Tuesday, 6 October 2015

How to Buy a Wedding Gift: What to buy and things to consider

Are you a wedding guest veteran or novice? 

If you haven't been to many weddings before, then buying a wedding gift can be a daunting process. We recently interviewed some of our nearest and dearest Facebook fans to get their ideas on buying a wedding gift. Below they've shared some of their experiences on buying and receiving wedding gifts. Sources have been kept confidential, which we think makes for more honest (and humorous) answers. 

Hopefully this will give you some 'food for thought' the next time you need to buy a wedding gift...

1. What is the best gift you have ever bought and/or received as a wedding gift?

“Best gift we received was a knife block

“A handmade Scottish Highland fur rug and a bottle of wine that was made in the year my husband and I started dating! These were our favourite pressies because they were so thoughtful and unique.”

“A family member was after an expensive painting for their house and all wedding guests had the choice of contributing towards it. For my own, I set up a honeymoon fund for guests to contribute towards.”

“Received a handmade wooden sculpture of our names with heart between. I have given a handmade wooden sculpture of couple's initials.”

“Received a tall glass vase. Very versatile and timeless. Currently holding my wedding bouquet. And photos in beautiful frames. Actually our favourite gift is a bronze horse riding sculpture with two horses and two riders with a plaque saying ‘two trails lead to one’.”

A good-quality Knife Block set is a lovely wedding gift idea for couples who like to cook

2. What things do you consider when buying a wedding gift?

“While nice/fancy gifts were great, we rarely see/use them, so the best gifts were the more practical things that we use daily (such as dinner sets, cutlery).”

“Sounds bad but when considering what to buy we sometimes go off what they gave us. If they only bought us a photo frame why should get them a $200 voucher etc?”


How close we are to the couple and type of wedding it is (big or small)”

“Consider my own financial circumstances at that time, how close these people are to me and if I'm invited to all of the wedding or just the evening etc.”

Interests, home decor style, price, needs

A stylish ice bucket would make a timeless wedding gift, especially if the couple like to entertain. 

3. Gift or cash? If given the choice, would you give a gift or cash at a wedding and why?

Cash is easy but I hate those stupid 'pay for our honeymoon' poems. My best friend’s mother once said 'I'm not giving them money to sit on a beach and drink cocktails'.”

Cash - these days most couple live together before getting married so they already have all the homely items they want.”

I think cash as you are not limited to where you can spend it, unless there was a gift card that could be used at multiple stores, which they have here in the UK”

I would rather receive cash but when I give, it is always a gift as I find cash impersonal!”

Cash (sorry not good for business)”

When in doubt give cash - if you have two amounts in your head, always pick the higher one

4. What is your budget for a wedding gift and how do you work this out?

Budget is around $50 - $100 depending on how close I am to them, and what I got them for their engagement”

Budget is also based on the old $50 each for drinks and $50 each for meal. So when I'm pregnant we are only likely to budget say $150. Budget also is based on how close we are to them.”

“Close family & friends = $100-$150, other family and friends = $75-$100

About $100, depending on venue and if it's adults only invite or entire family invite.”

Budget based on my own cash flow at the time etc. Same answer as number 2.”

“We usually give about $100 or more depending on the closeness of their relationship to the wedding couple. We also consider the cost of the venue and potential cost of our meals/drinks and entertainment for the night. We try to cover the cost of having us there as a guest plus some extra as a gift for them.”

5. What wouldn’t you buy as a wedding gift? 

“Worst gifts were serving plates (as yes you can have TOO MANY) and a designer fruit bowl that doesn't match our house at all.”

“I wouldn't buy art - it's something's that's very personal”


“Most weddings I've been to have a gift register and I choose items that will last for years to come and get used on a regular basis. One wedding I went too they wanted a fancy wall clock, which they hung in their kitchen, and look at every day. You would want your gift to remind the couple of a memorable day, not something they put at the back of a draw.”

Clocks are a practical wedding gift that can be used everyday

I wouldn't buy household items as a gift since majority already live together and have homes set up.”

Cake cutting knife set (we were given one and it’s relegated to the back of the cupboard).”

We love that some of the above advice is contradictory - what one person likes, another dislikes, etc. This goes to show that the best gifts truly are the ones that really consider the couple's personality and current situation...as well as cash! 

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