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Giving — and getting — the perfect wedding gift
Personal finance » Monitor your budget when gifting in wedding-rich Utah.

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"That way you don’t have a lot of people searching [for your preferences]," she said. "It’s a more tactful way to say, ‘If you choose to gift, here are some of the items we’re interested in’."

In addition to cash, more couples are creating wedding pages and putting links to bank accounts set up for a down payment or honeymoon.

At a glance

Utah wedding gift etiquette

Confused on what to buy the bride and groom? It’s a personal decision, but advice from Utah wedding experts may help:

Look at your budget » If this is your fourth wedding this month, the gifts may have to be more modest, but by all means, bring something or contribute to a group gift.

Think about your relationship with the couple » Is the bride your goddaughter and a regular at Sunday dinners or is she a neighbor’s niece who baby-sat for you once? Reserve homemade items only for those closest to you.

Consider the couple’s circumstances » Brides and grooms just starting out need basics while couples in their 30s may appreciate contributions to a down payment on a home.

Let the couple decide » You can’t go wrong with cash or gift cards. See if the couple has a wedding website, where many post links to gift registries and wedding funds.

Sources » Michelle Leo, Heather Openshaw, Ellen Reddick

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"It was kind of taboo a couple of years ago, but now 60 to 70 percent of my clients do this," Leo says. "I think guests appreciate it because they realize it’s just as easy to give online as to go buy a gift."

But engaged couples should never equate the value of one’s gift with the cost of having them attend the wedding ceremony or reception, Openshaw says.

"When you’re inviting people, you should invite them from the heart," she said. "I just think that’s in poor taste."

When to respond • The majority of the 200 people who attended Kelsey Gillespie’s wedding events brought gifts and two months after the wedding, she’s sent thank you notes to most of them. She says she chose to send cards via "snail mail."

"I didn’t feel online notes were as personal," she said.

Etiquette expert Reddick would approve, saying thank you cards should be handwritten on paper and mailed within three months of the wedding.

"That’s still the gold standard," she said. "No email, no group thank you or anything like that."

Bride-to-be Gopez plans to go the extra mile, giving all 150 guests at her August wedding fresh water pearls as a token of gratitude.

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"We figured with so many people flying in, we definitely wanted to show our appreciation," Gopez said.

That’s a far cry from the online tale that started with a half-hearted thank you text and request for a gift receipt.


Twitter: @jnpearce

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