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Frequently Asked Etiquette Questions

How much should the average person spend on a wedding gift, bridal shower gift or baby gift?

The amount you spend is dependent upon your budget and your relationship with the wedding couple or parents-to-be. Here are some averages or general guidelines.

Wedding gifts:
Young person with limited budget – $50
Not a close friend or a distant relative – $50 – $100
Close friend or relative $100 – $200, more in urban areas

Bridal Shower gift:
Less than the wedding gift — $30 to $75

Baby Shower gift:
On average – $30 to $50
Family member baby shower gift — $50 to $100

What people spend can vary greatly by region. You can use the above as a guideline, but customs in your family or area may be higher or lower.

You can also find tips and information related to gift giving for weddings, bridal and baby showers, graduations, and more on RegistryFinder.com’s give it blog.

If you can’t attend a wedding, do you still send a gift? Do the same rules apply for a bridal shower?

If you receive a wedding invitation, you should send a gift, whether or not you can attend. However, the same rule does not apply to a bridal shower. If you cannot attend a shower, it is not necessary to send a gift. Sometimes, a very close friend of the bride that cannot attend will send a gift so her presence is felt.

If it’s a destination wedding, do you still need to buy a gift – despite already paying for travel and accommodations?

Yes, the rules are the same for a destination wedding. If you receive a wedding invitation, you should to send a gift, whether it’s a destination or local wedding.

Are you required to bring a gift to an engagement party?

No, not usually. Engagement gifts are not obligatory or expected in most parts of the country. An engagement party is usually given by the parents of the couple and is not usually a gift-giving occasion. However, in some regions and cultures most guests that are invited to an engagement party do bring gifts. If you wish to bring a gift it should not be elaborate, but something simple such as a cookbook or a good bottle of wine or champagne.

Is it acceptable to register for gifts if it’s your second or third wedding?

Yes, it is fine to register for a second or third wedding if you are comfortable doing this, although some couples are not. After all, your guests will want to buy you gifts. Make it easier for them by registering for things you want or need.

What are the rules for late wedding gifts? How long do you have after the wedding to send a gift?

Ideally, a wedding gift should be sent before the wedding. If not, it should be sent as soon as possible after the wedding, preferably within three months.

Can guests be invited to the bridal shower and not the wedding?

No, the bridal shower should be a gathering of those closest to the bride, because by nature it is a gift-giving event. If someone is close enough to be invited to the shower, they should be invited to the wedding.

There is one exception to this rule. If your co-workers decide to give you a workplace shower, with the entire office invited, you are not expected to invite everyone in your office to your wedding.

Is it okay to give a gift card?

Yes, a gift card is the same as giving cash. Just make sure it is a store or activity you know they prefer, such as one where they have created a gift registry.

Is it necessary to send a thank you note if you say, “thank you” in person?

It depends on the circumstance. A handwritten thank you is always appropriate even if you have said thank-you in person, but not always required. It is always required for wedding gifts and shower gifts, but not for birthday or holiday gifts. It is also necessary to send a thank you note for all occasions if you have not thanked the gift-giver in person.