When Should a Wedding Gift be Given or Sent So You’re Not Too Early nor Too Late
Weddings are always an enchanting time for a couple and their family and friends. There is so much going on during the event that keeping track of the wedding gifts can be cumbersome.
It is common to send wedding gifts in the mail so that they are ready for the big day prior to the wedding. But when should wedding gifts be sent?
Shipping them out as close as possible to the wedding is a time to aim for, but there are some exceptions to this rule!
When to Buy Wedding Gifts?
Buying wedding gifts is such a great shopping experience. This can be true for those who prefer going into the store or those who want to shop through online registries.
But when is the appropriate time to shop for a wedding gift?
Some people may feel obligated to head out to the store or jump online as soon as they crack open the invitation envelope (or even if they hear about the wedding prior to getting the formal invitation).
While this is not exactly wrong, it can certainly be gauged a bit better.
Shopping early is definitely the route to go. The main reason for this is tailored to those checking out wedding registries. Other guests are going to have the same idea and wedding registries may shrink in size if guests wait too long.
Registries are a gift from the bride and groom to their guests to make shopping easier (source). Therefore, it is critical to utilize it wisely!
When Should Wedding Gifts be Sent?
Shipping gifts is commonplace by those who cannot attend the wedding and those who are attending the wedding. This frees up so much space (especially large gifts) for those traveling to the wedding from long distances.
Airlines do not always allow large parcels on the flight, so shipping the gifts ahead of time is a critical tool.
The other benefit of shipping wedding gifts earlier is to help the couple out on the actual wedding day. There is a lot going on during the wedding that keeping track of gifts can be the last thing on people’s minds.
While there are many weddings with gift tables, sending gifts ahead of the wedding is acceptable as well.
However, when should wedding gifts be sent can be a tricky question to answer. Even though it is generally good to shop early, shipping the gift too early isn’t advisable.
Sending gifts too early makes for a room in a house somewhere with stacks of gifts way before the wedding day occurs. Perfect timing is essential so that the gifts aren’t just sitting around lingering.
Trying to ship the gift out 2 weeks prior to the wedding day seems to be the perfect recipe for success! This estimation carries the assumption that the gift arrives at its destination approximately one week before the wedding takes place.
Obviously, this depends very much on the postal distance, e.g. Shipping internationally would take longer. So, check with your local shipping provider and plan accordingly.
It’s Never Too Late!
In today’s society, the timeframe to ship out wedding gifts has shifted a little. It has become acceptable to send the gift shortly after the wedding as well, but no more than 3 months after the exchanging of vows.
Couples usually open their wedding gifts in the weeks after the big day (or even the day after!).
Some couples head out to their honeymoon immediately after getting married. With this flexibility in when to send wedding gifts out, it leaves the options open for late shoppers!
What to Say When Sending a Late Wedding Gift?
No sender would want a wedding gift to reach the couple late. But sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances or whatever reason it may be, it can happen. If it happened, what do you do then?
Whenever you send a wedding gift, late or otherwise, you’d usually include a greeting card in there as well. You may then wonder what to write for a late wedding gift.
Rather than providing you with examples of what you can say, the best policy would be to tell them honestly what it is that caused the lateness.
Whether it’s an oversight on your part, not being able to afford one at the time, or whatever reason you had for not sending one in time for the wedding – do away with excuses as people can usually see right through them!
What do you do if your wedding gift is way beyond late?!
If, for some reasons, you completely forgot to send the couple a wedding gift and only realize it many months later?! Fret not.
The alternative to sending the wedding gift immediately, since you already know their wedding date, is to aim to send them a gift for their first anniversary!
This way, rather than risk coming across as trying to appease the couple for forgetting to send a gift in the first place, turn that into an opportunity to positively surprise them instead!
When to Send Wedding Gift from Registry?
As the wedding registry would usually already have the recipient’s delivery address on file, it is generally fine to buy wedding gifts from the registry as soon as the registry is set up.
Additionally, you need not have to worry about when or where to ship the gift to when buying through a registry.
However, in the unlikely event that the registry does not have a shipping address on file, it is best to ask the bride or the groom where to send the wedding gift before shipping it.
When to Send Wedding Gift if Not Attending?
Not every guest who’s been invited to a wedding would be able to attend, so you need not worry if you cannot attend for whatever reason.
However, as your name is already on the invited guests’ list it is important to handle the gift-giving aspect the best you can. That’s the least you can do considering that the wedding couple has been thoughtful enough to include you in their invitation.
If you’re not attending the wedding, it’s best to buy and ship out the gift soon after you’ve received the official invite, or as soon as you know you cannot attend, whichever is earlier.
Remember to include a short note of apology so that the sincerity comes across as genuine.
Although the couple may be disappointed that you cannot make it to their wedding, they can still have sufficient time to make any re-arrangement, if need be. It will be a nice gesture well appreciated!
On the contrary, if you’re not close to the couple a simple card with a thoughtful message will suffice.
What to Write in a Wedding Card When Not Attending?
When you’re not attending a wedding, it’s good courtesy to include a wedding card with the gift and offer some sort of apology for not being able to attend.
Including a wedding card, in this case, is even more important than if you’re attending the wedding and sending a gift at the same time.
Obviously, there are many ways to express an apology for not attending the wedding, but the examples below are probably good ones to use without coming across as insincere:
Wished I could be there to celebrate such a wonderful day with you. I wish you the most beautiful of marriage, from the bottom of my heart!
Please accept my sincere apology for not making it to your wedding. Here’s wishing you the most wonderful future together!
We are terribly sorry to miss your wedding. You are the loveliest couple and we wish you all the great things in life!
One crucial point to a good message when you’re not attending the wedding is to keep the message short!
How to Send Wedding Gifts?
The easiest option to send wedding gifts is by purchasing them through the wedding registry and let the website send it to the address on file. Apart from saving you the hassle of finding out where to send the gift to, the wedding couple is certain to get something they want and will use as well.
Therefore, making use of the wedding registry, if one exists, is definitely the way to go!
Alternatively, you may opt for shipping services like FedEx, DHL or UPS, or the local post office. Should you proceed with this option, purchasing insurance for the parcel would be advisable especially if it’s a gift of considerable value.
Where to Send Wedding Gifts?
It is typical for the gifts to be sent to the bride’s home. The best way to assess where to send wedding gifts is to check out the registry site. It will have the preferred shipping address listed.
In the event no shipping address is made available on the registry, it is best to ask the bride or groom for the address before shipping the gift.
Another option for where to ship wedding gifts can be to check the return address on the invitation, or even the invitation card itself may outline such details.
What If the Couple Prefers Monetary Gift for the Wedding?
Cash is a popular option as a wedding gift these days. This is especially true for those who want to use the wedding money for their honeymoon, or perhaps on some home improvement projects.
It is possible to send cash (or checks) in the mail but this leads to security concerns. It should always be sent in a greeting card to help make it more secure.
Moreover, there are even cash registries online now for even easier ways to send the couple cash!
If you’re trying to figure out whether to give cash or check to the wedding couple, both methods certainly have their pros and cons which you should consider. There are ways to send or present either of them to ensure the security and presentability of this type of wedding gift.