As the wedding season ramps up, it is time to dust off the guidelines on gift giving for weddings.
We are frequently asked about when is a gift a must and when it is a maybe?
Here are some simple "rules".
SHOWERS: If one is invited to a bridal shower and plans to attend - yes, a gift is in order. Usually, a shower gift is smaller and more personal than the gift given at the wedding. If one does not plan to attend, a gift is not required nor expected. However, depending on one's relationship to the bride -to-be, a small gift of remembrance may be sent to the bride in care of the hostess of the shower or via another guest who will be attending.
WEDDINGS: If one is invited to the wedding and plans to attend, yes - a gift is expected. But if one is invited but cannot attend, the giving of a gift is optional. We say "optional" because the norms around this are changing and even vary by geographic region. Traditionally, if one was invited to a wedding but could not attend, a gift was not necessarily expected. If the guest was close to the couple, a gift was usually sent anyway. However, today's expectations are changing and guests may decide to gift anyway. If the bride or groom are close friends or relatives, a gift is sent. If you are only casual friends, a gift may be sent. Emily Post experts now state, "You traditionally respond to a wedding invitation with a gift whether or not you are able to attend...". Some guests may give a group gift which is a good way for casual friends to participate.
For more questions about gift giving, see our experienced consultants for assistance.