First Posted: 12/30/2009
Selecting the proper gift to give when invited to attend a particular wedding event may not be as difficult as it may seem. Typically, bridal shower gifts are easy to select due to the fact that ideas are already suggested in the gift registries included with the invitations. However, the engagement party and wedding reception may not be as clear.
The engagement party is usually hosted by the parents of the bride and groom and takes place to announce the upcoming marriage of their son or daughter. The guests invited usually include the closest friends and family of the parents and wedding couple. Generally, there are going to be additional events that these guests will be invited to prior to and including the wedding reception. It is not required that a monetary gift be given at the engagement party. A bottle of champagne or wine or small gift for the couple would be the most appropriate. If a destination wedding is planned or other arrangements for a private ceremony and family dinner is planned in the future instead of the traditional reception, then a monetary wedding gift presented at the party may be the proper way to go,
The wedding gift may include gift cards to department stores or a travel agent gift certificate for the wedding trip. A gift receipt should be included for ease of any exchange that may be necessary.
The amount of the gift is another matter. There is no greater myth than the amount of the gift given for the wedding reception should encompass the amount that the couple has spent for the wedding package at a particular country club or wedding facility. You should feel comfortable giving what you can afford.
Thank you cards should always be written. They may be sent within two weeks of a particular event, and an acceptable time limit is within 12 weeks. I am always a little surprised upon receiving a thank you card a few days after such an event. It makes me think that they have already been written prior to the party taking place. The thank you cards should also be personalized in some way, even though the card selected may have a general message already printed inside.
If the wedding should be cancelled for any reason, all of the gifts, including monetary gifts, should all be returned with a brief thank you note. A reason for the gift being returned may be included at the discretion of the sender.
There are many ways to thank guests for attending a wedding reception. Those guests who have attended from out of town and have stayed at the hotel where the reception has taken place may be invited to a post -wedding breakfast buffet the next morning set up in a private room at the hotel. I feel that it is the perfect way to cap off the wedding weekend and get your guests on the road completely pampered with a thoughtfully planned hot breakfast. It also gives the family more time to thank the guests personally for sharing their special weekend.