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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Buying a Wedding Gift

When invited to a wedding, one is faced with several decisions – what to wear, which dinner selection to choose, and, most importantly, what wedding gift to get the bride and groom.

A growing generation gap has sparked some debate as to what an appropriate gift consists of.  While friends, coworkers and other guests in the same age bracket as the couple may prefer the convenience and flexibility of giving gift cards and cash, the more mature crowd finds the practice impersonal, uncreative and even tacky.  They prefer shopping from a gift registry of fine china, kitchen wares and other home goods.  While arguments can be made for both opinions, here are some things to consider when selecting a gift for the next wedding you attend.

Start by asking yourself a few questions about the married couple-to-be.  How personal is your relationship with the bride and groom?  If you do not know much about the bride and groom’s interests or hobbies, you may opt to get the couple something from their registry.  If you are not sure where the couple is registered, visit and enter the first and last name of either the bride or groom, along with the wedding month and year, and you should be able to locate the stores with which the couple has registered.

If you are closer with the couple and know a little more about their personal lives, you may want to buy a gift that reflects something they both enjoy.  Is the couple the outdoorsy type? sells a picnic backpack set that includes plates, cups, flatware,  a detachable wine cooler and a blanket.   

Maybe the couple likes listening to records.  Many websites, including, sell vintage-inspired record players that are not only functional but decorative in addition.

There are more trendy and unique options for wedding gifts as well.  Consider buying the wine-loving couple a wine of the month membership from  Buy the couple a chance to relax with a couple’s massage from a local spa.  Or, treat the bride and groom to a few cooking lessons from a cooking school or Whole Foods markets in the area.

One of the most unique and intriguing new websites for wedding registries is  On this website, couples can register for every aspect of their honeymoon, including airfare, hotels, cruise fares, meals, entertainment, recreation, spa treatments and shopping.  Wedding guests may choose to contribute to the honeymoon fund by paying for, partially paying for, or upgrading any of the options the bride and groom have selected.  Wedding guests can help make the couple’s honeymoon a trip they will always remember.

Keep in mind that modern couples have different wants and needs than the traditional bride and groom have had in the past.  Cash and gift cards are happily accepted by most, as more couples are helping their families pay for wedding expenses.  Decades ago, brides moved straight from her parent’s home to a house with her husband, but this is not always the case anymore.  Many newlyweds live in apartments, so the need for an entire registry of home goods is not necessarily realistic.  Give the couple a gift that you think they will appreciate, whether it’s cash, gift cards, a traditional gift or credit towards their dream honeymoon.  The most important thing to remember is that the couple invited you for your company, not for the gift!

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