Luxury Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito answers your questions...
Q: A life-long friend will be eloping with her fiancé to a Caribbean Island, and hosting a reception in the States two months later for family and friends. My question is, when is the most appropriate time to send a gift? Should I send it in advance of the actual wedding? Immediately after so that they receive it upon their return? Or should I bring it with me when I attend their reception later this year? ~ DB
PS ~ I will be giving a check.
A: Destination weddings are becoming increasingly more popular, as are elopement ceremonies followed by at home receptions. While this emerging trend allows couples to fulfill their every dream, and affords those lucky enough to attend a one-in-a-lifetime experience, it does pose some challenges and questions in terms of etiquette and expectations.
In this particular scenario, I would say that you are welcome to do whatever you feel most comfortable with. When giving a gift, it is most important to keep in mind the desire of the recipient. What do you think that the couple would appreciate the most? Perhaps they would appreciate receiving your gift in advance, so that they can splurge on an amazing experience while celebrating their ceremony and honeymoon. Or, if they are more traditional (doubtful in this circumstance) you can bring the gift with you to the reception so that they can enjoy the thrill of opening all of their gifts together on their "wedding" night.
Another lovely option you have is to "split" the gift ~ Sending your check in advance to ensure that they are able to use it as they would like over the course of their ceremony and reception months, and then bringing a small token gift with you to the reception to commemorate the day. A small, elegant picture frame would be gorgeous and appropriate. Even better ~ See if you can get someone to share a photo of them from their ceremony and include a print, too!