Ask Christina: Guest and gifts
Am I expected to arrive with a gift?
The short answer, yes.
Most couples have a registry, so if you purchase a gift from their registry, it is best for you to have it shipped to their home. This way, they do not need to worry about lugging around large unruly wedding gifts, and you also don’t need to carry it into the wedding!
Try to stick with money or with a gift from their registry. While a thoughtful gift outside is their registry may mean well, if you get them something they didn’t want already it may clash with their home decor, or it may be something they already have.
It is okay to bring an envelope with check or cash to the wedding. The couple will either accept from you while they make their table rounds (depends on the culture) and will also have a card box at the wedding. Now, how much to give? That’s really up to you and how close you are to the couple, if you’re bringing a date, and what you can afford.
If you forget to get the couple a gift by their wedding, don’t wait too long. Thank cards usually fly out fast and furious within 1 month of the wedding. If you wait too long, the couple, quite frankly, may wonder if you’re getting them a gift at all… and will have to send you an awkward thank you card, or none at all.