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How To Buy A Wedding Gift

Updated on July 12, 2011

Choosing the Right Wedding Gifts

Do you know someone who is getting married and now you are trying to scamble to get them a present?  Buying wedding gifts can be frustrating at times since you need to buy something that will suit both the bride and grooms taste.  You don't want to waste your money on gifts that the couple will not use.  The best thing would be if the couple had a wedding registry set up.  Most department stores are set up with wedding registries.  The first thing you should do is find out if the couple has a wedding registry.  If they do, it will make things alot easier for you since you will know exactly what they want and need.

How To Read A Wedding Registry

When you are searching for a wedding couple's registry it is best if you know both the bride and groom's first and last name. This is important because there could be several people set up who have the exact same name so you want to check carefully that you have chosen the right bride and grooms registry. You can usually find the wedding registry at their local department store kiosk or online. Most registries have the following information:

  • The couple's registry number-This helps determine that gifts are associated with that number and make's sure that when gifts are purchased off their registry they are removed based on this identifying number.
  • The bride and grooms first and last names-This makes sure you have the right couple
  • The location they are registered at- Large department stores might have multiple store locations in several cities or provinces. Make sure you know where the bride and groom expect their gifts to come from, or be delivered to.
  • Items to be purchased-The wedding registry will have a list of gifts the couple has chosen for their registry. There is usually a quantity associated with the gift so you know how many items they need, how many are remaining to be purchased, and how many items have already been completed for purchase. This is important, to avoid duplication of gifts. You don't want to buy them an item that has already been purchased by someone else. It is always important to tell the cashier that the gift you are purchasing is off a wedding registry so they can update the list and remove previously purchased items.
  • UPC Codes (Bar Codes)-Each gift should have an identifying number so that you can find the item easily. The couple might want a white plate and there might be several white plates to choose from in the department store. Make sure the UPC code on the list matches up with the physical item to be purchased.

Important Things to Remember When Buying A Wedding Gift

If the wedding couple has a wedding registry, it is best to purchase from the list provided.  You might not like their style of yellow and green polka dot dinnerware, but that is what they specifically selected for their registry, so that must be what they want or need.  Don't let your personal preferences get in the way of the gift purchase.  If you really can't imagine purchasing any of the gifts that they have choosen on their registry then take the safe route and give them a gift card or money.

Always include a gift receipt with the item purchased.  It really helps the wedding couple out if for some reason they have to return or exchange the item.  Some department stores might not take the item back without some proof of purchase or might not give them the full amount for the cost of the product since it might have been bought on sale.  This is really frustrating for the new bride and groom who might have to return your gift for many reasons- ie: Not enough room in new home, item was damaged upon receipt, they received duplicate gifts, or heaven forbid the wedding is called off (let's hope that never ever happens)!

Alternative Wedding Gifts

If everything on the registry has already been purchased and you still can't think of a good gift item there are several other gifts the bride and groom will appreciate.

If you don't want to appear cheap when purchasing a wedding gift, select a gift that a few people can contribute to, and buy one large gift. You might want to consider a nice pair of season tickets for their favorite sport or play, an open ticket to travel to the caribbean, gift certificates for a nice restaurant or spa, etc.

Some useful gifts that the couple might appreciate are services to make improvements to their household. This could include painting services, landscaping services, cleaning services, or things along that line.

If You Were Getting Married, What Would You Want Your Guests To Buy You

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The Final Touch

Once you have picked out your gift for the wedding couple, you can have it gift wrapped, bring it to the wedding with you or have the bride and groom pick it up from the store they are registered. It is always nice to provide the couple with a notification card letting them know that you have selected a gift for them and where they can pick it up. To find out more about wedding registries, check out

Great Gifts to Add To A Wedding Registry


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      kristina (Connecticut-DJs)  7 years ago

      Any kitchen tools or gadgets is very nice wedding gift. It is very practical, helpful and useful as starting life together.