I plan to give my future daughter-in-law a silver powder compact with her new initials engraved on it. Would it be best to give it to her after the rehearsal, at or after the rehearsal dinner, or on the day of the wedding, which is tomorrow? Or do you have any other suggestions? I’m kind of thinking the day of the wedding would be the best and thinking about maybe having my 9-year-old granddaughter take it in to her while they’re getting ready and leave the gift with her. What do you think? Do you think there’s too much going on the day of the wedding or a better chance it could get lost that day? Thank you.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Cumulus,

The rehearsal dinner is not a gift giving event for the couple, so it could create a problem for those who feel that they should have given them something. If you can give it to her privately afterwards, and if they are going straight home (so she doesn’t have to worry about it), then you could give it to her after the dinner. There may be too much going on during the day of the wedding. Plus, it might get lost to give it to her then.

It really would have been better to give it to her well before the wedding. You might find that you have to wait until they return from their honeymoon.

Best wishes,

Reader Response

Thanks for the reply. I did plan to give it to her as privately as possible, whenever giving it to her occurred. I wasn’t going to make it a public gift-giving in front of everyone. The objective was just to get it to her. I ended up giving it to her privately at the reception when she and my son were sitting at their table, which really worked out well, and I told her she could open it whenever it was convenient. They were spending the night at the hotel where the reception was held (before going on the honeymoon) and she didn’t have much to physically take with her to the room when the reception ended; they could simply take the elevator up to their room. It was easy to take the gift bag with her.

Yes, giving it to her sooner could be an option, such as at a shower, but that seemed like putting the cart before the horse. I preferred to give it to her when her new initials were either official, or imminently official. It just seemed more timely to me that way!

Thanks again. The wedding was very successful and a good time was had by all!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

It is unfortunate that there wasn’t a better time for you to give her this gift. It would have been most appropriate when you acknowledged their engagement. Giving her the gift at the reception really puts more emphasis on you and your generosity than on her and them. Gifts really shouldn’t be given at the reception anyway for the same reason–the emphasis is on the gift and not the sentiment of the event.

Wedding Expert

Welcoming your future daughter-in-law to the family is important and something she will remember throughout her lifetime. Giving her a gift that signifies her new role in the family should be done so with thought, love and respect. I agree with the others that the best time to give it to her is in a private moment. 

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