Ask Belle: Wedding Gifts
Jun 4, 2013
You have posted some amazing things about what to wear to weddings, but for a girl who is not in the wedding party but is invited (and attending) the bridal shower, a bachelorette in NYC AND a wedding in Italy… I need some advice on gifts. I do not want to show up empty handed but between purchasing a new dress and train/plane tickets I am running low on cash for this event! What is the appropriate time/amount to bring/send a gift?? There is no way I can do gifts for all three events.
If you’re feeling a bit strapped for cash by wedding travel, I have good news for you. Etiquette dictates that you have three months from the day of the wedding to send a gift to the couple. (Some people say one year, but Emily Post says three months.)
I always wait to send wedding gifts for at least a few weeks after the big day. I do this for two reasons: 1) I usually travel to weddings and hate packing a gift, and 2) it results in a better gift.
Waiting to buy a gift allows you to get the couple a gift that they didn’t realize they needed. A few years ago, some friends moved into their new apartment the month after their wedding and discovered that the street noise kept them up at night. So I bought them a nice white noise machine to help them get a good night’s sleep.
Another good gift is a date night. After couples get married, they are often strapped for cash by wedding and moving and combining two lives, so they stop going on dates. How about a restaurant gift card or tickets to a concert? Both are better than a set of napkin rings.
Let the aunties and uncles buy the blenders and the throw pillows, you can buy them a memorable date night or a gift they really want. Just make sure that you write them a nice, heartfelt card expressing how glad you are to spend their big day celebrating with them and follow up with the gift within the three month window. So don’t stress about paying for or transporting a gift right now, you have 90 days to get something the couple’s door.