On the day of our wedding our relatives gave to me – four microwave ovens, three vacuum cleaners, two sets of identical silverware, and a trip with badly placed dates to a Hawaiiiiiii….
No this is not a new Christmas Carol, it is a reality faced by many newlywed couples, when they are sorting out their wedding gifts.
My dear friend is a wedding planner, and over the years I’ve heard many tells about poorly organized gift lists and newlyweds having to uncomfortably ask their relatives for the receipt for the toaster oven because they already had three of them, or for the baby clothes because they weren’t planning on having a child in the near future.
One of her customers has received a wedding gift trip to Hawaii from her uncle on her mother’s side, and the trip to Paris from her husband’s cousin. Sounds great right? Not really when they found out that the dates of the trips overlap and there was no way of changing them without additional costs.
Unfortunately this type of bad planning happens all the time, and usually it is a result of the betrothed giving too much freedom to the invited.
So if you’re invited to a wedding here are some gift ideas that will put you on the “good relatives list”.
A quick solution:
For those who don’t want to deal with the headache of choosing the perfect gift, a wedding is one of the only occasions when money may be the best present.
How much should you give? The closer your relationship is with the betrothed the more you’re expected to give, but also not to exaggerate because of said expectations.
Another way to decide how much money to give is to estimate roughly how much it costs to host you and add another 30%. If the wedding is in an exotic location or if it is especially difficult for you to get to it you may skip the 30%.
Wedding registry and old-school gifts.
If the couple has placed the wedding registry, then everything is rather simple, try to act quickly and get the item you can afford. A wedding registry is the best solution because the betrothed are getting things that they actually want and need, and everybody’s price ranges can be respected.
If the couple decides to go old-school – that is no wedding registry, and you don’t want to go with cash, then the best thing you can do is to ask them or their parents what could be a gift that is useful for them or what is it that they desire. Some ideas may be: household appliances, dishes, high quality linens, blankets, sturdy and robust travel bags, jewelry and sports equipment. If you have to guess, go with things that will never be redundant like bed sheets, precious stones etc… Expensive trips, cars, houses and the like, should only be gifted by close family and friends, because they are more involved with the private lives of the betrothed, know their tastes and are less likely to send them on a skiing trip knowing that both of them hate skiing.
Separate gifts for the bride and groom are also a possibility: matching masculine and feminine engraved bracelets, cufflinks, pendants the same stone and similar design. Less expensive gift can be matching handbag and briefcase, male and female travel bags, high-quality bathrobes and towels and other things with the matching or pared concept.
What not to gift (or to gift only under certain circumstances).
Anything baby related. Unless you’re certain that they are planning or already going to have kids and you don’t have any better ideas. The wedding is a celebration of the union of two people; that is the bride and groom, not their future children.
Bathroom products. Soaps, shampoos, foams, gels, etc. even if they’re custom-made by a high quality cosmetics company.
Silverware, chef knives, clocks, mirrors can be easily out of place with the interior design. So they are also best avoided.