Wedding Gift Giving Tips

Wedding Gift Ideas

I was invited to eight weddings this year. That’s right…eight. And don’t get me wrong. I’m honored to be included in all of these celebrations. But let’s be real. If they aren’t local, weddings can be pretty expensive. Disclaimer: I did absolutely no research on wedding etiquette when writing this post, and I’m only referencing what I’ve learned in the school of life.

So I know that you have up to a year to give a wedding gift, but what should you give them? And what’s an appropriate amount to spend? These are all questions I have struggled with in the past.

I spent the last 7 years living in California, and I heard from many people that the value of a gift should be proportionate to the amount the couple hosting the wedding spent to have you at their celebration. So, if it’s at a really nice place and there’s an open bar and a sit down meal, the value of your wedding gift should cover those costs. If the couple had food trucks at their wedding and you paid for your own booze, you can give a little less. If they included a guest in your invitation your gift should equal the cost of your guest as well. Side Note: As someone who spent most of her 20s single, it’s just really sucky to go to a wedding by yourself.

Now, I also happen to be from South Dakota and I seriously doubt people follow this rule there. The last Midwest wedding I attended, people showed up in jeans, and one gentleman immediately went to the bar, bought a CAN of Bud Light and then proceeded to partake in his beverage during the ceremony. He even walked down the aisle (right behind the bridal party) carrying his drink. I mean…were you raised in a barn!? Oh wait…maybe you were.

What should you get them? Should you get them something off their registry? Can you buy off the registry? Should you have the gift shipped to their house or should you bring it to their wedding?

I personally think the best, and easiest way, for both parties is to buy something off the registry and have it shipped to their place. You can do it well in advance of actually attending the wedding and then the couple doesn’t have to worry about how to transfer all of their gifts from the venue to their home. If online shopping isn’t your thing, a card with cold hard cash is always appreciated by everyone!

Have other suggestions for wedding gifts? Be sure to share in the comments!

Samantha Samuel

is the newest member of the UDR marketing team. She recently moved to Denver from Los Angeles, where she spent the past 4 years in property management marketing. Her new role as the online marketing manager fulfills her love for numbers, metrics and data. When she’s not crunching numbers in excel she can be found hiking, watching her fill of college basketball (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) and spending plenty of time in the Colorado sun.


  • August 1, 2014

    music cloud

    It’s really tough when you go through that stage where everyone is getting married. Each wedding usually involves about three weekends taken up in travelling and attending pre-wedding parties as well as the wedding itself and then there is the cost which quickly adds up even before you start thinking about a gift. I really encourage couples to think about adding all sorts of gifts to their registry including gifts of service – maybe some of your cash strapped friends could help you put together the invitations, centrepieces or dessert table in lieu of a gift? Your Great Aunt may be able to make the wedding dress as well as a dressmaker or decorate the wedding cake like a professional. Just a thought…

    • Amy Johnson
      August 4, 2014

      music cloud

      Those are great suggestions, Kate! Thank you for your comments!