From what to wear to wondering if you can bring your kids, navigating the world of weddings can be difficult. But perhaps the most stressful part of being invited to a wedding is deciding what you’re going to get the happy couple. You want to get them something personal yet practical, and luxurious but cost-effective. So what’s a guest to do? While there’s not one simple answer, we’ve outlined 7 of the most common conundrums gift-giving guests come across, and how they’ve persevered.

Wedding Chairs for Bride & Groom

1. You Don’t Have to Stick to The Registry

The registry gives guests a general sense of what the couple is looking for. It’s in no way a mandatory list of required gifts. If you’re close to the couple and want to get them something funny or personal, don’t let a registry deter you from doing so!

2. Forget the “Cover Your Plate” Rule

How much you spend on a gift should depend on your relationship to the person, not how lavish their wedding is. Typically, a good rule of thumb to follow is:

  • Coworkers or Distant Relatives: $50 – $100.
  • Friend or Relative: $100 – $125
  • Close Friend or Close Relative: $150 – $250

3. Double the Gift if You’re Bringing a Date

If the couple was generous enough to grant you a plus-one, you should return their generosity and either give one large gift or two separate gifts. If your guest doesn’t know the bride and groom at all, it’s customary that you cover the cost of both gifts or, at the very least, offer to!

4. Break Away from Traditional Household Items

Times are changing. Nowadays, people are getting married older and are living with each other before they officially tie the knot — meaning they don’t need any more bed sheets or towels. If you’re looking to get something for their home, make it unique to them. Especially now that the happy couple will be sharing the same last name, personalized signs and throws make the perfect addition to any home.

5. You Can Give Less for Destination Weddings

Destination weddings are the gray area of the wedding world. If your loved one is getting married in the Bahamas or Europe, you likely had to fly to the wedding, rent a hotel room, and pay for your meals every day leading up to the ceremony. So breathe a sigh of relief, because your gift to them can be thought of as your attendance. That being said, you should still give the happy couple something. Tokens of affection, like flowers or a romantic spa gift basket, will be greatly welcomed gifts.

6. Don’t Wait a Year to Send Your Gift

Traditional wedding gift etiquette used to say that you had up to one year after the ceremony to send a gift. But with same-day delivery and rush shipping (bless the internet!) couples expect their gifts in a more timely fashion. Plus, you’re more likely to forget to give them anything at all if you wait two months or more.

7. Send Larger and Perishable Gifts Straight to The Couple’s Home

Since guests are starting to split the cost of larger or more lavish gifts, it’s not always necessary that you bring your gift to the wedding. While you may want to show off your gift to the couple in person, they’ll now have to make arrangements to bring your gift home. Instead, have it shipped directly to their house with a beautiful card attached.


Tara Carlson graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Public Relations and loves any and all things creative writing - which is why she is thrilled to be working with Petal Talk. When she's not writing, you can probably find her swimming at the beach, playing soccer, and catching up on the latest movies (she's a big fan of award season)!

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