Spring/Summer wedding bells are in the air, and whether or not you are planning your own nuptials, chances are that one of these days (or several of these days) you are going to be just a regular old guest at someone else’s big day. Maybe you are new on the wedding scene, or maybe you just need a refresher as things have changed in the gift-giving game. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind when asking yourself; what the #$% am I going to get these people?

If you are…


Something heartfelt, specifically for your sib to mark the day would be a nice touch; a piece of jewelry, a framed childhood photo, or some small token to capture the memory of his or her special day. In most customs, it is not expected that a sibling will give a significant gift to the couple seeing as this is, in part, their celebration as well. Siblings can, however, give the gift of time in planning and executing events leading up to the wedding (i.e. showers, bachelor(ette) parties, etc.)


If you are invited along with the rest of your family, then it’s totally acceptable to give a group gift (either money or a gift from the couple’s registry). If you are invited on your own, or feel strongly about giving a separate gift, then it’s usually best to stick to the registry (unless there is something specific that you know your cuz has said they want).


If one of your many bridesmaid duties was to purchase your own dress (if the dress was dictated by the bride – not so much if she just said “wear something black”), then this cost can totally be factored in to what you spend on your gift for the happy couple. It might be a fun idea to join forces with the rest of the bridal party to give them something kick-ass and not silverware-related (an iPad, a day-trip or spa package at their honeymoon destination, a super sleek espresso machine, etc.)


As a close friend who is not in the bridal party, you have the luxury of knowing the bride and groom very well without all the additional cost of being a part of the big day. Here is where your intimate knowledge of the couple comes in handy, and you can go beyond the registry for something a little more unique you know they’ll love. Of course cash, gift cards, or a registry purchase are always safe and appropriate.


Stick to the script; cash, gift card, or registry item. A good rule of thumb in terms of price tag would be to spend roughly the amount that will be spent on you as a guest of the wedding. This can definitely vary based on the bash, but you should be safe in and around $100 a head (i.e. if you bring a date, you should be giving a $200 gift total). Adjust this price point if you know for a fact that it’s a fancy-shmancy affair, or a down-home barn dance.


If you are not a girlfriend, but simply invited so that your date doesn’t have to face the singles table, then this wedding shouldn’t cost you a dime; your date should most certainly be picking up the gift tab. If your intuitive etiquette bone is telling you that you cannot arrive empty-handed, then a simple card to thank the couple for showing you such a good time, or a small token gift is appropriate, but definitely not expected.

Remember; cash is king, registry is safe, and working off the script is only successful when you know exactly what the couple wants. Happy wedding season!

Little Miss Wediquette