Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping for wedding gifts and at no point have I found this an easy task. There are problems at every turn. It seems that if the registry isn’t already fully taken care of then all the remaining options fall way outside of budget, and this difficulty inevitably leads to the question of how much money it’s appropriate to spend. Weddings are all about etiquette and guests are under pressure not to make any blunders, so to help you follow the complex rules without bankrupting yourself, I’ve put together a stress-saving list of 7 tips for buying wedding gifts.
1. It’s Okay to Go off the Registry
If the registry is full, or if the only remaining options are cripplingly expensive, don’t be afraid to use your own intuition to buy a gift that you feel the couple will appreciate. You’re not expected to bankrupt yourself in an attempt to buy an appropriate present so don’t lose any sleep if you’ve bought something that wasn’t initially on the list.
2. Club Together
If you’re going to a wedding with a few of your friends, experts tell us that it’s perfectly acceptable to club together for one of the more expensive gift items. If you do decide to go this route, however, it’s important that the present you buy is genuinely pricey. Don’t split the cost of a towel set seven ways, for example; chances are, you won’t be popular.
3. Cash Can Be Okay
If you find yourself genuinely stumped, or if the registry is absolutely filled out, it is okay to give the couple cash. Alternatively, you can get a gift card from an appropriate store. The worry here is always how much money to put down. Wedding experts suggest you glance through the registry and give an amount that matches the price of the average gift.
4. Time Frame
Unfortunately, we’re not all as organized as we’d like to be. Sometimes you just don’t have time to get the gift before the wedding. While it’s not ideal to give your present after the big day, experts tell us that un-punctual guests have up to a year in which to make their contribution. After this period, though, it’s apparently too late.
5. The Multiple Present Conundrum
Often, wedding guests are invited to more than one nuptial event. There’s a shower, a hen party and the ceremony itself. Unfortunately, seasoned wedding planners tell us, it is necessary to buy gifts for every occasion: the rule is something along the lines of ‘if you’ve RSVP’d, you’re expected to give a present.’ To help you deal with all these expenses, create a wedding budget for yourself and follow it strictly.
6. Gift Wrap
Obviously, it’s important to wrap your gift. If you’re buying off the registry at a big department store you should be able to have it professionally done at no additional cost. Make sure you include a card which expresses your congratulations and which also gives your postal address: this will make the couple’s life much easier when the time for sending out thank you’s rolls around.
7. Send It
In order to simplify post-ceremony logistics, don’t bring your gift to the wedding but rather post it to the couple’s home. This will prove especially helpful if the honeymoon follows directly on from the reception.
This is my list of 7 tips for buying wedding gifts; do you have anything to add?
Top Photo Credit: project hotsauce