How Long Do You Have To Send a Wedding Gift?

Sooner is always better than later.

Southern Living Wedding Present
Sooner is always better than later. Photo: Julia_Sudnitskaya / Getty

Some guidelines fall into gray areas and are up for debate concerning wedding etiquette. Different regions and family traditions may hold varying opinions on wedding rules, such as proper timing to RSVP, sending thank-you notes, and delivering gifts. While there's no formula for calculating the right time to give newlyweds a present, most people abide by a general agreed-upon time frame.

Wedding gifts are often a monetary contribution to the couple's new life but can also be something from a designated registry to aid in furnishing and supplying the newlyweds' home. Wedding gifts, sent within a year of the wedding date, are considered appropriately sent as a general rule and will help a new couple start their lives together properly. Here is some advice to help make this transaction easier.

What Is the Wedding Gifting Timeline?

According to etiquette expert Emily Post, send wedding gifts after receiving the invitation or within three months of the wedding.

We agree—this is probably an ideal time frame to present newlyweds with a gift. It's best to give a wedding gift while the invitation is still hanging on your refrigerator or while the celebration is still fresh on your mind. That way, you're less likely to forget about buying a present altogether.

Delivering a gift about two weeks before the wedding is an even more ideal time, so the present can be incorporated into the new couple's home when they return from their honeymoon.

How Long Do You Have To Send a Wedding Gift?

Sooner is always better than later, but guests are technically given a more lenient timeline for delivering wedding presents. The idea of "better late than never" may be pushing it, but the sentiment of a wedding gift is always appreciated. It's okay if you miss the suggested three-month period. The newlyweds will still be grateful for your contribution and the thought you put into it—even if presented later within the year of their nuptials.

What Should You Send as a Wedding Gift?

Visit the couple's registry and choose a gift they will use and cherish forever. Or think outside the box, and give the newlyweds a memorable gift of adventure that fits your budget.

Do I Need To Choose From the Registry?

Technically, no, but the registry is available, so both recipient and gift-giver know the newlyweds will cherish the item selected. Often you can find something you think represents your connection to the couple from the registry and add a monetary contribution if you feel it is appropriate.

Should I Bring the Gift to the Wedding?

According to Emily Post, the registry should mark where you should send the wedding gift. This address might be the newlywed's new home or one of their parents' houses, but often is not the location of the wedding. Bringing a gift can burden the couple because they will feel like they need to remember something on top of all the details of their wedding day plans.

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