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Wedding Gift Etiquette for the Bride and Groom

April 7, 2015 - wedding

While weddings are becoming less and less traditional, many brides like to follow proper etiquette when it comes to inviting guests, choosing bridesmaids and handling the gift registry. Gifts are an especially delicate subject, since you never want to indirectly “ask” for gifts or seem ungrateful with the gifts you’ve been given.

Here are a few simple rules that can help keep your guests comfortable when it comes to gifts:

Acceptable Gifts – Choosing gifts for your registry can be one of the most exciting things you do; you see something you like, so you scan it and it appears on your wedding day. Sounds fabulous! It’s important, however, to consider your guests when adding gifts to your registry. There is a little-known rule that your gift should be equivalent to the price of one wedding meal, meaning that more lavish weddings require more expensive gifts. While some people understand this rule, others may have never heard of it, or cannot afford such a high-priced gift. Try to include different priced gifts in your registry, so your guests don’t feel obligated to overspend.

Registry Information – It’s a big “no-no” to include your registry information on the invitation itself. It’s considered proper etiquette to let guests know by word of mouth, so you don’t end up looking presumptuous. One idea is to include your registry information on your wedding website or even on your bridal shower invitations.

What About Cash? – One of the biggest taboos when it comes to wedding gifts is to ask for cash, even though many couples could use the money after an expensive wedding. While it’s a hotly debated issue, asking for cash can be done in a tasteful manner. Word of mouth is usually best, since your guests will initiate the conversation, and there are now “cash registries” that help pass your message along, without making guests uncomfortable.

Returning gifts – It’s something no bride and groom want to think of; the possibility that the wedding doesn’t happen. It’s an old-fashioned tradition that if a wedding gets canceled, all of the gifts should be returned to their senders. For this reason it’s important to wait until after the wedding to open and use your gifts. If the gifts have been opened or used and the wedding does get canceled, a simple apology or thank you card is all that’s necessary. There’s no need to reimburse the giver of the gift, since that could lead to an awkward conversation about money, gifts, and even the reason for the cancelled wedding.

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