Wedding Gift Etiquette

What knowledge I’ve picked up about wedding etiquette is gathered from Miss Manners type sites, and has holes. Please help me fill a gap.

I’ve been invited to a wedding of people I don’t know as my boyfriend’s date (a “+1” invite). My boyfriend was in turn invited as part of an invitation to his family (parents and two siblings) but it was confirmed by the bride and groom that he and each of his brothers has a date invite as well.

What’s the rule about gifts with this kind of invitation? If it was a married couple getting one invitation it would make sense to have one present, but what about a family invitation where the “kids” are adults, where there are other adults as dates, and so on? I was figuring on offering to chip in with a family present if there is one, but would people normally be expected to each bring a separate gift, or for each couple to bring one?

Thanks dopers. :slight_smile:

In cases where I had been invited as part of a family, but knew the bride personally, I brought a gift (actually me and my brother went in together on a gift).

In cases where I was invited as the girlfriend or SO, and did not know the bride or groom personally, I did not gift.

Anyone who “expects” gifts is living a life in poor taste anyway.

I think it would normally be accepted for an adult couple to bring their own present, unless the whole family is specifically going in on something in order to get a “bigger” gift than they would separately.

I don’t think it’s necessary at all for YOU to give a gift separately from your date, especially because I gather you don’t know the couple very well, if at all.

I don’t know that there is a set rule for this, so this is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, I guess.

What’s all this ‘bring’ business. Does no one send gifts anymore?

I think it depends on the relationship, and if you want to get a seperate gift. As you don’t know the couple, it might be a bit odd for you to bring a gift (you don’t know their taste, etc); however, if your SO brings a gift it would be ok for you to sign the card I think.

On the other hand, if the parents are going to give a “from family” gift, that’s ok too. :slight_smile:

I’ve been to a boat load of weddings where gifts were dropped off at the reception - maybe it’s a regional thing. Personally I always look for a registry or give cash, but that’s just me.

I’ve gone to over 20 weddings as part of my family (me being one of 2 kids).

In the North (or at least Cleveland) we don’t so much give gifts at the reception as we give money. I went to a wedding in the South and felt like a boob walking around with my envelope while everyone else had their big fancy gifts in hand.

In my experience (which is apparently regional) all gift giving is reserved for the shower.

Anyway…my dad, being the generous guy he is, usually pays my part of the gift - $50 per person to help cover the dinner we ate and extra.

If you consider the gift in the same manner my family does (to cover the reception costs) and your date is the type of companion that would typically buy you dinner, then maybe let him pay your “part.”

If you’re willing to pay, or would PREFER to pay, then by all means just ask the family what they’re doing and how you can contribute. Seems like there’s no really hard-and-fast rules.

I’m getting married in September, and quite frankly as long as a one gift had your name on it (be it a gift from the family, or from you and your partner) it’s fine.

The only reason you’d need to bring your own would be if the family was unwilling to let you contribute to their gift, and your partner didn’t want to have a separate one with you.

The big no-no is putting your name on a card if you didn’t actually contribute to the gift!

Completely naive question here irishgirl - are you actually going to compare the guest list to the “gift list” and notice who gave and who didn’t?

Is this what brides do…or is it just something that happens naturally when writing Thank You cards?

Cuz I was going to say something along the lines of “eh, if you don’t know the people it won’t be a HUGE deal if you don’t give a gift” but maybe that’s just me.

Oh no, I’m not going to be a gift Nazi or anything!

I know that evening guests aren’t expected to bring gifts, for example, which is a piece of etiquette some of the brides on certain weddng message boards are unaware of, as they gleefuly rub their hands and wait for their 500 gifts to roll in, despite only having family to the ceremony!

I was brought up to do thank you cards as soon as you get the gift, and with only 100 guests invited to our wedding ceremony, it will soon become rather obvious if someone hasn’t bought a gift. We have all our guests details entered into a large database (address, RSVP answer, table placing, gift) to make things easier for us, and it’s going to be tough not to notice if someone didn’t buy a gift.

I don’t care if they spend a lot of money or not (one of the things I want most on my gift list is a $10 rotary egg beater) but if you’ve accepted an invitation to our wedding, and are going to watch the ceremony, eat dinner and dance into the night, I’d like SOMETHING!

I’ll wait a year, and if nothing shows up, we’ll send a note thanking them for their attendance at the wedding and hope they get the point.

At what point did a gift become an admission fee? I always thought a gift was something freely given. I also thought one invited firends and family to weddings to witness a very special event in one’s life. Maybe I’m an anachronism.

As for the OP, if I was invited to a wedding as an “& guest” and I didn’t know either of the couple, I would not take a gift. I would certainly hope my escort, the friend of the couple, would want to give them a gift.

I get what you’re saying about “guests” invited to weddings. I agree with you, if the couple don’t know who you are, there’s no reason to bring a gift.

However, I think it’s rude to invite people as an unnamed “plus one” or “guest” If someone has a partner we’ve gone to the trouble of inviting them by name, if we don’t know if the person has a partner, we have just invited them alone.

We have a limited number of guests we can invite, if the choice is between an old friend and a someone who I’ve never met, I don’t see why we should have to invite the stranger, just because they happen to have been sleeping with one of my friends for a week or two.

Weddings are like birthdays: you invite friends to the party to share the happy occasion, they bring you gifts to demonstrate their appreciation of you. The gifts are not REQUIRED, but they are somewhat expected because it would be rude not to bring one.

Of course it’s rude to ask for gifts, which is why there are no registry cards with our invitations. If someone wishes to buy us a gift they can call us and ask if we’re registered, if not, not.

Like I said, even if there is no gift, the guest will still get a thank you card.

In my opinion, the wedding is a ceremony for the couple to exchange vows publicly.

Guests share in the joy of the couple.

If such joy sharing is expressed by gifts, this is a good thing.

If they choose not to gift (for whatever reasons), they still share in the joy by attending.

By it’s very definition, a gift should never be expected.

Personally, I decide on whether (or how big) to gift before the wedding, either doing it at the shower or sending it. On a side note, doesn’t etiquette state a wedding gift can be sent (and still viewed as a wedding gift) up to the 1st anniversary? As in the other thread, I find all this etiquette stuff a source of confusion at times. Just be happy and do what your joy moves you to do.