You received the wedding invitation, checked the dates on your calendar, requested time off from work and have sent in the RSVP.
You’ve picked out the perfect outfit to wear. And if, in fact, you are dating somebody (or married to him), you have invited your significant other to attend the ceremony with you.
Now, there's only one item left on your to-do list — buy a gift! While this might seem simple, the reality is that unless you want to be just another generic, pick-an-item-off-the-list giver, finding a meaningful, creative yet affordable wedding present is actually difficult.
After all, you want it to be useful, yet not boring.. sentimental, but not over-the-top cheesy. And, you have limited amounts of shopping time.
Is she the daughter of a co-worker whom you barely know and were only invited to the ceremony out of politeness? Or is this your closest friend from college, with whom you bonded and studied and shared secrets, vowing to always be a part of each other’s lives? This dictates approximately how much money you should spend.
What is the couple doing?
By the time the average couple makes it down the aisle, they’ve usually had at least one or two careers, as well as a car, an apartment and plenty of decorative items, appliances and furniture. You don’t want to give a bunch of just-starting-out items to the couple who have been on their own for a few years.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a gift off the pre-determined wish list the couple put together. After all, it’s meant primarily to make your, and their, life easier. However, more gift-givers these days are looking for creative, out-of-the-ordinary alternatives.
Presentation is important. Many wedding presents are on public display for hours or even days before they are opened. Don’t underestimate the power of gorgeous wrapping paper and elegant ribbon in dramatically enhancing your gift’s perceived value.
If you are either short of money or want to give the newlyweds something truly fantastic, consider pooling your resources and buying one large gift. Yes, this means you’ll have to share glory, but knowing you are giving the couple something they actually want (and may not be expecting to actually get), makes it worth it.