A Mylot friend expressed her anxiety for a friend's wedding in June because she said it is going to be her first formal invitation to a wedding celebration. In fact, I thought she sounded overly excited to the point of sounding panicky about it.
I would like to give some helpful suggestions to those of you who are attending any wedding ceremony. First you need to ask for the motif (color motif or whatever). Is it just the regular type of church wedding which ends at a resort or 5-star hotel for the reception? Or is it an underwater wedding or an island wedding? You don't want to go there in your sequined gown if the wedding is going to be held at the beach. So find out about these things.
If the wedding is just like any regular church wedding, then the only thing you need to know would be the color motif. It would be good to wear something that goes with the color motif of the occasion. You may have the color only as an accent or background of your dress. One thing you need to avoid when you attend a formal affair like this is this: never wear black.
A wedding is a happy occasion and should therefore show that it is such. Someone who comes in wearing something black could be criticized for her bad taste and ill humor.
After knowing the color, choose a formal dress, meaning a decent one but still fashionable. Since weddings start at the church, something decent is preferred. However, you might want to look sexy during the reception so you might want to try a dress that reveals the shoulders or a little of your back. The real definition of "formal" for women is "floor length" while for men would be coats, tuxedo, or "barong". A dress that is mid-calf in length is also appropriate.
Now what to give. This one depends on your budget. No, it is not tacky to give cash as gift but you have to place it in a decent red cash envelope and if possible, hand it personally just to make sure. This is going to be small so there's a big chance of it getting lost.
If you have decided against a cash gift, consider what newlyweds who are just starting a new life need. Kitchen utensils and kitchen wares, beddings, and other household needs. However, if the couple intends to travel or leave the country after the wedding, it will be impractical to give them something they could not bring. So in this case, a cash gift would be preferrable because they will need all the cash in order to get started with their new life together.
Is there any fixed amount or budget for wedding gifts? No, as I have said earlier, it all depends on your budget. By the way, a number of newlyweds lament the fact that sometimes nobody remembers to give them a beautiful wedding album to house all those captured happy moments. You might consider giving them one.
Just put yourself in their shoes. What do you want to receive for a gift when your time comes?