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Wedding Gifts

The start of the wedding gift tradition seems to have developed around the dowry given by the bride's family as part of the marriage arrangement. Depending on which country the couple was from the dowry was given either to the bride herself, the groom or from the groom's family to the bride's family as payment for their daughter.  

Many times marriages were arranged to merge family fortunes.  The family of a wealthy groom would offer money, land, etc. as payment to the brides' family for their daughter's hand in marriage.  Traditionally the bride's family would provide the groom with a bridal dowry which contained all the needed items for the couple to start up their household.  This would generally include linens, silverware, glassware, china and other household items.  Many years later the dowry changed into the romantic Hope Chest.  The giving of gifts to the new couple by their wedding guests was a natural progression from the giving of gifts by their families.  Modern wedding gift giving is a way to symbolize the couple's happy day and let them know you appreciate being included in their celebration.  

Choosing wedding gifts seems like it should be easy, but it can present some challenges.  The main thing to remember when looking for wedding gift ideas is that you give from the heart with a truly generous spirit.  However, there are a few etiquette rules you may want to follow.  

Use the Registry.  You might think this is not a very creative way to choose a gift.  Wouldn't they love that beautiful quilt you purchased at your local flea market?  Not necessarily.  When couples create a registry, they really want and/or need the items on their registry.  Therefore, this is a really good way to be sure they will love and appreciate the gift you have given.  Also, with most registries now available online, it only takes a couple clicks of the mouse to purchase, wrap and send the gift.  What could possibly be easier?


What About Cold Hard Cash?  You can almost never go wrong with cash.  As a matter of fact, many couples would rather have cash; especially if they are already living together or have setup their own households.  They may have everything thing need for their new household and cash would be much appreciated.  You are guaranteed to make a couple happy if you slip a generous check into a card that speaks from the heart. Your generous gift just may help them pay for their wedding rings or the honeymoon of their dreams.


How Much to Spend?  The amount of money you are expected to spend on a wedding gift varies depending on what area you are in and how close you are to the couple.  As a general rule between $50 and $200 is acceptable for a wedding gift.  You could probably stick to the lower end if you are attending the 500 guest wedding of your co-worker, but would want to go with the upper end if you are attending the wedding of a very close family member.  The amount you spend on a gift will also be determined on other gifts you may have given such as shower or engagement gifts.  Also, if you have traveled quite a distance for a destination wedding, you may spend a bit less on the wedding gift.  



Tags: wedding gifts, engagement gifts, wedding shower gifts, wedding rings, honeymoon