Times have changed drastically. In the past, getting a wedding gift was so much more than honouring the wedding couple. It was providing them with the essentials to begin their new life.
Crockery, bedding, décor are some of the items that couples really needed. Of course, back then, couples only moved in together after they were married. Today more and more couples live together for years before getting married. All those essential items that appear on the gift registry become redundant because the couple already owns it.
That’s not to say, however, they do not need help building their new life. The nature of what they need has changed. Policies, investments, a college fund for any future children: in other words they need money.
As a guest, this leaves you with a big question. Should you buy a wedding gift or give cold hard cash? In most cases the choice is easy. Couples are very straightforward with what they want. They either have a gift registry or state that they’d prefer money.
If these are not stated, or you are confused about what to get or how much to give, hopefully, these tips will help you decide.
Buying a gift
The most important thing when deciding on a gift is to ensure that is something the couple would like. Take their tastes into account, rather than your own. If you have to get traditional wedding gifts in the bed, bath and beyond category, opt for something different and quirky. If you are especially close to the couple, something personal or handmade could be a great hit, particularly if the couple has all their household items sorted. This will ensure that your gift is unique and memorable.
Budgeting for a gift is important. You don’t want to get something too cheap, but you do not want to break the bank either. Grouping together with friends and family is a good way to get something exceptional and within your budget. If you are invited to various events for the wedding that require gifts, divide your budget for each event. Style Caster recommends using 20% of your budget for an engagement gift, 20% for the bridal shower and 60% for the wedding.
It’s always tricky when dealing with money. You may be uncertain on how much money you should give, or whether it would have been cheaper to simply get a gift. As a general rule, the closer you are to the wedding couple the more you should give. Always work with your budget and give as much as you can afford. The couple should be gracious enough to accept your contribution no matter how big or small it is.
Like with pricey wedding gifts, it’s okay to pool money together to give to the couple. Co-workers, family members, and friends can go in together to give a substantial amount. Consider the expenses of the wedding. If you have already given gifts for other events leading up to the wedding or spent money getting to a destination wedding, you can give a little less money.
Whether you are buying a gift or giving cash, the most important thing to remember is timing. Do not wait too long before giving your gift!