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Wedding Gifts: To Registry Shop Or Not?

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I always feel torn about wedding gift registries.

Making my friends happy makes me happy. However, something about gift registries feels about as good as Facebook reminding me to wish my pals pairing off well wishes. Maybe it just brings to mind being little and leaving wish lists out for gift-giving holidays. Why not just Xerox your demands and send them out along with the invitation? Apparently, I’m not alone in feeling like a nuptial elf.

That being said, the reason many may raise eyebrows at the thought of gift registries might be because of the advice columns that insist that – no – the thought does not count when it comes to your good friends celebrating their union among other good friends. You don’t want to feel compelled to buy from a registry under punishment of being judged. This isn’t what friendship is about, is it? And what if you can’t afford the listed gifts? Or anything – for that matter – when they already want you to fly to Hawaii for the event?

Well, some have suggested a series of do’s and don’ts regarding material offerings you might like to review and take with a grain of salt (or rice?)

Avoidable?

It’s one thing to have a creative friend who wants to think outside of the registered box (as in the video above) for gift giving. It’s quite another to have them give you… a tarantula? Indeed, in response to a survey, some of the worst gifts listed by survey takers included a toilet brush, coat hanger from a hotel (do I even wanna know?), wrapped banana, garden ornament shaped like a meerkat, and – yes – a tarantula.

Alright. I suppose that’s de-friend worthy.

According to Kiplinger, some less eccentric things you still may want to avoid gifting include art home décor, bulky kitchen tools, personalized linens, baby-related items, gag gifts, and relationship literature. Some of these sound kind of obvious, but it’s not a bad reminder for those who are slightly etiquette impaired.

Advisable?

In lieu of those gifts to eschew, an alternative list includes picture frames, a quality cutting knife, high end towels or linens in basic shades, tickets for a fun outing the couple can do, making your “gag” gift be a card itself – with cash inside, and gift cards to ubiquitously celebrated stores – like Target. Among some fun gift-card suggestions credit.com lists, include certificates to learn a foreign language, career coach sessions, cards for gasoline (that’s gold), travel certificates, a subscription to Netflix, a retail-warehouse membership, a gift card to a grocery store, or water-filtration kits – especially if you know they like to keep a steady supply of Fiji around.

However – just to show that not everyone agrees on this topic – advice azcentral offers based off a theknot.com and kohls survey is, “In the kitchen, desired gifts include top-quality appliances, gadgets and cookware, especially items that look good on a countertop.” So, at least some couples like those cumbersome counter gadgets.

And maybe you do want to shop the registry – but it’s just too pricey…

Maybe you can ask others to go halvsies (or thirdies?) with you.

While speaking of dollar amounts – how much are we talking here? Well, while a minimum of $50-$75 is said to be acceptable for coworkers, distant friends, and relatives –$100 to $150 is what’s recommended for those who are closer to you. That is – unless you’re one of those chicks who gets invited to a trillion little pre-wedding gift-giving soirees. In that case, it’s deemed acceptable to split up your funds for all of these little expenditures.

And if among those prospective expenditures includes a costly wedding in a lavish locale with travel costs you can’t afford – just don’t do it, says credit.com. Sending your wedded pals a nice gift and best wishes will save you money and anxiety alike.

I suppose that if the looming threat of receiving a tarantula or toilet brush is spurring a gift list (versus bride-and-groomzilla style avarice) – then yes – registries exist for quite a good reason. But, in the end, when these free trinkets don’t measure up to expectations, hopefully couples can appreciate what matters most: the intention behind the presents. Jeff Jacoby of Boston Globe may just say it best:

Part of maturing is learning that there are worse fates than being presented with a gift that isn’t “exactly what you want: the color, make, model.” Like never knowing the pleasure of receiving a gift that the giver put some thought into. Or delighting in a present that you would never have thought to ask for — but still turned out to be just perfect.

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Preach it, my dude.

Image via Youtube

Wedding Gifts: To Registry Shop Or Not?
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