If you’re invited to a wedding, and it is the first time you’ve had to fend for yourself in the present section — we feel your pain. Hopefully, the few have provided you with some advice on what they might expect to get, and just in case, here is some guidance on what things to do with presents. One person who has seen a wedding gift or two is Somerset Wedding Photographer Clayton Jane Photography who has shot at hundreds of weddings across the UK, Clayton has very kindly offered his input and we hope you like what he has to say.
While couples usually won’t explicitly request a gift when they send out invitations, it’s supposed guests will bring a little something together on the big day.
The only time you do not have to give a gift to the couple is in case you were invited to the wedding, and you can’t attend. Having said that, if it’s a close friend or not-too-distant comparative, it may be great to send something little to them anyhow — you can be the judge on this one based on the way you are feeling.
Plenty of couples will host an engagement party or a bachelorette or bachelor party to celebrate the countdown to their big day, and you may give a gift at one or both of these events.
Yes, it appears somewhat full-on, but there are a few simple formulas you can use, so you aren’t forking out for an expensive present every time.
It’s ideal, to begin with, the total amount you can afford to spend on gifts for each one these events, and you can work back from there. We recommend allocating around twenty percent to the engagement party, twenty percent to the bachelor or bachelorette party, and then use the remaining sixty percent for their wedding present.
Some organised attendants may arrange a group gift at a bachelorette or bachelor party, or others may just ask for you to pitch in and pay for an activity of some kind. Anything you’ve left over from your allocated twenty percent, you can then increase the wedding gift fund.
Everybody has a different thought about how much is an ‘acceptable’ amount to spend on wedding presents, but in all honesty, there’s no hard and fast rule, so we advise that you should spend what you’re able to.
You don’t need to go overboard to attempt and get the ‘wow’ factor from the couple and pay for it for months afterwards. Be sensible and buy within your means.
Of course we do think that it’s important that you should know that there’s a myth saying “you should spend the same amount on a present that the couple would spend on you to attend their wedding” – we think that’s a little bit crazy because it isn’t some tit-for-tat situation where you’re trading together.
You might prefer to take your relationship with the couple into consideration also. You might spend slightly more on a best friend or sibling than you would a co-worker or distant cousin.
Unfortunately, you may have heard the myth which floats around which says you can give the newlyweds their wedding present up to a year after they’re wed. It’s total garbage!
We advise sending your wedding present to the happy couple either before their big day, or simply bring it with you and place it on a table at the wedding reception.
While you might be forgiven for being somewhat late –say if you ordered something and it didn’t arrive in time – you’d only create resentment from the newlyweds if you didn’t produce even a small gift to mark their wedding day.
Although some couples will leave presents open to interpretation, others are going to set up a gift registry to provide their guests with some guidance on the things they may need or want to have.
Nowadays, registries can be anything from homewares to leisure equipment, holidays, and even pooling together for large-ticket items like art or a home deposit.
There’s no limit, and a lot of engaged couples are often advised to incorporate items from various prices so that everybody can buy something that they can afford.
The rule here is if they’ve taken the opportunity to gather a gift registry, you should order from it. We think that it’s best for guests to get in as early as possible so that they can acquire something which is in their price range.
If you’ve waited too long and missed the boat, you can join forces with other guests to get a more expensive item and split the costs.
If funds are incredibly tight, or you have a creative talent, you can make something for the couple.
It will feel more personal, and they’ll know it’s a one-off item that nobody else will have.
You may be comforted when a poem accompanies your invitation asking for money. But then you’ve got a potential new problem in the form of “how much money are you supposed you give?”
We touched on this a little earlier, in that this amount should be directed by both your budget and your relationship to the couple.
If you’re heading off to an exciting destination wedding, you are already forking out for flights, accommodation, and other expenses related to travel, and odds are the couple won’t expect lavish gifts because of that.
While your presence is believed to be present enough, it would be wonderful to give even a little gift to the couple on the day. You might decide to think outside the box and spring for an experience they can enjoy at the destination — like a couple’s massage or a dinner for two.