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Do I have to buy a wedding gift? by Tony Coombes

Buying a Wedding Gift Isn't as Daunting as It Seems Upon receiving an invitation to a wedding, you may have come across mention of a gift registry and wondered what you were going to get as a wedding gift, let alone if it is optional.

Are Wedding Gifts Required?
It is possible that you are broke, unable to attend, going to a destination wedding or perhaps are even in the wedding party itself. While it is customary for guests to give wedding gifts to the bride and groom, people tend to fall into the trap of believing that these gifts are in exchange for their invitation. The truth is that a wedding invitation is completely separate from a wedding gift. In fact, a wedding gift is a token of your affection for the happy new couple—nothing more and nothing less. Usually, wedding gifts are sent as soon as the invitation is received, rather than brought to the wedding. Even if you have already given a shower present or engagement gift, traditionally it is a good practice to give a wedding gift as well.

The Gift Etiquette for Second Weddings
Some wedding guests may feel that for a second wedding, a gift is not necessary. These guests may be indulged to simply bring a card instead, particularly if they have already given a wedding gift for the first wedding. This choice is left to the discretion of the wedding guest. Depending on the relationship you have with the couple and your care for their new marriage, however, it is always recommended to perform the nice gesture of giving them something for their new life together.

What to Buy for a Wedding Gift
Physical gifts are the most traditional and formal for weddings. Typically, the bride and groom will send wedding invitations with information to their wedding website and reception details which often includes gift registry. Taking a look at the couple's gift registry will give you some ideas of what they are looking for, which may include household, sentimental or small gifts. Outside of physical gifts, it is also deemed appropriate to give the gift of money or make a donation to a charity in the couple's names.

Are Gifts Common for Destination Weddings or If You're in the Wedding?
The short answer is yes, even if you are in the wedding party or going to a destination wedding, it is a common formality to give the bride and groom a wedding present. These particular exceptions do not change how you feel about the couple or the journey they are about to take together. The gift is a personal decision that depends on your relationship to the bride and the groom and your feelings for their new marriage. Determining how much to spend on a wedding gift is also up to personal discretion, however, typically couples understand that budgets vary. Because of this, the gift registry is a great place to look at the type of gifts the couple is looking for to fit your budget and their needs. Best wedding gifts for any and every couple for 2019

Wedding gifts 101
Finding the perfect gift for a couple during their wedding day can be an exhausting task but following the right gift giving etiquette can help point you in the right direction. Here are a few things you should consider as you start gift shopping.
Wedding registry. If the couple has registered for specific products in a certain store, it’s always advised to use this as a guide and use it to choose their gift. This ensures that you don’t buy a gift that is not useful to them.
Is it an obligation for you to give a gift? It’s always good etiquette to bring a gift to the wedding or send one in case you cannot attend the ceremony. You can also choose to give a group gift which can lessen the burden.
Cash gifts. Most couples need cash when starting out their new life more than they need other material things. How much should you spend? One thing to remember is that a thoughtful gift is more important and valuable than the price tag. Your relationship to the bride or groom should direct you on how much you are going to spend. If you have a close relationship with the couple, you can spend more compared to an acquaintance.
Include a gift receipt and a card. It’s always good to include a card with your wedding gift — this lets the couple know where to send a thank you card. You can also include the gift receipt so the couple can follow up on any warranty offered or return the gift.

What are the best wedding gifts to give?
So what can be considered some of the best gifts to give the happy newlywed couple?
Decor. Help the couple start off in their new home by gifting home decor. A decorative wall art, bowl for fresh fruits or even an attractive ottoman can be a simple way to wish the couple the best in their new life.
Charity donations. Making a donation to the couple’s favorite charity in the couple’s name is a great gift for a couple who has a “no gifts” rule in their invitation. I strongly recommend that you read a very thorough guide on the laws and regulations pertaining to charity donations. It is a very good guide that was co-authored by several leading tax lawyers from the UK.
Help with the honeymoon. You can do this by buying their tickets or even giving gift certificates for romantic dinners, spa reservations or any other activities.
Cash. This will be remembered years to come and help the couple deal with large purchases, such as a down payment for a new house. Wine. Get the couple one or several bottles of wines to help celebrate their union. You can have these accompanied with a set of classy wine glasses.
Bathroom accessories. A set of cotton monogrammed towels, bathrobes or even a set of luxurious soaps and spa bath salts will transform any bathroom to a relaxing spa and makes for the perfect wedding gift. Depending on how well you know your friends, it is also appropriate to gift sexy lingerie and even sex toys! But you have to be careful with this one as you MUST know the person extremely well to be able to anticipate their reaction. Such gifts are more common amongst female friends.
Electronics. Give the latest digital camera, home speakers, blu-ray player or any other top electronic product on the market. For example, quite recently, I have gotten a friend of mine a brand new vape mod as he is an avid vaper and I therefore knew that he would appreciate a state-of-the-art vape mod!

Worst wedding gifts that you should avoid
There are some items and gifts that everyone should avoid presenting a couple on their wedding day. Here’s what you should steer clear off.
Re-gifted gifts. Despite the urge to save up on some money and give the couple a gift from a previous occasion, it’s something that you should avoid. This act will be interpreted as not only lack of gift giving etiquette, but also as thoughtless.
A gift out of the couple’s lifestyle. There is no need to buy patio furniture if the couple lives in an apartment in the middle of the city — this will just add stress to the couple on what to do with it.
A suggestive gift. It’s always safe to avoid products that can be misinterpreted or cause misunderstandings, such as baby items or even self-help books.
A gift that can spoil or go bad. This means that you shouldn’t go for products that will easily spoil in a couple of days — such as fruits or flowers — as the couple will come home from their honeymoon to find dried or moldy fruits.
A gift that requires lots of maintenance. A gift that requires upkeep is never a good idea as it might end up being a burden for the couple in the long run.

Top tips to choosing the perfect wedding gifts
After learning about the gift giving rules and some of the best and worst wedding gift ideas, you might still feel unsure on how to choose the perfect gift. You could always:
Consult the wedding registry. The couple’s registry is designed specifically to communicate the couple’s needs and preferences, making it the best place for you to start your search.
Consult a close friend or family member. It’s always a safe bet to ask someone who is close to them. This will help you learn of any interests or hobbies that might help you in your purchase.
Consider the couple’s age and whether it is their first wedding. If it’s their second wedding, then the couple already has most of what they’ll need for their home.
Additionally, people in different age groups have different interests and hobbies which might eliminate some gifts.

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  • Do I have to buy a wedding gift?

    Buying a wedding gift isn't as daunting as it seems. Upon receiving an invitation to a wedding, you may have come across mention of a gift registry and wondered what you were going to get as a wedding gift, let alone if it is optional. .

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