The glass may not be broken, no Champagne may not be served, and there may not be a first dance. Is it still relevant to give an expensive wedding gift to the happy couple who are having a digital wedding? The meal you got wasn’t even that great, not to mention the wine you didn’t receive.
Keith Willard, the owner of a South Florida event planning company, advised giving a wedding gift to those who can afford it. Couples should, however, hold low expectations, he warns. During the pre-Covid era, when weddings were held in person, he told couples they might not receive a gift at all, or the gift would be 25 percent of the original amount.
Brian Tremont, 46, and Michael Apuada, 43, who are both physical therapists, kept the gift expectations low when they wed in their Chicago condo in June, watching via Zoom 200 guests.
The original idea was that people would give less because the Zoom wedding, as well as an evening dinner and celebration, did not take place. The average gift given per couple was $150 per person. He was surprised by the generosity of most people.
Some people won’t be so lucky.
Because of the epidemic, weddings and wedding guests are changing how they receive gifts, which has caused financial problems that have led some guests to not follow the traditional wedding customs prior to the epidemic, where guests would give $150 to $500 per person as gifts. Zoom couples also receive monetary contributions for their online wedding registries, which provide options such as contributing to trip expenses, dinners, honeymoons, and flights. In addition, Zoom couples no longer receive checks for their in-person wedding receptions.
Providing different gifts to the couple is an efficient way to show them their love, says lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann.
Ms. Swann emphasized that the gift should still have the same meaning despite being virtual.
Founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Florida Jacqueline Whitmore argues that this should not apply to Zoom weddings, since the adage that you should spend the couple’s money on you as a guest does not apply anymore. According to her, your gift shouldn’t be determined by whether the wedding is expensive or elegant. When couples are not registered, Whitmore selects gifts from registries, but if there is no registry, a gift card is sent.
Can we do it virtually, too? The type and quantity of gifts are changing, says Kurt Perschke, the chief executive of Web Baby Shower, an online service that provides baby showers as well as bridal showers.
The gifts that are given at virtual showers are usually practical, says Mr. Perschke. Receiving gifts in person, where the receiver can see them, is more memorable than receiving them electronically.
The most common bridal shower gifts are scrapbooks, adult games and framed photos, according to Mr. Perschke. Today, he sees much more linens, china, and flatware, and he also sees electronic gifts such as universal spa e-gift cards, adventure weekend experiences and more.
According to him, the average cost of these shower gifts has stayed the same at around $25 to $75.
Engagement gifts don't need to cost anywhere near as much – or even anything at all. Even before the flu pandemic, Melissa Imberman, owner of the Event of a Lifetime in New York, observed that engagement parties, along with the gifts that accompanied them, were declining.
Would it be possible to host an engagement party virtually?
Rent My Wedding chief executive Marie Kubin said this might be a good time to send video greetings as an alternative to engagement gifts.
You may be able to mark off the engagement gift from your list, but keep in mind the timelines for sending other gifts.
In New York, Love Inc. magazine editor in chief Brittny Drye says you still should give a gift to the event's host two months after the original date was set, even if the event is postponed. Sending early is preferable to sending late due to postal delays.