A wedding is one of the happiest, most memorable days that couples will share with their loved ones. However, as well as all the anticipation and excitement, weddings can also entail their fair share of planning, longstanding traditions, and etiquette for guests to consider! If you’re preparing to watch a friend or family member tie the knot, or are in the process of planning your own wedding, then you may have started picking out a gift for the special occasion.
To help you navigate the etiquette and expectations around wedding gift-giving, we’ve compiled the following guide. Below, we’ll cover:
- Wedding gift etiquette
- Wedding gift ideas
- Who do you buy wedding gifts for?
So, whether you’re a friend of the happy couple, part of the bridal party, or a bride or groom yourself, here’s how to master the art of wedding gift-giving.
Wedding gift etiquette
With all the time-honoured traditions that are built into weddings, it can often be tricky to know what is expected of guests and members of the bridal party. This of course will differ depending on what each couple has planned for their big day, but if you’re unsure of where to start, below are some traditional pieces of gift etiquette you can fall back on.
How much to spend on wedding gifts
The value of your wedding gift will largely depend on your relationship with the couple. This means that close family members may want to cover big ticket items on the registry, or seek out especially meaningful, generous presents to show how much they care. As a result, long-time friends and immediate family generally tend to spend around £100 on a wedding gift but again, this will differ according to individual budgets and the guidelines set out by each couple in their invite, wedding website, or save-the-date.
If the bride or groom is a friend or colleague, but not a close family member, the average spend for gifts tends to be lower, between £25 and £50. A good gauge for gift etiquette in this context is to consider whether you are attending the ceremony during the day, or just the reception in the evening. Generally, those invited to the reception aren’t expected to bring a gift, unless they choose to of their own accord.
When to give your gift
As well as considering cost, a key part of wedding gift etiquette is knowing when to give it. Pay close attention to the advice given by the couple on their invite, as while some may have a table at the ceremony or reception to collect presents from guests, others may prefer to have their gifts sent to them before the big day for the sake of practicality. If you aren’t bringing a gift on the day, then it’s best to send one to the bride and groom’s address a month or so before the wedding. Most importantly, though, remember that it’s best etiquette to send gifts no more than two months after the big day.
Wedding gift ideas
If you’re lacking gift inspiration, below are some top tips to ensure that the happy couple will love and make use of the gift you choose to buy them.
Couples often help out their guests and get them started with a selection of items listed on their registry, or simply ask for cash gifts as a contribution towards the honeymoon fund. As the bride and groom are starting their new life together, many of these registry items tend to be more traditional and based around the home. This means opting for high-quality investment pieces that will last for years to come is always a smart choice. It can be a great finishing touch to match your gift to the colour palette of the wedding, too: our elegant Asiatic Pheasants range is available in blue, green, and pink to help you do just that, making it perfectly suited for gift-giving on your most special occasions.
Ceramics and homeware
If you have no registry or are unsure of the best gift to choose, our range of wedding, engagement, and anniversary gifts includes timeless ceramics that are sure to form a staple part of any couple’s future home. Gifting complete sets or statement pieces like teapots, cake stands, or jugs is an excellent long-term investment, as not only are our premium ceramics perfect for special occasions, but they’re also durable enough to be used every day. If you want to buy beautiful gifts on a budget, we’re also passionate about affordable, sustainable luxury: in our Seconds range, minor production blemishes mean you can find the same famous quality and style for a fraction of the price.
Similarly, you know that when you invest in homemade pieces from a historic, artisan institution like ours, you’re opting for a unique, handmade gift will help you stand out from the rest. In fact, there are now just 12 craftspeople in the world who can practice the precise art of tissue transfer printing from hand-engraved rollers (our signature technique that dates back over 250 years) and they are all craftspeople here at Burleigh! Check out our All Made Here page today to find out more about our home Middleport Pottery, as well as our thorough guide on How We Make Burleigh.
Who do you buy wedding gifts for?
Most wedding gifts are addressed to the happy couple, as guests find special, meaningful presents that the bride and groom will use to start their life together, or those they have expressed an interest in via their registry. However, it’s also a common practice that the bride and groom buy something for key members of their wedding party as a token of their gratitude. So, if you and your partner have already started planning the big day, don’t forget that wedding gifts can go both ways!
Thank you gifts
It is of course up to the happy couple who gets thank you gifts at a wedding. Such items might include a sentimental present from the groom to his best man, bridesmaids’ gifts for those who helped the bride on her special day, or a little something for younger relatives who acted as ring bearers or flower girls during the ceremony. After all, friends and family tend to pitch in and invest a large amount of their time and money in making the big day as special as possible for the bride and groom.
The most common thank you gift from the happy couple, however, tends to be addressed to the mother and father of the bride. Traditionally, many parents set aside money that they intend to spend on a wedding for their children, and this is often one of the most heart-warming gestures they can make. As a result, many couples feel that it’s only right to give their parents and in-laws a token of their appreciation in return, by reciprocating with a wedding gift.
We hope this guide has provided all the tips you’ll need to master wedding gift etiquette, as well as a dose of gift inspiration to help you get started. Be sure to check out the rest of our wedding guides here at Burleigh, as we also have expert advice on wedding place settings and wedding table decorations to help you get ready for the big day. We also have handpicked gift guides for Mother’s Day and Easter, so you can enjoy our luxury ceramics on even more of your special occasions.