No, You Can't Really Wait A Year After A Wedding To Give A Gift

There's an oft-quoted etiquette rule that wedding guests have up to a year after the reception to give the bride and the groom a gift. As long as the couple is still considered "newlyweds," it's still totally OK to give them a gift, right?

Not really.

Though surely no couple would reject a gift long after they say "I do," after a few months of not receiving anything, they're likely to just assume they're not receiving a gift. So, while you could send a gift, say, 10 months after the wedding, there's almost no point in doing so because the couple has moved on.

So how long do you really have to give a wedding gift?

According to Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute, you should try to send a gift as close to the wedding as possible. Ideally the couple will have received the gift by the time they return from their honeymoon (roughly one month post-nuptials), though the acceptable timeframe can be stretched out to two months.

The best etiquette is actually to send the gift to the bride's home before the wedding. Though most receptions do have a gift table, sending a wedding gift ahead of time eliminates the possibility that a gift will be lost, paired with the wrong card, or stolen during the reception.