5 Important Tips On How To Choose the Right Wedding Gift
There's nothing better than wedding season: watching friends or loved ones pledge forever, drinks, travel, good food, and cake. I love everything about it.
Well, almost everything.
Other than finding an appropriate dress for myself and trying to make sure my husband (who hates dressing up) has an appropriate outfit, probably the most difficult part of attending a wedding is the dreaded wedding gift.
What do you buy a couple for such a monumental life moment? How much do you spend? How do you avoid going over-the-top? Then again, how do you avoid looking super cheap and unoriginal?
The gift giving process as a wedding guest can arguably cause as much anxiety as being the bride and trying to pick out centerpieces or cake flavors.
As a guest to several weddings, though, and after having my own wedding, I think I've been able to find a way to balance the stress and still give gifts I'm okay with putting my name on.
If you have several RSVP cards stacking up, check out these 5 do's and don'ts for wedding gift giving, and be sure to add your own advice in the comments below. Let's get through wedding season with a smile, a glass of champagne, and some excitement for the next event.
1. Do use the registry if you don't know the couple well.
We've all been to those weddings where we really aren't quite sure how we got on the guest list. In addition to having to scope out people to talk with, it can be a challenge to find the right gift.
If you find yourself invited to your brother's boss's cousin's twin's uncle's wedding, one of the best routes to go is the registry. If the couple has included a list of items they've spent time picking out, why not go ahead and trust their wishes? That way, you can be sure you pick out a gift they love.
If you are a bride or groom with your own wedding coming up, be sure to complete a wedding registry yourself. It can help ease anxiety in guests who just aren't sure what gift to give you. Zola has a great wedding registry website to make the whole process super smooth... because I know from experience that the registry can create its own set of tension. Let Zola help you make it super convenient and avoid a fight with the significant other (blog post coming soon about how my registry almost caused a divorce before we even said "I do.").
2. Don't be afraid to choose something sentimental over something pricey.
Oftentimes, when we are attending a wedding, we get so hung up on the price tag and trying to avoid looking "cheap." However, sometimes the sentimental gifts show a deeper level of thought... and can sometimes be more appreciated at such an important milestone in life.
One of my favorite gifts from my own wedding was a personalized "First Christmas" ornament. It was something I wouldn't have though to purchase but something I truly appreciated when we decorated our first holiday tree together.
Try thinking outside the box. Find that personalized item that isn't necessarily super flashy but is super thoughtful in its aim. Find a gift that highlights something important to the couple or will help them mark a future holiday or tradition.
It really is the thought that counts, not the amount of money you spend.
3. Do know that money is fine as a gift if you think the couple could greatly benefit.
There are so many thought processes over money as a wedding gift.
Some argue that giving money shows a lack of creativity, originality, and concern. I disagree. Weddings, although beautiful in their own right, create quite the financial burden, no matter how big or small. If a couple is also in the process of moving in together, money is a welcome gift for the brand-new couple.
4. Do try to set a budget that you adhere to for all weddings.
Whether you are choosing from the registry, creating a one-of-a-kind gift, or giving money, how do you know how much is the right amount to spend?
My husband and I generally set a budget for wedding gifts based on relationship. We have a certain amount we spend for close relatives and best friends, an amount for coworkers, and an amount for distant relatives or acquaintances. Obviously, the amount we spend for all is still an amount we feel is respectable and will not be distasteful.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to set your budget. Don't feel that you have to break your budget in order to attend a wedding. Speaking from experience, it was more important that the people I invited were simply there to celebrate the day than to bring gifts. You were invited to the wedding because the bride and groom want you to witness their special day--not to get a gift.
Be generous, but don't feel like you have to overdo it.
Still not sure how much to give? Check out this free guide from Zola on how much to spend.
5. Don't forget to enjoy the process and have fun.
Weddings are supposed to be celebrations, so no matter what gift you decide on, don't forget to have fun. Being invited to a wedding is a momentous occasion, no matter what gift you settle on. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are there to share in such a huge moment with the couple.
What are some of the best wedding gifts you've given or received? Share in the comments below!