Spring has sprung all around America – and as the weather warms up, love is in the air. Wedding season typically runs from early May to early October. Most newlyweds prefer the warm weather for their ceremonies, especially as outdoor weddings and other non-traditional ceremonies grow in popularity.
And with wedding season comes wedding spending! When you attend a wedding, you’re expected to bring a gift, and spending on wedding gifts is a huge part of the $53.4 billion wedding industry in the United States.
But there are a lot of things to consider when selecting a wedding gift. One of the most common questions asked recently is in regards to gift cards. Gift cards are an incredibly popular gift during other holidays – including birthdays, winter holidays, and graduations – but are still somewhat uncommon during weddings.
Many people are unaware of the etiquette rules regarding gift cards at weddings, so we’re here with an FAQ that can help you answer the most common questions that you may have about giving gift cards at weddings.
Read on, and see why a gift card might just be the best gift option for the next wedding you attend!
Is It Okay To Buy A Gift Card For A Wedding?
Let’s start with the big question. Weddings are all about tradition, and in the past, there may have been people who frowned upon giving newlyweds gift cards. However, those days are long past – partly due to recent advances in gift registry technology.
Think about it – if you’ve been invited to a wedding recently, you’ve probably been given a list of places where the bride and groom are registered. And at some of these places like Target and Kohl’s, you can buy the gifts that the happy couple is registered for online – and have them delivered straight to their doorstep.
What we’re trying to say is that, nowadays, wedding gifts are not surprises. 99% of all wedding attendants use the couple’s gift card registry to choose their gifts, because this ensures that they don’t have to worry about accidentally purchasing a duplicate item, or getting the couple something they don’t want or need.
So why not buy a gift card? Gift cards can allow newlyweds to have more flexibility, and fill in the gaps in their registries that people may not have purchased for them.
Plus, gift cards are easy to pack and bring to weddings, and allow you to give a gift that will always be useful – especially if you buy a gift late, and there are few appropriate gifts left on the couple’s registry. When you buy a gift card, you can always let the couple choose what they want.
What Is The Best Gift Card To Buy?
If you paid attention to the above answer, you’ll probably already have a good idea. You should buy a gift card to any store where the couple is registered.
This is the best way to make sure that you get a gift card that’s usable by the couple – they can use the card to buy the things that were missing from their registry, or to make some impulse purchases next time they go to the store to pick up the essentials that they’ll need for their new lives together.
We highly recommend doing this. Gift cards are a fantastic wedding gift if they’re useful – because almost all wedding gifts are useful. Towels, silverware, appliances – these are the most common gifts at weddings. So buy a gift card that’s useful – not a gift card to a fancy restaurant, or to an electronics retailer. This will ensure that the happy couple can use your gift card for the essentials, and have a smooth start to their new lives together.
How Much Money Should I Spend On A Wedding Gift Card?
This can be a bit tricky, because most people aren’t aware of the typical value of wedding gifts. According to Forbes, the average price of a wedding gift has climbed over the years, and is now between $75-$175, depending on your location.
As a rule, you should be willing to spend as much on a gift card as you would on any other gift. A useful way to determine the value your gift card should have is to take advantage of the couple’s registry. Take a look at the most expensive items – and the least expensive items – and you’ll get a good idea of how much money most people will spend on a registry gift.
You can then adjust your gift card spend accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to stay over $50, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to do so. Chances are that the happy couple will get gift cards to the same store from several people, so they’ll be able to combine their balances to buy larger items.
Still, it’s the thought that counts. While wedding gifts are tradition, most newlyweds will be happy that you’re attending, and won’t be offended if you can’t spare the cash for a high-value gift card. Get what you can afford – and they’ll love it, no matter what.
NOTE: If you can’t make it to a wedding in person, you should consider buying a gift with a somewhat higher value. This is because you’ve probably saved some money on travel expenses that would have been incurred if you had attended in person – and giving a gift that’s higher in value is a great way to help make up for the fact that you weren’t able to attend.
Should I Tell The Newlyweds How Much Money Is On The Card?
Some people will tell you that it’s gauche to have the value of a gift card on the card itself – after all, you remove price tags from your gifts, don’t you?
