When the wedding season rolls around, there are several things to take care of. You have to think about what to wear, what your responsibilities are, etc. The real difficulty sets in when you want to give the newlywed couple a gift they’ll remember.
While many couples have a registry or would prefer cash, there might be times when you simply have to pick out a personal, thoughtful gift. No one wants to give or receive a gift that won’t be used or appreciated, so this is one department where some research is warranted. Hence, be sure to consider these factors when you’re shopping for a wedding gift this season:
1. Budget Considerations
Of course, the first factor to consider is your own pocket. It’s not just about how much you have right now, but how much you’re willing to spend on a wedding gift. Money could be no object, or you may have a tight budget for getting the best gift possible for the new couple.
Once you know how much you can spend, you can start shortlisting your gift ideas. If you’re shopping online, filter the search results according to your price range. This would give you a smaller and more specific pool to work with.
If you’re going out to shop from brick and mortar stores, having a specific limit in mind would make things go much faster. You can decide beforehand if the shopping trip would be at a farmer’s market, a fancy mall, or a quaint little antique shop. Quoting your range to a shopkeeper would also help the staff at stores to help you out in the best possible manner.
2. Their Relationship with Yourself
Even if you have a large budget for extra expenses, it makes no sense to get an over-the-top gift for an acquaintance. The closer you are to the newlyweds, the more effort and money you should put into getting them the perfect gift. This is especially true if they’re family, not colleagues or recent friends.
If your sister is getting married, for example, you should be thinking along the lines of some high-end appliances. A bedroom fridge or electric oven, even if they’re a bit pricey, is something you should budget for in this case. If your sister would use it after getting married, she should receive it from her close relations.
3. The Necessity
The people you’re buying a gift for are going to embark upon a new life, filled with new responsibilities and needs. If you know they would absolutely be in need of a certain thing, it could very well be the perfect gift for the couple. For instance, if you know the bride is in need of a full-length mirror in her dressing room, tell her that you’re planning on getting one for her in advance. This could save the newlyweds quite a lot of money and allow them to budget for something else as well.
Think about what the couple is going to do right after the wedding and honeymoon. If they’re going to be moving into a new house, a kitchen appliance or bookshelf might be the most welcome kind of gifts. You might also choose your gift based on what you know about your friends. They might be trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, so that kitchen appliance may be most appreciated if it’s a smoothie blender or an air fryer.
If all else fails, you may have to resort to giving cash as a gift. This may not be the worst decision, because money is the one thing most newlyweds are in dire need of. They’ve just spent a lot on a wedding and would need more for the honeymoon, shopping, and setting up a home. That cash or money order could actually be more welcome than most other gifts, no matter how useful.
4. The Memories
If one or both of the wedded couple have a close relationship with you, it might be best to consider a gift full of memories. For instance, you could consider a collage full of pictures from your school days, college life, or just all of the fun times you’ve had together. This may not cost much, and may not be of practical use, but a true friend would definitely appreciate it.
There are now several customizable and personalized items that you can get made to order as well. For instance, you could get those pictures printed on a long lampshade instead of gluing them to a board. This would still be a collage, but it will preserve the memories in a practical yet unique fashion.
5. Going Off the Registry
If an engaged couple has listed some items on a registry, don’t think that you absolutely have to give them something on that list. If you have another great idea in mind, it’s perfectly acceptable to veer off the suggestion of a registry list. These items are not obligatory, but they should give an idea of what the couple really needs. You may hence want to use the registry as a guideline instead of some hard and fast rules about acceptable gifts.
For instance, you could check whether the couple is mostly looking for household items, luxury goods, or event packages such as skydiving or hot air balloon rides. This would give you a great sense of what they’re actually going to appreciate. In fact, this might even save you some money if you have a particular brand-new item or voucher with you already.
Be sure to look closely at what the couple requires, including their taste in different things. If they’ve mostly listed items that are elegant and neutral in color, try to gift something as close to this as possible. They might not have any use for a bright, funky, modern decoration when they’ve planned a vintage theme for their new home.
6. Personalizing Inanimate Objects
When gift-givers decide to go for registry items, they may feel their offering to be a bit impersonal. After all, weddings are exciting, personal, and friendly events. If you have decided to buy the couple something they’ve expressed the need for, they would absolutely appreciate the thought.
There is still room for a bit of personalization in the packing as well as the card, though. You can wrap the gift in a beautiful manner that the couple would be sure to remember. The attached card could contain a thoughtful, heartfelt message or even a funny anecdote to make sure your gift stands out.
7. The Right Time
There’s a right time range in which to buy a gift for a newly-wedded couple. However, this range would depend on what you’re buying and what the couple is actually planning to do in the future. For instance, many items may come damaged or defective in the mail, or just have something wrong with them. To avoid such problems, be sure to buy your gifts at least two weeks before you plan to give them to the couple. This way, you can always return or exchange something that’s not up to the mark.
If you’re ordering online, it’s best to order as soon as possible. This is because shipments might get delayed. Plus, the items you receive might not of good quality when you look at them in person. Having some time before the wedding or the bridal shower would give you a chance to exchange the items.
8. The Time Factor
There’s no rule saying that you can’t send couples their wedding gift before or after the wedding. Ideally, the gifts should get to the couple’s new home around a fortnight before the big day. However, some couples may not have a home yet or not know what they need until after they start a new life together.
It’s hence quite acceptable to send wedding gifts within a year after the actual wedding ceremony. Try not to put this off for too long or your friendship may fade away. Waiting around and seeing what’s required is a good idea, but giving cash is better than a gift that comes too late.
9. Group Gifts
If the couple has registered for really expensive items or you want to give them a whole vacation as a gift, asking others to join in is a great idea. However, this decision could complicate your relationship with your fellow- gift-givers.
The key here is to understand just how much everyone is supposed to contribute and how they can get due credit. Decide on the amount you want to collect along with the collector and the person who actually makes the purchase. All of this should be done before the deal is done in order to minimize the risk of fighting or misunderstanding.
If you’re a major member of the wedding party, you’ve probably done a lot for the newlyweds already. This could be both in terms of financial as well as physical efforts. For instance, you may have been the official event planner for the whole thing, working for free or on a cost basis. You also have the expenses of buying a dress, arranging the showers and rehearsals, and possibly hiring a limousine.
If you’re already giving so much of yourself, there’s no need to buy a fancy gift as well. However, you should still make sure to give a little token as a memory of sort. This could be a book of poems or just a small frame.
There are several kinds of wedding gifts available on the market. In order to make sure you choose the best one possible, be sure to consider all the factors above. In all cases, make sure you get some reviews on your gift, whether it’s a product or service. Personal experience speaks truly, so the customer reviews are an excellent measure of just how good your wedding gift is.