t have to worry about returning it. They can use it for purchases or expenses for their new home. It is both a practical and helpful gift to give to a couple starting their new life together.

There are no wedding gift etiquette cash guidelines. It can be $50 or more than $500. The cash amounts tend to be more for a relative or close friend than neighbors, coworkers, or acquaintances. Consider your financial situation. Don’t feel obligated to give a gift of more than you can comfortably afford.

4. Check the Wedding Website for Clues


Along with the registry, you may find clues on the couple’s wedding website. The couple’s wedding website is a helpful resource to use. It contains RSVP information and may include information about their registry.

The site is a hub for wedding details, such as the date, location, time, transportation logistics, and dress code. Some couples share stories about their relationship that can spark gift ideas. If the first date was at an Italian restaurant, consider giving them a gift card to their favorite eating establishment or a pasta maker.

What you find on their website gives you insight into what they like. Guests are encouraged to look at it. The link to the website may be included in the invitation but isn’t the only way to find their site. There are websites available to help with the search, like Zola or The Knot.

5. Destination Wedding Gift Etiquette

destination wedding


Destination weddings are among the most fun and most expensive. Airplane tickets and hotel rooms add up quickly, particularly when the wedding is at a luxury venue or a remote location. Because of the money put out, some people are inclined to skip a gift.

It is customary to give a gift when receiving any wedding invitation. You may choose to send a less expensive gift than what you might spend on a non-destination wedding as a token of good wishes. Knowing a destination wedding causes guests to spend more than usual, the couple may request no gifts from guests.

That request doesn’t mean gifts are not accepted. It provides the option to decide whether to give a gift. Don’t take a gift with you. Buy it in advance and send it to the wedding to arrive before you depart or after the couple returns home.


How much should I spend on a wedding gift?

The amount you spend on a wedding gift is a personal choice and can depend on your relationship with the couple, your budget, and the couple’s registry. A general guideline is to spend what you can comfortably afford, whether it’s $50, $100, or more. The important thing is that the gift comes from the heart and shows the couple that you’re happy for them and support their marriage.

What’s a good wedding gift?

A good wedding gift is one that the couple will appreciate and find useful in their married life. A safe bet is to choose something from the couple’s registry, but you can also consider personalizing a gift or giving something that holds sentimental value. A thoughtful and practical present such as kitchen appliances, bedding, or home décor can be a great choice.

Can I give money as a wedding gift?

Yes, giving money as a wedding gift is perfectly acceptable. It allows the couple to put the funds towards something they really need or want, such as a down payment on a home or a special honeymoon. Just be sure to present the gift in a thoughtful way, such as placing it in a card or a decorative envelope.


Etiquette is involved in nearly every aspect of a wedding, including gift-giving. In the modern age, wedding gift etiquette has changed. At one time, gifts were meant to help a couple create a home. Most couples of today already live together or are combining two functional households.

Wedding registries are a wish-list of luxury items or may include the options of contributing toward the honeymoon or donating to a charity in the couple’s honor. Consider these wedding gift etiquette rules as you look for the ideal present. When you consider your budget and the couple’s registry, you’ll find a gift that makes their day special.