Bridal Shower and Wedding Gift Guidance
June is here and love is in the air as evidenced by the arrival of invitations for weddings and bridal showers. As I RSVP (yes – you need to RSVP and hold to your word), the question was asked, “Do you need to buy a wedding gift if you go to the bridal shower and give a gift?” I immediately say yes, of course you should. Then afterwards I decided to search out the “experts” (full disclosure: I am a big Emily Post fan) in etiquette to get their opinions on the matter.
The overwhelming consensus of sites that I researched said yes (two gifts: one for shower, one for wedding). If you attend the bridal shower, you should bring a gift. If you receive a wedding invitation, you should buy a gift also. The two events should be treated as mutually exclusive events with respect to gift giving (not one gift covers them all). The only exception is if you are invited to multiple showers for the same couple – you can get away with giving a gift at the first one attended.
Another area of expert agreement is to be reasonable with your gift giving budget. Shower gifts are typically less costly than a wedding gift. So if you are giving a shower and a wedding gift, consider the budget of both of the gifts combined. It makes no sense to spend beyond your comfort level or go into debt for a gift for someone. The budget of the gift or gifts is based on many factors; how much you can comfortably afford, how well you know the couple, and regional or cultural influences.
What are your criteria for wedding and shower gift giving? Any helpful advice to share with the community?