Can You Give a Gift Card for Wedding? [Is It Okay?]

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.

One aspect that’s usually a big part of any wedding is gift giving. It’s often a time-honored tradition for family and friends to give gifts to the bride and groom, along with others involved in their wedding—the bride’s mother, for example. How well does a gift card fit in this context?

It’s okay to give a gift card as a wedding gift, but you should choose a store that’s listed on the couple’s registry. Some couples are looking for only contributions to their honeymoon fund or may request a donation instead of a gift. Regardless, it depends on your relationship with the couple. 

Most people prefer to opt for something more personal, but there are occasions where a gift card can be the right choice. If you don’t know whether you should do it or not, we’ve got answers!

Should Give a Gift Card at a Wedding?

Whether you’ve been to a dozen weddings or none, there’s no amount of movie-watching or YouTube research you can do to determine the “normal” gift for a wedding.

Wedding gifts are almost taboo to talk about, unlike graduation gifts (which are normally always cash or check) or housewarming gifts (which can be anything from gift cards to items for the home). No two weddings are alike, either, so it can be a difficult decision to come to. 

Weddings can be stressful for everyone involved. The lovely couple you’ll soon celebrate probably isn’t even thinking about gifts—they have caterers, venues, and services to corral.

But one of the most important things to remember as a guest and wedding gift-giver is that it’s not about you. You want to give the couple something they will like and use, but more importantly, you want them to have fun on their big day.

Gift cards are similar to cash and check, but they don’t provide the same flexibility. More often than not, couples will have a “card box” that is reserved for cash and check gifts. For this reason, we don’t recommend that you get your friend or family member a gift card (even if they are newlyweds) by default. Instead, check out their registry first

Sometimes, a couple will request only donations to their honeymoon fund or cash to make back what they paid for the wedding. However, if they do have a registry for a certain store, getting them a gift card would probably be okay.

Gift Cards Are Often Considered Taboo at Wedding

Some people believe that giving money as a wedding gift is bad luck. However, this is more about what container they go in. Wedding gifts such as cash and checks are the most common thing given at a wedding, and the average guest spends about $100 on a wedding gift.

Some might think that a gift card, cash, or check isn’t personal enough for a wedding, which is why it may be taboo. However, this depends a lot on your relationship with the person. If it’s your daughter or son, a gift card or check may not cut it. However, if it’s your second cousin you know nothing about, this would make sense.

Either way, the couple will no doubt just be grateful for your presence and not worry too much about the gift. At weddings, gifts are usually sent right home—there’s no gift-opening ceremony. 

Consider Your Relationship With the Couple

If you’re going to a wedding, you probably want to get the couple something special. Maybe you want to give them something they need, or maybe it’s something they want—or even better: maybe it’s both! Whatever the case, some good rules exist for picking out great wedding gifts.

  • Give them something they can use. A gift card falls into this category, as long as it has no expiration date or any random stipulations. 
  • Give them something that will last a long time and won’t go out of style anytime soon.
  • If possible, make sure your gift says something about what kind of person you are, but don’t try too hard either. It might seem forced and awkward instead of charmingly personal.

A gift card actually hits two out of these three criteria!

While it might seem like a cop-out, gift cards are a great way to give the couple a chance to choose something they want. You can’t go wrong with giving your friends or family a gift card at their favorite store so they can pick something out for themselves.

Don’t Overspend if You Don’t Know the Couple Well

If you don’t know the couple well, a gift card, cash, check, or something from the registry is the best bet. 

Whether you’re buying for the bride, groom, or both, make sure you know their taste before buying anything expensive. If you don’t know their style well enough or aren’t close enough with them to ask about their preferences and interests, then stick with something simple like cash or gift cards instead of overspending on an item the person will never use (unless they’re into collecting old Chinese vases).

When to Gift Card at a Wedding

As mentioned numerous times above, gift cards can be the way forward. Some people think that giving gift cards is perfect for newlyweds because it lets the two of them go out on dates and spend time together.

Another reason some people like to give gift cards as a wedding present is that it gives the couple more freedom in choosing what they want to do with their money. However, cash and checks give you the most freedom if this is your goal. 

You should think about what the couple needs before giving a gift card. If you know they already have everything they need, and the registry is mostly taken up, then a gift card is an excellent idea. 

Gift cards can become pretty personal if you spend a little extra time thinking about them. You can get the couple a gift card to their favorite restaurant, the place they went on their first date, or even some popular grocery stores you know they have nearby so they don’t have to worry about groceries once they return from their honeymoon.

Amazon gift cards can be used for Audible, which may be perfect for a long flight. 

Some of this information might seem contradictory, but remember a few rules of thumb before deciding whether or not a gift card is the right gift for the happy couple in your life:

  • Check their registry first
  • Consider your relationship with them
  • Consider how personal you want to get

How to Choose a Gift for a Wedding

Let’s suppose you decided not to go for a gift card. That opens up a much bigger question: what should you get them as a gift? Do you invite them out to dinner instead? Buy them some furniture? Should you just give them cash?

The answer is: it depends on the couple and their preferences. 

Think About the Couple, Not Yourself

The key here is to ensure you know the couple well enough to know what they like and don’t like. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that this is a wedding gift for them—the old saying “buy a gift that you would like” doesn’t really apply here.

Someone at work might know something about that couple or have seen what type of things they enjoy on social media (and maybe even have some good ideas!). Ask around if you’re unsure what kind of stuff they would like. Don’t just buy something because you think it’s cool or would be nice in their house—get something that fits their personalities and aesthetics.

Always Check the Registry First

While the couple may be excited to receive a gift that you think is perfect, it’s always a good idea to check the registry first. 

Even if you don’t plan on purchasing something from their list, you’ll still want to check their registry first. If you know the couple as well as you think you do, then you may likely be buying something they already registered for, and someone may have already bought it.

Give to the Honeymoon Fund

The cost of a wedding can be staggering, and there are a lot of expenses that people may not even think about when planning their big day. One way to help ease some of those costs is by giving to the honeymoon fund. If you’re looking for a gift that will have a lasting impact on the newlyweds, consider giving to their honeymoon fund.

What exactly is a honeymoon fund? It’s an account where money can be saved in advance so that it’s ready when the time comes for the couple to embark on their romantic getaway.

How much should you contribute? That depends on how much you want to spend and how close you are with your friends or family, but anywhere between $100-$500 would suffice! If possible, ask if there’s already one set up or create one yourself with them in mind.

Experiences Are Great Gifts

Choosing something memorable and meaningful is the most important thing when giving a wedding gift. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as an experience they can share together or something more personal, like artwork or jewelry.

If you want to give an experience as a wedding gift, many options are available. For example, you could plan a trip for your friend and their spouse to go on together later in their marriage (if they haven’t already). 

You could also take them out for dinner at their favorite restaurant after the wedding—but not right after the wedding, they may need a week or two to recover. If you prefer something more sentimental than an activity-based experience, consider buying them tickets for musical performances or sporting events. The latter might not be appropriate if the couple has young children.

Similar Posts