As traditions vary across cultures and locations, there are plenty of questions from wedding guests about what to gift a couple and when to send it. Here are a few of the most common questions we've heard, plus some of our best etiquette advice. Now go ahead and gift with confidence.
How late is too late to send a wedding gift?
Some schools of thought offer that you have up to a year following the wedding to send a gift to the couple. However, most couples will admit that receiving the gift prior to the wedding or within three months of the wedding is most common and most convenient for them.
Should I bring my wedding gift to the wedding?
It's considered best etiquette to mail the wedding gift to the couple's home, as most modern weddings do not include a gift table. There are regional exceptions, however. For example, on the East Coast, it's popular for guests to bring a card that includes a gift of cash or a check to the wedding, so there's often a card taker you can hand it off to. If you're attending a wedding for a couple that's from another part of the country, you may want to reach out to another guest about the local norm.
How much should I spend on a wedding gift?
This is a tricky question, and one that guests have debated for years. Some people are of the mindset that you should give the couple as much as your attendance at the wedding costs, but that's simply untrue and quite a daunting number to determine. You should decide how much you'd like to spend on a gift based on your relationship to the couple and your own budget. Go with your instinct.
If I had to travel to get to the wedding, do I still need to send a gift?
The majority of couples agree that if you're traveling to attend their wedding, your presence is all the present they need. If you still feel an urge to send a gift or a card with a congratulatory note, go right ahead.
If I'm unable to attend the wedding, should I still send a gift?
It's always a nice gesture to send a note of congratulations or a small gift if you're unable to attend a wedding, but this depends entirely on your relationship and your reasoning for not attending the wedding. Do try to send the gift within a reasonable time frame, even if you're not attending the wedding.
If I'm bringing a guest to the wedding, do I have to double my spending on the gift?
If you were invited to the wedding with a guest, there's no expectation that you should send an extra gift or double the amount you're including in a check. You were granted a guest to ensure that you'll enjoy the evening with a friend or loved one, and you shouldn't feel you owe the couple anything additional. If your guest knows the couple and would like to provide a gift of their own, that is of course acceptable.
This story originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.