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1. Do you have to get them something from their registry?
It’s absolutely fine to get them something they haven’t registered for. “Registry items are merely suggestions, not obligations,” says Jodi R. R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. A wedding registry is meant to be a guideline as to what the couple wants and needs—it's there to help you. If you decide to purchase something else, it’s a good idea to check out the registry to gauge the couple’s style.
2. Do I need to send a gift if I RSVP "no" to the wedding?
It's not technically required to send a gift after declining a wedding invite, but it's still a nice gesture to do so. Take your relationship with the couple and your budget into account. If you're not super-close (maybe you actually aren't going because you don't know them very well), it's probably fine to pen a thoughtful card congratulating them. If you are close to the couple, however, you'll likely want to send them something.
3. When is the wedding gift “due”?
Gifts should really be shipped to the couple’s home about two weeks before the wedding, Smith says. However, it’s considered acceptable to send a gift up to one year after the wedding. If you end up buying the gift after the wedding, try to do so immediately. “Otherwise, you’re likely to end up procrastinating, forgetting, and then wondering five years later why you’re no longer friends,” Smith says.
4. The couple is registering for cash, but I feel weird giving it—is it better to just buy a gift?
With such versatile registry options out there these days (think: honeymoon funds, cash registries, and experiential gifts) anything goes. There’s no right or wrong type of gift to give, especially if that’s what the couple’s asking for. But choose a gift based on what you’re comfortable giving and what you think they’ll love.
“[Cash is] not my favorite gift because there’s no correct amount to give,” says Rebecca Black, founder of Etiquette Now, a company that conducts etiquette workshops. “An amount may appear generous to one couple, while the same amount could appear lacking to another.” If you’re uncomfortable about giving cash, opt for a gift certificate to a store at which the couple’s registered.
join us next week for more gift etiquette next week on Lets Go big Tunes blog page