20-40-60 Etiquette: Wedding gift should fit your budget, from the heart
QUESTION: Do you have any ideas for a wedding gift? Is money appropriate? Do I need to spend a certain amount? Do I have to order from the registry that the couple provides?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: Ordering from the registry takes the stress out. These are items the bride and groom have specifically picked out. Also, you can pick out whatever is in your price range. That being said, a nice card with money, no one would say no to that!
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: First, spend what’s in your budget. You don’t have to spend any amount that you’re not comfortable with. If you go to the wedding, you should send/bring some sort of gift. A registry is an easy way to give if your city has one of their registry stores and because you know the couple will like the gift because they picked it out. It is even better if they picked out a wide selection of prices for their items instead of just picking out expensive gifts, so brides and grooms, take note. However, a registry doesn’t allow for the fun and meaningful surprise gifts that they might not have thought of. Some of my favorite wedding gifts years ago were the ones not from my registry, but they were ones that people gave from the heart. But I also loved the registry gifts that people gave me that they knew I needed for our home. So it is up to you — give according to your budget, according to how well you know the couple and according to what works. And yes, a card and money for the couple to spend as needed is also a welcome gift.
HELEN’S ANSWER: Let your friendship with the couple and your budget dictate your choices for a wedding gift. If you have an idea of something the couple would really like, then get that for them. If you think they would appreciate money, then send them a check. You can either order from the registry, according to your budget, or check the registry out for ideas of what they like. It is always fun to pick something special out for them and then see it displayed in their home.
GUEST’S ANSWER: Linda Miller, fashion writer and author of Fashion Matters Blog: You’re probably not the only one stumped when it comes to buying wedding gifts. Many couples actually prefer cash these days, and etiquette experts say it’s perfectly acceptable.
Honeymoon and cash registries are becoming as common as bridal registries. And no, you don’t have to buy from any kind of registry. But checking out a bridal registry may give you some ideas of what the couple likes. Let your budget and relationship with them be your guide when deciding how much to spend.
As far as wedding gift ideas, I’ve been known to wrap up a beautiful vase when buying for someone who loves flowers.
Callie Athey is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is 40-plus, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email email@example.com.