The age old saying “it’s the thought that counts” isn’t always true. While it is a nice gesture to give someone a gift to celebrate a special day, you can’t make the bride and groom enjoy something they don’t want. This is why a lot of couples choose to create their own wedding gift registries, not only to ensure they receive items they need or want, but to take away some of the hassle for their guests.
However, whether you use their registry or not, there are some gifts that are best left on the shelves.
Crystal or Fine China
A lot of people don’t collect these things like they used to. Your grandparents may have entire shelves dedicated to displaying their pieces—bowls, canters, vases and more—but most people just don’t have any use for it. In fact, it’s a common trend nowadays for couples to maintain a more minimalist style by ditching excess things they don’t use. So, unless you know for sure the couple are people who enjoy crystal, don’t buy into this.
Any form of exercise equipment should never be given as a wedding gift. First of all, most of it is expensive and probably out of most guests’ price range. But even if you can afford it, it’s still a bad idea! Some people might take offense, thinking you’re hinting that they need to workout more or lose weight.
For your friends who are fitness buffs, it may seem like a safe choice, but do you know their living situation like the back of your hand? They might not have the room in their house, especially if it’s a large piece of equipment. Or they may already have a gym membership or have a set exercise routine in which they have all the equipment required.
In any case, turn your back on this idea before you shell out any money.
Woks make it easier to cook using techniques like stir frying, steaming, deep frying, and more. They are great, but only if you actually want one and know you’ll use it. Otherwise, it just takes up a lot of kitchen space.
The biggest danger with this gift is that a lot of people already own a wok if they want it; and if they don’t, it’s probably because they’ll never use it.
Pizza Stone and Other Specialty Cookware
Unless the bride or groom loves to cook at home, a pizza stone might not be the greatest gift. The same goes for other specialty cookware like sushi kits, bamboo steamers, avocado scoopers, and melon ballers.Unless they really enjoy cooking, a lot of specialty cookware will get used maybe once before it’s pushed to the back of the cabinet and never seen again until they’re gathering items for their next garage sale.
While barware isn’t necessarily a bad gift, it’s a very popular option; some couples even end up with several wine glasses and multiple corkscrews from their wedding alone because they served wine or champagne. Barware is also only a good gift if you know for sure the couple enjoys drinks at home and entertaining, and they actively welcome more glasses and tools to expand their collection. Otherwise, this could be a terrible idea; you never know who might be a recovering alcoholic or cutting back. Believe it or not, but not everyone enjoys drinking.
While something engraved might seem like a thoughtful gift, most people don’t know what to do with them. No one wants too much clutter out on display in their homes, but knickknacks also take up space somewhere else if you store them. And they will never be able to donate them since they’re personalized.
In this case, it’s best to leave engraved knickknacks out of your shopping cart and move onto something else more useful.
Monograms date back to ancient times, and flourished in the Victorian era, but perhaps it’s best if the trend stays in the past. You might think it’s cute to get the happy couple something with their initials like towels, slippers, bathrobes, or picture frames, but do they really need their names on anything at all?
Monogrammed items fall into the same category as engraved items. If the couple’s decorating style changes or some of their monogrammed set gets lost, what do they do with the rest? Storing it takes up space, and donating it isn’t possible. It’s just not always as cute as you think.
Art is a very personal thing. What you enjoy, someone else may not, so don’t assume that your taste in art is the same. This includes paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramics. This also includes art made by you. While it is thoughtful, it’s not always appreciated as much as you would hope.
Gift cards rarely make good gifts for any occasion, unless they’re a child or a college student who appreciates free groceries and gas. Gift cards aren’t really that thoughtful, as you don’t have to put any thought into it. They also tell the bride and groom exactly how much you spent and that hints at how much you think of them (even if they try not to think about it). On top of that, you better be certain the couple enjoys shopping at that store or eating at that restaurant or your gift will be given away to someone else. If the couple has opted out of a registry, or you’re lost on what to get, just stick to cash. No one will turn down a contribution to their honeymoon or house fund.