Your best friend is getting married and you could not be any happier for her and her soon to be husband!  But what are you going to do about buying a wedding gift for them? This is often the most stressful part of attending a wedding because how do you find the perfect gift and how do you avoid a gift that is not right or that, even worse, insults the new couple? Here at Cashmere Dreams, we get many questions about weddings from the couple as well as people who have attended weddings in the past, the topic of wedding gifts comes up time and time again. That is why we wanted to take this time and answers some of the most common questions we get about buying a wedding gift!

Q: Is it okay to get something that is not listed on the couple’s registry?
A: It’s absolutely fine to get the couple a gift they have not specifically noted that they would like to get on their registry. A wedding registry is more like a game plan to give people an idea of what the couple is interested in and what they may need for their new home and new life together. If you decide to purchase something else, make sure you take time to look through the registry to gauge the couple’s style to make sure your gift doesn’t clash with their décor taste.

Q: How long do I really have to give a gift after the wedding?
A: One year is the limit for sending in a wedding gift after the wedding has occurred, ad that is the absolute longest is should take you! If you end up buying the gift after the wedding, try to do so immediately. The sooner you get the gift and send it to them the better because that way you won’t end up forgetting and you won’t spend the following years wondering why your best friend seems to be a bit cold and standoffish now after their wedding.

Q: Is cash better than a gift?
A: Sometimes it is hard to know what to get a couple and there is also the argument that any new couple could use money to pay for things they want and need for their home. Some wedding guests decide to skip the gift and send cash which is fine, but it can be a little tricky. An amount may appear generous to one couple, but might seem lacking to another. A better option is to get a gift card to someplace the couple would like so they can choose something for themselves.

Q: There are 200 people attending the ceremony but only 100 gifts on the registry- what do I do?
 Sometimes the soon to be couple treats their wedding as sort of a public wish list for items they would love to have for their home but no that getting it as a wedding gift is the only way they will ever get it.  This means they limit the items to make sure they receive them all. Or some couples do this hoping for money instead of gifts. If the wedding gift registry items are taken then consider it an open invitation to get them something else so long as it is classy and thoughtful!

Q: The couple has a registry open a year before their wedding date. Is it tacky to get birthday and Christmas gifts for them from their registry?
A: Not at all, and in fact, the couple will probably appreciate getting more items from their wish list! Buying gifts for other holidays from the wedding registry helps make sure the couple will get everything they need. This is also why many couples keep the registry open after the ceremony for up to a year or more- so people can get them birthday, Christmas, or anniversary gifts they haven’t gotten yet. No couple should feel offended by that kind of gift giving!

Q: Their registry is all really expensive items I can’t afford. What do I do?
A: Don’t feel obligated or forced in any way to buy your wedding gift from the wedding registry list. Rather, give a meaningful gift within your budget. If the couple has an expensive coffee and espresso maker on their list consider getting them coffee sets with mugs or coffee blends that they can use with their machine. Or rather than the expensive silverware set they want, get them all the table setting pieces couples tend to forget about so they have everything they need.

Q: Is there a standard price range that guests are supposed to spend?
A: There’s no perfect or proper amount of money to spend on a gift for any wedding guest. Much of it comes down to what you are able to give, and how close you are to the couple. Casual friends can usually spend less than family members and BFFs can. The belief that the guest should spend the price of her reception meal is a load of hogwash too. Spend what you are able to- no decent couple would honestly ask you to go broke getting them something for their wedding!

Q: I’m in the wedding party  and buying my own dress- Do I need to buy a registry gift, too?
A: Not necessarily. At it’s heart, good wedding etiquette is about being thoughtful. Your best friend knows you are spending a lot already to be in her wedding so a small thoughtful gift for the big day would likely be enough. Even if you have no money left to spend on a gift consider making something. Artwork that can hang on a wall is a great gift that will last for many years to come. Thoughtful gifts mean more than expensive ones and a good friend will understand that.

Q: I found an item on their registry for cheaper somewhere else- can I buy that one and send it to them instead?
A: There’s absolutely no reason why you should go broke buying a wedding gift. Most brides and grooms know the event and the people there is what matters most. If you can save money and still get a good gif the couple is asking for then go for it! Make sure you purchase and ship it well before the wedding. That way when it arrives, they will be able to remove it from their registry before someone else buys it at the listed price. If you want you can use the money you saved to get a small extra gift for the couple, but that is entirely up to you.

Q: What’s the best way to find out where the bride and groom are registered if it’s not on their invitation or website?
A: Just ask! There is no taboo in talking to the couple, their parents, or anyone you know is involved in the wedding planning. They can let you know if the couple has registered anywhere yet or where they are planning to set up registries at. You can also try a quick search of the couple’s names on the usual wedding registry sites. Keep in mind some couples registered under one or both names or the married name or the bride’s maiden name- so search several ways for the registry.

Q: Registries feel so impersonal. Is there any way to make a registry gift more meaningful?
A: You are not locked in to buying only from the registry and even if you do there is still a chance to add your own personal touch to the gift, even if you never have it in your hands. It’s all about the message in the card. Write a sweet personal message about the couple, wish them well in their new life, or write a little something about how you hope the gift will help make their house into their new home. Person touches are always possible, even with a gift registry!

Q: How can I learn more about wedding planning, gift buying, and proper wedding etiquette whether I am a bride, groom, or a guest?
This is another common question we get here at Cashmere Dreams and the answer, thankfully is very simple.  Just call us and schedule a consultation appointment with our wedding planning experts. No matter what stage of the wedding planning process you are in, what you need help with, or what part you are playing in the wedding, we are here to help! Call us or visit our website today to get started and see for yourself the difference we can make!