Of course it’s the thought that counts, but with close to $7 billion spent on wedding gifts every year, it’s important to make your dollars count. So if you’re headed to a wedding any time soon, consider these top five gifts to avoid.
First up — say "I don’t" to cash. It’s not the gift of money that’s a faux pas. It’s that bills can be a big burden on the big day.
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“If you're not going to get a gift off the registry and you want to give the couple cash, it’s probably better to do so in the form of a check,” says Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings. “There’s a lot going on that day and there’s a big chance it could get lost.”
Next, there’s always a guest who thinks a gift is more thoughtful if it’s not in the registry, and sometimes it can be, but better safe than sorry. Before you go rogue, remember the couple knows best and likely won’t need that 12-piece tea set or an ice bucket if they didn’t ask for it. Instead, add a personal touch. For instance, a cherished family recipe to go with that cake stand on their registry.
Worst wedding gift #3: home décor, especially something that’s specifically your taste. Just because you may collect ceramic dogs, doesn’t mean the couple will appreciate them too.
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“You should really be buying a bride and groom a gift that fits them and their style, not yours,” says Miller. “Don’t go buy something that you love that they might not want to put in their home.“
Steer clear of anything that hangs on a wall or lies on a shelf. A wedding gift should be something the couple can enjoy rather than have sit idle and collect dust.
Now, despite the best intentions, some gifts just fall flat or can come across as awkward, such as lingerie or baby clothes.
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“Make sure that whatever you’re giving the couple is appropriate,” Miller says. “You never really know what their personal situation is. Maybe they don’t want to have kids and you’re giving them baby clothes. Really stick to the things they’ve chosen that you know that they’ll love.”
Finally — and this tip is especially for parents of the bride and groom — unless they request help with their honeymoon, save your dollars and avoid booking them a surprise daytrip or tour during their celebratory vacay. When in doubt, stick with a check.
What’s the worst wedding gift you’ve received? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.