Gift Giving and Receiving Etiquette
Gift giving can be a tricky thing, you always want to make the right impression, make the gift recipient happy and feel good in the end with your purchase.
Gift receiving isn’t that simple either. You don’t want to make anyone feel bad, excluded or heart broken because they didn’t give you something that you really liked.
What if you are the “gifted”?
Is there a protocol for receiving gifts?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes!
There is a certain protocol or etiquette to follow for both gift giving and receiving and we will discuss them here.
So, let’s start with the do’s and don’ts of gift giving.
Your heart is in the right place and you want to be mindful with your gift buying, but what to get, where to get it and how much to spend?
When buying a gift for a wedding, keep in mind that most couples will have a registry, either at a store or on-line. This will make your job much easier. Buying from the registry and as early as possible is the best thing to do. When you buy from a gift registry, you can’t go wrong, you are always getting what the person really wants.
Also, when you buy early from a gift registry, you get first pick of the best gifts and those that fit your budget. Waiting until the last minute, may leave you stuck with having to buy a toaster or perhaps with having to buy the most expensive gift on the list.
Therefore, when buying a gift for a wedding, go to the couple’s gift registry and go as early as possible.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are invited to a function, a wedding, birthday, anniversary, etc … any event that calls for gift giving, whether you attend or not, a gift is always in order.
Unless you want to give them something more personal or cash, find out where the wedding registry is (never from the couple.) If they didn’t include it in the invitation (and they shouldn’t have…!) ask a family member, friend or wedding coordinator, then, go on-line or to the store where the wedding registry is, buy the couple their gift and send it to them.
Don’t forget the gift receipt, in case the item is damaged when it arrives!
Can’t go to the wedding?
Say someone invited you to their wedding and you can’t attend. A note thanking them for the invite and letting them know that you can’t make it, along with their gift and a card congratulating the couple should be sent upon receipt of the invitation. No need for long explanations, just let them know that you regret not being able to attend and share with them such a joyous occasion in their lives.
Tip: Most engaged couples have a wedding website with access to their wedding registry.
If getting married, never enclose your wedding registry information in your wedding invitations.
Enclosing information of your wedding registry in your invitations is a big no no and considered of bad taste and a bit presumptuous. However, you can enclose your wedding website link.
When creating your wedding website don’t forget to add a link to your wedding registry. All of your guests will have access to it from there.
Regardless of the occasion, wedding, birthday or whatever, never open your gifts in front of your guests. It singles out who didn’t give you a gift and who may have spent the most on a gift!
Thank You Notes
Thank you notes should be sent within 2 days of receiving a gift. However, if going on a honeymoon you may not be able to send them out that soon. Try to send them as soon as you return, getting help from a family member who can gather your gifts and make a list of all who need to get a thank you note, can be of great help to ease the process upon your return.
Thank you notes should always be sent by the gift recipients and not by someone else.