When you're trying to decide what to give and how much to spend

Tips on Giving Good Wedding Gifts

by Marianne Giullian

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Weddings are a wonderful time. People you love come and enjoy the celebration and bring gifts for the bride and groom. They are grateful for the kindness and generosity of family and friends. Even though they register at stores, many times they get duplicate gifts. Some stores will not let the newlyweds return items purchased through the registry without a receipt. There are some things you can do to make the process easier for them.

Something that has changed from the past is that some couples live together for a significant time before they get married. They have already set up their household, so there aren't many things they still need. It is hard to find the perfect gift, especially if someone has a limited amount to spend. Having gone through this process recently, it is important to realize that the most important thing is your presence, not the presents. The newlyweds are just grateful for your kindness and generosity whatever you may give. Here are a few things to think about when trying to decide what to give.

  1. Gift Cards - Although many people think these aren't thoughtful gifts, it really is a good option. They can use the gift card to get what they need that they didn't receive. They don't have the hassle of returning the gift if it is duplicated. >
  2. Checks - This is a good option because they can use the money towards what they really need. There are a lot more things to pay for when you get married, such as rent deposits, car insurance, health insurance, utilities deposit, etc. The money you give can really help where they need it most.
  3. Cash - This is probably the easiest option for a bride and groom. They don't have to cash any checks and they aren't limited to a certain store to use a gift card. They can use it for what they need most.
  4. Gifts - When giving gifts, include a gift receipt. The store where our daughter registered would not take back any gifts listed on the gift registry without a receipt. The retailer wouldn't even give them store credit. They received several duplicates from the registry and could not take the duplicates back because of the return policy. They also received gifts like cookbooks with people's favorite recipes. This is an inexpensive gift that is appreciated very much. A nice card with a sincere, thoughtful message is another thing you can give if cost is an issue.
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  6. Re-gifting - There is nothing wrong with re-gifting if it is a practical gift that is new. Things from garage sales and from your attic may not be appropriate things to give to a bride and groom. They will probably end up back in a garage sale or will be given to charity. Giving a book without a barcode is a clear sign that it was bought years ago. If your gift isn't something you would like, then don't give it to someone else. Chances are that they will share your sentiments about the gift.
  7. If you can't make it to the reception, and the bride and groom live out of town, ask the parents for the newlywed's address and send it yourself. If it is just a card, it isn't a problem for the parents to forward it. If it is a gift, the parents will have to package and pay to send it if you don't do it yourself.

By thinking ahead, you can give a gift that will be appreciated and will be easier for the newlyweds to return if it is duplicated. It will save time and frustration.

Reviewed April 2017

Take the Next Step:

  • Have a wedding to attend in the near future? Save yourself some time and frustration and start thinking ahead to come up with a gift that will be appreciated.
  • Find more creative wedding gift ideas in the Dollar Stretcher Library.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

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