June 13, 2019

Ask Molly: Wedding Gift Etiquette Tips

Recently a few readers have suggested I start an etiquette column. This would be a place where I share my tried and true tips, expert advice and how to navigate the everyday world with grace. I thought, why not? We could all use an update on modern etiquette. Since it is wedding season, the topics for today’s column include commonly asked questions about wedding gifts, how to navigate a gift registry and more. Do you have an etiquette question? Send me an e-mail at Molly@ThePreppyHostess.com, and I will answer it in next weeks article! It does not have to be wedding related!

Ask Molly: How long do I have to send a wedding gift?

It is a myth that you have a year. Although “better late than never” still holds true, three months after the wedding is the maximum about of time in my opinion. Gift giving is a happy tradition that shows wedding excitement. Whatever you send – a simple silver picture frame, crystal champagne glasses or a fancy waffle iron – is better sent sooner rather than later.

Ask Molly: Do I need to get a gift for a destination wedding?

Yes and no. When hosting a destination wedding couples often spread the word that “Your presence is your present”. However, if your budget allows, it is nice to purchase a gift. It is fine to spend less than you normally would – just send the gift to their home. It’s not appropriate to bring the gift with you, as it may be difficult for the couple to get it back home. If your budget is tight a lovely hand written card is a nice gesture.

Ask Molly: What is the correct way to make out a wedding gift check? Should it be to the bride, the groom, or both?

When sending a check prior to the wedding, the custom has been to make it out to the bride. However, that tradition is not set in stone. If you know the groom better, it’s okay to send it to him instead. But if the couple are living together before the wedding, make the check out jointly.

Ask Molly: Can you put the wedding registry information on invitations?

I’ll keep it simple. Gift registry information should never be included in a wedding invitation. It’s simply tacky and inappropriate. Get word out the old-fashioned way: word of mouth is a wonderful tool.

Ask Molly: Is it ever ok to ignore a gift registry?

This is a tricky question. I have always been a fan of bridal registries because they help avoid duplicate gifts, give ideas and simplify things. However, selecting your own gift is also fine. Sometimes the most memorable gifts are the ones that guests select themselves. This is also much easier when you know the couple really well and know what they would like.

Ask Molly: Should I still write a thank you note even though a lot of time has passed?

Yes. When it comes to expressing gratitude, remember that it’s better late than never. A wedding thank you note should be placed in the mail no later than three months from the time the gift was received. If you’re really late, briefly apologize for the delay and tell them how much you appreciate their thoughtful gift. When I sent out our wedding gift thank you notes I was so worried some got lost in the mail. I had a few invitations get lost and I still have anxiety over this! There is really no way to know if the person received your thank you note, but hopefully they do!

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