However, this attitude is silly when it comes to a wedding gift. The recipients of a gift are almost always going to know how much it costs – because they’re the ones who registered for the gift! They know how much each item on their list was, so taking off price tags isn’t going to help hide how much you’ve spent.
Because of this, you should absolutely make it clear how much money is on a particular gift card. This will make it easier for the newlyweds to redeem it for the things they want, and during the hectic first weeks of marriage, nobody wants to be confused by the value of a gift card.
This will also aid newlyweds when they’re writing “thank you” cards. If you didn’t write down the value of your gift card, they won’t be able to properly thank you for the value of their gift, which can make things a little bit awkward.
How Can I Ensure My Gift Card Isn’t Lost In The Shuffle?
Another concern about gift cards at weddings is losing them in the shuffle. The small size and unobtrusiveness of gift cards are usually a good thing – but in a big wedding, small gifts can easily be lost behind giant gift-wrapped appliances, big boxes, and the sheer number of gifts that are given during a reception.
Because of this, it can be a little more difficult to make sure your gift card makes it to the intended recipient. Luckily, most wedding organizers have realized this, so they provide you with a small basket, crate, or box where greeting cards, money, and gift cards can be dropped.
However, this doesn’t eliminate the risk of theft – if a guest or an employee of a venue, catering company, or other organization is unscrupulous, they could certainly nab some serious cash and gift cards from that basket. This is uncommon – but it does happen.
So, if you’re really concerned with security, consider not bringing the gift card with you to the wedding at all. Mail it to the couple a few weeks before the big day, or send it to them after they’ve come back from their honeymoon. By doing so, you can ensure that they’ll receive the card, and be able to use it – with no risk of theft or loss.
If you want to deliver your gift card immediately – but still avoid theft and loss – you could forego a physical gift card altogether. Most major stores offer digital gift cards that can be purchased online and sent directly to a recipient’s email address – instantly.
If you send a digital gift card, your newlyweds will immediately receive the gift, and you won’t have to worry about losing the card during the hectic wedding ceremony and reception.
How Long After The Wedding Am I Allowed To Send A Wedding Present?
Most wedding presents are given to newlyweds at the reception – but gifts from distant relatives, friends, and other people who were not able to attend the wedding can easily trickle in for several months – or even up to a year! If you weren’t able to make it to a wedding ceremony, you have plenty of time to pick out a gift and send it – and that includes gift cards.
However, you shouldn’t just wait around for no reason when buying a gift card for a newlywed couple. Newlyweds need a lot of stuff to get their new lives started – and if you send a great, thoughtful gift card a few months after their ceremony, they may have already gotten most of the things that they needed, and your gift will be somewhat wasted.
They will appreciate the gesture, of course – but since they won’t really be able to use it on the essentials, they may be unable to spend it in a timely manner, and could get hit with inactivity fees, expiration dates, or other problems.
So if you’re sending a gift card as a wedding present, you shouldn’t wait. Try to send it within a month or two of the ceremony.
This is when all of the commotion of the wedding, honeymoon, and moving in together will usually have subsided, and newlyweds will be taking a deeper look into the gifts they’ve gotten, and what they still need.
Sending a gift card that gets there during this process is a fantastic idea, because they can use it to fill out their home with items that they may not have received during their wedding.
Wedding Gift Cards – A Fantastic Choice For This Wedding Season!
Giving a gift card at a wedding isn’t just acceptable – it’s a fantastic idea, especially if you follow our above guidelines to pick out a wonderful wedding gift card that your newlywed couple will be able to use to buy what they need to start a new life together.
So don’t shy away from gift cards at weddings. They may be somewhat non-traditional, but any newly-married couple will appreciate your gesture, and your gift could prove to be very useful to them as they start their new lives together.
Got Gift Cards You Don’t Need? Sell Them On EJ Gift Cards!
Gift cards are fantastic presents – but they’re not always what you want. Whether you’re a newlywed who has been given some gift cards you may never use, or you just have a stack of unwanted gift cards collecting dust in your junk drawer, put them to use! Sell them on EJ Gift Cards today.
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Just log into our website, get an offer, enter your payment details, and sell your cards for cash payments via PayPal. It’s just that easy, and our customer support team is always on-hand to help you if you have any issues or concerns throughout the process.
Put your unused gift cards to work. Sell them for cash now with EJ Gift Cards.