Wedding Gifts - Setting the record straight! / by Hannah Byrne

I love giving gifts. I love how thoughtful they can be, surprising even! But don't get me wrong I'm also a very practical person. I hate knick knacks and clutter. And after getting married, moving a few times and somehow accumulating a bunch of stuff - I'm here to set the record straight when it comes to gift giving for all those weddings you are invited to!

Hannah Leigh Photography Stone Tower Winery Wedding Leesburg VA_4823.jpg


Seriously friends. This one is #1 for a reason. 

The bride and groom took a lot of time to create their registry and they chose specific items for a reason. Just because you like the floral patterned apron and matching mittens doesn't mean you should get them for your poor friend getting married. Save them the hassle of returning and stick to their list! It makes it SUPER easy for you, & it makes life easier for the bride & groom!

2.  GIVE CASH (the right way!)

I live in Baltimore City so maybe I'm a little paranoid, but you probably shouldn't be mailing large bills to your couple. I love how awesome some registry platforms have the option for couples to receive cash in a safe + easy way. (ex:

Brides + Grooms - set up a registry that allows you to ask for funds towards certain things (honeymoon, date nights, cooking lessons, etc.). Your guests will have the option of giving you "experiences" over material items, which I think ROCKS! 

Guests - Find an adventure your couple wants to do an boom, you're done. Give your lovely couple some help exploring on their honeymoon right from their registry, easy peasy lemon squeezy! 

Side note if you choose to give a check at the wedding: Choose one persons name & write it on the check. The bride isn't going to have her name changed within 72 hours of her wedding, so writing "Mark + Sarah Smith" makes it challenging to cash at a bank. Also, don't assume the lady is changing her last name, it's 2017 y'all!

3. HOW MUCH $$ TO SPEND (what's appropriate to shell out?)

This is tricky, right? There used to be this rule that you needed to "cover your plate" and while that does seem appropriate, some weddings can be upwards of $100 a head - YIKES. For a young lad like me, a few weddings later and I'm gonna be shoving hors d'oeuvres from cocktail hour into my purse to survive the rest of the week. (This is obviously an exaggeration.......)

Consider how well you know the couple + look at your own financial situation. I think $50 is a great starting point! And there is always the option to go in on a gift with a few friends!


Being in the wedding takes some serious financial commitment and any sane Bride + Groom understands this. From bachelor parties, to bridal showers, to dresses + tuxes, don't feel like you need to show up with a gift at every event. The couple asked you to be a part of the process so that you could share the experience with them. Write them a sweet note and include a framed photo of the two of you, buy Starbucks (or some bubbly!) the morning of the wedding or just be a smiling/supportive/loving friend. Don't overthink or overdo it! 


Don't settle on your registry platform! Find one that works for you. We're in the 21st century - you don't need to ask for fine china and a deep fryer you'll never use. Have your guests invest in experiences, adventures, date nights and  items you'll actually use and enjoy! Zola is a great platform for all you thrill seeking couples looking to fund your adventures.