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Attending a wedding this summer? Take note of these 5 gifting rules

Attending a wedding this summer? Take note of these 5 gifting rules

Guest contribution from The Grand, York

Your wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of your life, and certainly one to cherish and remember forever! With the wedding season in full swing, it is likely that you will have been invited to celebrate a friend or family member's special day with them, as they become man and wife.

On the day, you can expect to see the happy couple cutting the cake and having their first dance; it’s tradition. Similarly, to the bride walking down the aisle and cutting the cake, selecting a gift for the bride and groom is equally as big a tradition. However, wedding gift giving and receiving can be a bit of a minefield. From the couple worrying about whether it’s polite or not to create a wish list, to guests who are unsure of how much to gift, while etiquette has shifted in recent years, there are still a handful of rules that you should adhere to for politeness and to demonstrate good manners:

If invited to the ceremony, gifting is non-negotiable.

While you may opt to bring only a card if invited as an evening guest, if you’re invited to the actual ceremony, it is good manners to give a gift. Even if the bride and groom request the presence of their guests as their gift, you may wish to consider a small heartfelt gift for the couple to treasure in the years to come.

But, how much should you gift per person?

There is no set amount that you should gift per person. Above anything you may read, gift what you can afford. Whether taking place at one of the few beautiful York wedding venues, or overseas, couples appreciate the costs associated with weddings. From travel and accommodation to outfits, the bride and groom understand that attending weddings can be costly and won’t expect you to bring a gift that you cannot afford. Ultimately, it also depends how close you are to the happy couple, if they’re close friends or family, you may wish to gift more than you would a distant relative or co-worker. If you’re still looking for guidance in the form of figures, a survey by The London Economic suggested that the average wedding gift should be between £40 to £59.

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Is it polite for the wedding couple to specify what they’d like?

Traditionally sharing a gift list or requesting contributions for a honeymoon fund on an invite was frowned upon. However, with the average wedding in the UK now soaring to £30,355 (according to Bridebook) and as the average age of newlyweds is getting older, at 30 for men and 28 for women, times and perceptions are shifting; it’s becoming more common for couples to leave subtle and polite hints to inform guests of their preferences. As many couples no longer require homewares, and instead would rather put gifts towards a holiday of a lifetime, giving cash gifts is more widely accepted, if specified by the bride and groom.

Gift within three months of the wedding, latest.

When gifting, use your common sense to decide whether appropriate to bring it along on the day. For example, a card with a substantial sum of money could get misplaced and it might be hard to find space to leave a physically large gift. Tradition says that it’s polite to gift within a year of marriage, although in more recent times, it’s encouraged to send your gift within three months. That way, it will arrive in time to help the couple settle in as newlyweds.

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Thank you cards should be sent by the newlyweds, within three months.

Not only to thank you for your gift, but also for sharing the biggest day of the newlywed's lives with them, thank you cards should be sent within three months of getting married. It’s polite to acknowledge the gift actually arrived, as well as to write a personalised thank you note.