Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wedding Gift + Thank You Card Etiquette

Welcome to another Wedding Wednesday post! In today's post, I'm sharing tips for giving wedding gifts and advice for thanking guests as a newlywed. As a recent bride and regular wedding guest amidst wedding season, I figured this topic was more than appropriate.

Wedding Gifts

Before attending my first wedding as an adult, I had no idea what wedding gifts were appropriate or how much I should spend on a gift. With the majority of our close friends getting married this year, I've learned a lot more about gift etiquette. Hopefully this advice can help you out!

When To Send Gifts
Ideally guests should send gifts two weeks prior to the wedding unless bringing the gift to the wedding. Although guests supposedly have a year to give a gift, two months is really the maximum amount of time after a wedding a gift should be sent. Life happens and this isn't always possible! If a gift is delayed for any reason, a simple card to say congratulations makes an excellent placeholder prior to sending a gift.

What To Give
Gift giving has evolved with technological advances. Nowadays, not all couples have store registries. Joe and I live in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. We did a small registry for those who prefer traditional gifts and we created a Honeyfund to finance our honeymoon [see you in 2018, Bahamas!]. Joe and I like to give gifts based on the couple and their needs. If we know they are buying a house in the near future, we are more likely to give them physical gifts otherwise a gift card or cash may be a lot more beneficial for them.

How Much To Spend
Wedding gifts should at least be enough to cover their spot (meal and drinks) at the wedding. Naturally this should be doubled with a plus one. Typically the minimum would be $50 per person or $100 for two guests. Therefore, if you are an adult and you attend a wedding with a date, you both should go in a wedding gift for the couple, whether it was from the registry, a gift card, or money. Small children can be added onto a family gift. Of course if you're traveling across the country or internationally to a wedding, a smaller gift is completely appropriate. Regardless of how far you travel, giving a gift is a must to show you appreciate the newlyweds inviting you to the most important day of their lives.

Thank You Cards

There is no hard and fast rule for a newlyweds' thank you notes deadline, as guests theoretically have a year to send gifts. However, the rule of thumb is three months after the honeymoon, assuming that the honeymoon was taken right after the wedding. For Joe and I, we want to get out our thank you cards as soon as possible. We received some really generous gifts and we want to honor those who sent them. Our initial goal was to send thank you notes immediately for gifts received before the wedding. Unfortunately, wedding planning got in the way and this didn't happen. If you can get those notes in mail before the wedding, you'll save yourself a lot of time later on! We also wanted to use to a photo from our wedding on the cards. This limited us, as we needed to wait to get the photo from our photographer [luckily she was more than helpful!]. I ordered our thank you cards, address labels, and custom stamps from Wedding Paper Divas [receive $25 off your order by clicking here]. 

Stay Organized
I created two Google docs--one with bridal shower guests and one with wedding guests. I marked the gifts next to each person or pair. Unfortunately, I started my list a little late and now we're having to track down the senders of a couple gifts (rookie mistake). 

Personalize The Message
When you're able, personalize your note to the specific gift. With our first few registry gifts, we took polaroids of us using the gift for the first time to show how much we appreciated the items. We also plan to mention our honeymoon in thank you cards to anyone who contributed to our Honeyfund

Bridal Shower Notes
For your bridal shower thank you cards: typically you want to get them out a month after the shower. My situation was slightly different because I had my shower the week of our wedding. I ordered thank you cards for the shower at the same time I ordered cards for the wedding. Mine will go out just over a month after the shower. However, I did make sure to send a thank you card to the host right away. 

I hope this advice was helpful!

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