Guide to Choosing a Wedding Gift
At first thought, finding a wedding gift does not seem to be that hard. Just run out and buy a toaster or a crock pot and you think you have the perfect wedding gift. Well, these days choosing a wedding gift of traditional kitchen appliance probably won't be the perfect gift. Here are a few tips on wedding etiquette gift giving to help you know how to buy a wedding gift.
Check out Their Registry
Many couples will register at their favorite stores and/or they will use a universal gift registry where they can list gift ideas from many places. Typically the couple has spent some time in choosing the gifts to list on their registry and purchasing a gift from the wedding registry should always be a safe gift. Typically when utilizing the gift registry you will have a variety of items to choose from that maybe from stores you can buy from in person and online websites. Couples just starting out will list gift ideas for starting their new home like kitchenware, bed and bath needs, and some will even give ideas for décor items. If you purchase the gift directly from the store where the couple is registered make sure you follow the stores procedure for gift registry purchases. This will ensure that the gift is "marked off" the list so no one else purchases the same gift. If the couple used a universal gift registry, ensure you also follow the procedure for "checking off" your gift.
Who is the couple?
If you decide not to go with a gift on the gift registry or the couple did not set up a wedding gift registry, give some thought as to the interests of the couple. A wedding gift that appeals to both the bride and groom is important. What types of things do they enjoy doing together - do they enjoy nature or prefer city attractions? If the couple is close friends of yours, then this should be easy, but if you are not intimately acquainted with the couple, ask questions. Talk to the couples friends and family to get ideas on types of wedding gifts that would be good. Other considerations would be if they are a young couple starting a new home where gifts for the kitchen like appliances or cooking essentials are appropriate gifts. If they are a couple who has already had households set up, or a second marriage, the types of gifts needed are different. This is where talking to friends or family is helpful and could mean the difference in a gift that is "perfect" and a gift that is returned or re-gifted.
Sharing the Expense
Sometimes the perfect wedding gift is an expensive gift. One that you can't afford. Some couples will put higher ticket items on their registry to allow a group to purchase. These are usually luxury gifts they could never afford themselves. This will allow a few people to go in together and purchase a gift. Sharing the appreciation from the couple is OK when you know that the gift really is "perfect" and you are probably helping out others in sharing the expense.
The Flip Side
Today many couples are choosing to have non traditional weddings. This could be for several reasons, being socially conscience, a second marriage, or the expense of a wedding. Your wedding gift should also reflect the wishes of the couple. If they have not specified a registry, ask the bride or a family member. If the couple has requested no wedding gifts, a donation to a charity in their name would be appropriate. On the budget side, creating a scrapbook with photographs and memories of the couple as a gift would be cherished. You can also offer your time and/or services when it is a second marriage or no gifts have been requested.
If You Don't Know the Couple Very Well
Checking out the gift registry would probably be your best option. If you don't see a gift you would like to give or the couple doesn't have a registry a generic wedding gift would also work. Gifts like picture frames, vases, monogrammed bath robes, or a gift basket filled with fruit and cheese will still send well wishes to the couple.
Always Include the Gift Receipt
Even if you feel you have chosen the perfect wedding gift for the couple, always include the gift receipt. It is much better that the couple can return the gift, if needed, then have it sit in the back of the closet or end up in their first garage sale.
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