I know people tend to have strong opinions about weddings nowadays. My stance is “you do you” because the wedding industry is a whole vibe and weddings can be hella expensive and cause a lot of familial tensions. At the end of the day, it’s about you and your partner and you should be able to legally bind your relationship in the manner that works best for the two of you. You don’t owe anybody anything. But between all of you and me, I *love* going to weddings. They’re so much fun! However, attending a wedding as a guest can also be financially stressful, especially after you factor in engagement gifts, bachelorette (or bachelor) party costs, travel costs if the wedding isn’t close by, clothing, a wedding gift, etc. Well, Mindy Weiss, a celebrity wedding planner whose clientele includes the Beibers, Kardashians, and Ellen & Portia, is dolling out some guidance when it comes to buying wedding gifts.
Keep it Personal
When it comes to buying a gift for a bride and groom, Weiss suggests the best place to start is their registry. “If a guest is shopping without the registry, then I always recommend buying something personalized. Anything with a new monogram, their initials or names – people love it and it always feels like you put extra thought into the gift,” she adds. “I love the personalized options for couples at Mark & Graham. A new luggage carry-on for the honeymoon with their new initials is something every new couple will love.”
Gifts as a Guest
When attending any wedding as a guest, Weiss says it’s “always appropriate” to get a gift to show appreciation and happiness for the couple. “It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be personal or sentimental, just what feels right to you,” she says.
Track That Ish
Just because you buy a gift doesn’t mean you need to bring it with you to the actual wedding ceremony. Weiss advises that it’s more convenient to ship the present online “and have access to tracking information.” This is to avoid items being misplaced or stolen at the wedding.
When Gifting Cash
“Most people who gift cash send it to the couple before the wedding,” Weiss adds. “But just in case, we often have a personalized box that we set out at the event, and for security reasons, there should always be an attendant with that box or gift area.”
Oops, You Waited Too Long
Weiss explains that rushing to buy a gift that isn’t personalized or on the couple’s registry is the biggest mistake a wedding guest can make. “If the guest has waited too long, and there’s nothing left on the registry, that’s okay, still look at it for inspiration (often people skip this step),” she says. “Whether someone purchases from the registry or not, looking at it gives the gift giver insight into the couple’s taste to be able to buy something in that style.”
I honestly think all of this is pretty good advice. I was always taught that the general rule is that you get something from the registry or a personalized item for an engagement present. If you’re going to attend the wedding, then you give money on the day of. I celebrated my 12th wedding anniversary at the end of April (we actually got married on the exact same day as the Waleses) and we still use 75% of the gifts we got off of our registry. As for getting a gift that isn’t on the registry, I like giving a gift card to wherever it’s from so they can pick something else out themselves. Our most memorable gift is our trash can because it came with the most amazing note that read, “This gift is in no way indicative of how I feel about your love.” I have funny friends. We also have creative friends who sent us either hand-made or personalized gifts that we still use/display because they mean so much to us.
Just one note about giving cash, though. One of my closest friends got married earlier this month and is keeping her last name. She and her new husband ran into a lot of problems when trying to cash checks written out to her first name with his last name, which the bank refused to cash. That put them in the awkward position of having to ask some people to rewrite them. Since it seems that banking rules only apply to us normies, it’s always a good idea to ask ahead of time how the check should be addressed.