The Do’s & Don’ts of Wedding Gift Giving

card box gift giving

The Do's & Don'ts of Wedding Gift Giving


You receive the invitation in the mail.

You select chicken, steak or fish.

Then you ask yourself: What should I give?

Mike Staff Productions takes pride in keeping our couples happy by providing remarkable wedding DJ, Photography and Videography services for the big day — so, why not make sure the wedding gifts are top notch AND make things easy for the awesome guests? (Win, Win!)

If you’re a guest attending an upcoming wedding, you might think it’s as simple as slipping some cash in a card — it can be — but are you following proper etiquette? Our friends at Zola have some solid experience in this department so let’s break down the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of gift giving.

DO Stick to the Registry.

When it comes to what to give, you actually don’t need to think too hard (whew!). The bride and groom will essentially tell you what they want on their registry! They set up one up for a reason, and if you stick to it, it’s pretty much guarantee you’ll be buying them something they like.

There are other ways to gift give through a registry without the couple receiving a package at their door. If the couple has registry though Zola chances are they aren’t just asking for a new blender (although, that could be on there, too)!  Zola allows couples to register for things outside of standard gifts for the home. They can register for experiences (trips, honeymoons) and simply cash! Gone are the days of writing a check, just deposit money into the couples ‘cash fund’ available on Zola, too! (Pretty cool!)

»» ZOLA TIP: Sticking with a traditional gift? Group similar gifts together. For instance bundle some kitchen items into a mixing bowl – a clever way to display and give the items. Also, consider personalizing the gift by adding a monogram of the couples initials where you can.

DON’T Wait Too Long.

There’s an age old wedding rule that guests have up to a year to send a wedding gift to the couple — take that rule and throw it out the window! It’s completely outdated and does not apply to today’s weddings. Make sure, whether it’s cash or an item off the registry, you purchase and send the gift before or immediately following the wedding. With the convenience of online buying and shipping, there’s little excuse for such a delay.

wedding git table reception

»» ZOLA TIP: Save the couple some stress and don’t bring gifts (outside of a card) to the wedding. This way no one has to worry about lugging gifts home or them getting lost in the shuffle.

DON’T ‘Pay for Your Plate’.

DITCH this old rule: give enough to ‘cover your plate’. New Rule: Spend the amount that you think is appropriate for your relationship with the couple.

Gift Spending Guide

  • Starting Point: $50
  • Coworker / Distant Friend: $50 – $75
  • Relative / Friend: $75 – $100
  • Close Relative or Friend: $100+

wedding card box


»» ZOLA TIP: Stay within your budget & give what you can. The bride and groom with cherish your presence more.

DO Go in on a Group Gift.

Couples always have those big ticket items on their registry. If it’s something you know they’ll appreciate, ask some other guests to chip in with you. It’s also a great idea for the bridal party to band together and buy the couple the item of their dreams.

»» ZOLA TIP: Make sure everyone in the group is on the same page when dividing up the cost.

Don’t Be Afraid to Give $$$

Check out some advice from Zola on the proper way to give the gift of money, money, money. money… MONEY!

Commonly Asked Questions:

I am invited to the wedding shower, do I have to bring a gift for that, too?

Yes. If you are invited to multiple wedding-related activities, it is expected that you bring a gift to each one, so budget accordingly.

How do I find the wedding registry?

The first place to look is the couple’s wedding website. Check out Zola! Couples can create a website & a registry all in once place. Some brides may include registry information in their invitation. If all else fails, ask a friend or family member!

Does my wedding date have to bring a gift too?

If you bring a guest, you are expected to factor that into your gift amount since the couple will be paying more for your date.


Looking for more wedding planning advice? Mike Staff Productions has you covered! Feel free to give us a call (773.570.7707) or drop us a line at [email protected]

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