Wedding etiquette and how to attend on a budget | WaterStone Bank

Wedding season is upon us, which means it’s time to celebrate—and time to brush up on the etiquette for gift-giving.

Before you show up to the ceremony, here’s what you need to know about wedding gift-giving at any price point.

1. Set your budget.

You may have heard different guidelines about how much to give at a wedding, like giving a gift equal in value to what you estimate the couple spent per person. While these rules of thumb can provide general guidelines, they aren’t hard-and-fast rules. Instead, it’s better to look closely at your budget to determine what you can comfortably afford and what you want to spend.

You may also spend more on some wedding gifts than others; for example, you might splurge on a large gift for a close friend but spend less on a gift for a coworker. When in doubt, the Emily Post Institute suggests letting your affection for the couple guide your budget.

2. Gift from the registry? Gift card? Cash?

Buying a gift off the couple’s registry is a surefire way to know you’re giving them exactly what they want. Registries also offer convenience: In many cases, you can purchase gifts online and they’ll be shipped directly to the couple’s home.

But just because the couple has a registry doesn’t mean you have to use it. It’s perfectly acceptable to give cash as a wedding gift, or a gift card, such as one of the retailers on the registry or a prepaid option like the WaterStone Bank Visa® Gift Card.*

3. Send your gift on time.

Don’t wait too long to give a wedding gift. The Knot suggests sending your gift no later than two months after the wedding—but sooner is better. Plus, with the prevalence of online gift registries, it’s easier than ever to send a hassle-free gift.

No need to lug a food processor or duvet cover to the reception hall. Simply buy your gift off the registry and ship it straight to the couple.

4. Give from the heart.

If you’re on a strict budget, don’t stretch yourself thin to afford a wedding gift. There are other ways to show your love and appreciation for the couple without breaking the bank.

Consider chipping in on a group gift with friends or purchasing something small off the couple’s registry. If money is extra tight, simply writing a heartfelt card can be the perfect gift. Ultimately, it’s the gesture that counts—not the amount you spend.




WaterStone Bank Visa Gift Cards are issued by MetaBank®, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. No cash access.

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