Friday, August 21, 2015

Spare Yourself the Gift-Giving Dilemma: The Ultimate Wedding Gift Guide

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By Nicola Reynor

Is giving cash better than giving a gift on a wedding? How much should I give? What could be the most appropriate gift for newlyweds? These are just a few of the many questions a wedding guest has to deal with. A wedding is a momentous occasion, and if it’s a close one’s wedding, you would want to give them a present that is simply the best.

The gift-giving dilemma can leave one befuddled. But, don’t you panic. It’s time to lift the shroud of confusion surrounding wedding gifts. By keeping in mind the modern wedding gift-giving etiquette, you will save yourself a lot of hassle. Here are a few guidelines that will help you choose an appropriate gift for the just-married couple.

1. How Much to Spend

First things first. There’s a huge misconception about selecting wedding gifts that needs to be cleared right away:

The gift that you give should equal the cost of your meal at the wedding.

This is absolutely incorrect. Let your affection for the bride and groom and your budget be your guide to buying a gift, and not some wishy-washy rule.

According to a 2013 American Express survey, wedding guests spend $179 on a gift for a close family member, $119 on a close friend, $114 on a relative, $79 on a friend, and $66 on a co-worker, on an average.

Spending under $50 is not recommendable. If your budget is lower than that, it is best to give a physical gift rather than hard cash.

2. What to Give

There are a plethora of options in the market when it comes to purchasing wedding gifts, which makes the process of choosing an appropriate one quite perplexing.

Kitchen, bedding, dining and bath items are considered to be few of the most coveted wedding gift ideas. Here are certain options you can consider gifting:

  • High-end kitchen gear
  • An elaborate dinner set
  • Home spas
  • Lifestyle kits
  • Last name sign
Considering a last name sign as a wedding gift may have been hard to imagine in the past, but with this online tool, virtually anything can be created to match your taste. It is possible to choose from a wide variety of colors, fonts, and styles or even handwriting and see them online before actually ordering the piece.

It is best to avoid gifting very personal items such as jewelry, perfumes or food items as the couple may have fixed preferences when buying such things.

You can even consider chipping in with few other guests and buying the couple a big-ticket item, especially if you’re not in a position to buy a luxurious gift on your own due to monetary limitations.

3. Buying a Gift from the Registry or off the Registry

According to a recent survey conducted by, nearly 85% brides want their wedding guests to select a gift from their wedding registry list, and 98% have at least one registry list, saved either in a store or on the Web.

Sticking to the registry would be the right decision. However, if the items listed in the registry don’t fall under your price range, you can consider gifting something else. But, make sure to keep the couple and your relationship with them in mind when buying the gift.

If you aren’t creative or don’t know the couple well enough, you can gift them cash. In fact, it is a safer bet if you have no clue about what could make for an appropriate gift for the couple. This way they can buy themselves something of their own choice.

4. Other Essentials to Keep in Mind
  • Make sure to send your gift to the couple ahead of time or within two months of the wedding. In your excitement, you may plan to bring the gift to the wedding, but avoid doing so as they wouldn’t want to lug it around. Also, there are chances of the gift getting damaged, lost or stolen. It is, therefore, best to ship it to the couple directly on the address they have specified on their registry.
  • It is extremely important that you respect the couple’s wishes. If the guests have been explicitly told not to bring gifts, make sure you don’t get one. If you really want to gift the couple something, you can do so privately, but not at the wedding.
  • If you plan on not attending the wedding and are confused about sending a gift, it is best to think about your relationship with the couple and make a decision accordingly. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to give a gift.
  • Buying gifts for both, the wedding shower and the wedding is recommended.
  • Attending a wedding can be a pricey affair. It may require you to splurge on shopping for yourself and even on travel. But, this needs to be done keeping your budget in mind. It’s okay if you don’t stick to the registry and buy something in keeping with your budget. At the end of the day, it is the thought that counts.
  • Giving an extravagant gift shouldn’t be your motive. Instead, focus on giving a thoughtful gift that holds great emotional value. Be considerate of the couple’s traditions, religious preferences, and personal taste when buying a gift.
  • Online buying and shipping have made shopping convenient and simpler. There is a myriad of wedding gift sites that can help you when choosing the appropriate gift for the newlyweds. Also, if you want to help the couple get favors for the wedding guests, MyBrideFairy can be of huge help. It is a treasure trove of thoughtful gifts that the newlyweds can consider to express their gratitude towards the guests.


The wedding of a close one is a memorable affair - one filled with emotions and excitement. However, there’s also the stress of giving a gift that expresses just exactly how much the occasion means to you. But, don’t let this give you sleepless nights. What truly matters is that you include a kind note with your gift and give it with a generous spirit. Keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and the experience of buying and giving a wedding gift would be a smooth-sailing one. The tips will help you purchase a gift that is thoughtful and something that the newlyweds will appreciate and cherish.

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Nicola Reynor is a freelance blogger who loves to blog about fashion, beauty, travel, health, fitness, wedding and lifestyle trends. When in leisure time, she prefers to spend time traveling with friends and family. You can find more about her at Nicola+

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