The Gift Etiquette Guide for Wedding Guests

by | Oct 11, 2017 | Blog

It’s always joyful news when a family member, close friend, or coworker gets married and you find yourself honored with an invitation. This is a busy time for everyone involved as the couple plans their wedding and every guest is faced with crucial decisions like what to wear, who to bring with them and, of course, what to gift. It’s not uncommon to stress about this final choice and many people find themselves wondering exactly what the gift giving etiquette is. No one wants to be the odd one out having given too much, too little, or completely miss on guessing the couple’s tastes. Whether you’ve been recently invited to a wedding or are simply curious today about how to be a proper wedding guest, have no fear! As a professional wedding band Melbourne, Lily Road has seen it all and we have all the eitquette answers right here. Have a read The Gift Etiquette Guide for Wedding Guests



How Much to Give or Spend

The first question on every worried wedding guest’s mind is how much the are expected to spend on a wedding gift. This amount should be roughly based on how much you can afford and how close you are to the bride or groom. More distant connections like coworkers or second cousins are expected to spend a little less than immediate family and close personal friends.

•   Coworkers, Casual Friends, and Distant Relatives: $50 – $100

•   Friends and Relatives: $75 – 125

•   Close Relatives and Best Friends: $100 – $150


Gifts for Multiple Wedding Events

If you have been invited to multiple wedding events like an engagement party and a wedding shower in addition to the wedding, slightly up your gift total and then split your expected spending between these events. For instance, a close relative might plan to spend $200 resulting in

•   20% for the Engagement Party: $20 gift

•   20% for the Wedding Shower: $20 gift

•   %60 for the Wedding: $160 gift


Knowing What to Give and How to Get Creative

Most couples register their wedding wish-lists, known as Registries, on popular wedding websites like The Knot as well as with the department stores they’d appreciate items from. The vast majority of couples make these lists for a reason and are very grateful to see their wished for items appearing as wedding gifts before, during, and after their wedding.


If you do get creative, we recommend you stick to items that will improve their married lifestyle like a lovely bedding set or a home spa kit. It’s also more than acceptable to skip the shopping and simply gift a check in a lovely labeled envelope.


The 3 Months Rule

The old adage is that it’s alright to send a gift up to a year after the wedding, but with modern shipping times, this is no longer a reasonable standard. Because it is now so easy to get an item shipped anywhere in only a few days, gifts are expected to arrive within 3 months of the wedding. However, this is also 3 months in either direction, so you can send your gift early if you’re afraid you will forget or that it will take ages to arrive.


When to Present a Gift

A wedding is a busy, exciting time. The last thing bride or groom needs is to juggle boxes and envelopes while they’re dancing to the wedding entertainment or coordinating with the wedding singer for their best rendition of ‘Hotel California’. Instead, you can either leave it on the gift table, with a trusted member of the wedding party, or mail it directly to the couple’s home to save everyone the hassle of gift transportation.


Gifts from a ‘Plus One’

If you have been invited to a wedding as a guests’ date or another form of ‘plus one’, it’s definitely customary to bring or send a gift. You can also work with the person who invited you to give a joint gift of a slightly higher price.


Big Group Gifts

If a couple has a few large-ticket items on their list like full-sized appliances, they will usually be surprised and incredibly appreciative to actually receive them. The best way to provide this special gift is by going in with a group, like working with other coworkers, and pooling your wedding gift budgets to achieve the total price.


Whether you’re in the wedding party or came as the date of a coworker, using the correct wedding gift etiquette is a great way to show how happy you are for the marrying couple. Once that’s taken care of you are free to eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy the reception.

Lily Road is one of Australia’s best wedding bands with the best wedding singers Sydney and Melbourne. Check out their videos page! For more information please contact

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