Wediquette Wednesday: How long do I have to give a wedding gift?


Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)



Question: My friend got married a couple of months ago and at the time, I didn’t really have it in my budget to get the gift I planned to present at the wedding reception. I’m finally able to do it. Is it true that I have a year to get them the gift?

Answer: Unfortunately no, the year timeline is an urban legend. That said, you are still within the recommended three-month timeline, so get that gift to your friends, pronto! Typically, gifts are shipped prior to the wedding or placed on a special table at the reception. (Note: Gift tables are not standard, so be sure to ask in advance if there will be one at the event. If not, again, send the gift in advance.) If because of a limited budget or some other factor you’ve failed to get a gift to the couple, mail it as soon as possible and, as mentioned, try to make it within three months of the wedding. I’m of the opinion however that with a brief, but properly worded card that includes well wishes and a dash of self-deprecating humor about your forgetfulness or professional-level procrastination the newlyweds are sure to forgive your belated present even after the three month mark. Don’t make the moment about yourself by offering up lengthy excuses or tales of woe in your note however; rather keep it short and sweet, focusing on the two lovebirds. A beautifully wrapped gift presented in person with a conciliatory bottle of their favorite wine or spirit would probably also smooth over any hard feelings. It’s of course best to make gifting a priority leading up to the wedding, that way you can focus on the festivities and avoid awkward moments at gatherings in the months that follow.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email



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