The only wedding rule I fully support and stand behind is that when you're going to buy a couple a gift for their wedding, do yourself (and them) a favor and stick to their registry.
Even if you think you have a super creative idea or have a burning feeling in your gut there's something the couple really wants, beware of buying something that will be miserably hard for them to return or something that can expire before they've had the chance to enjoy it.
Either way, even if you think you're doing the right thing buying the couple a breathtaking piece of art or a new puppy, take a step back and realize the gift of your dreams may be their own personal nightmare. Wondering what types of gifts to avoid buying for someone's wedding?
Here are ten terrible gifts we recommend not buying for a newlywed:
1. A Gym Membership
This may seem like a great idea at the time, but it can come off a little rude. It can also be taken the very wrong way. If the couple comes back from their honeymoon after spending a week hitting the buffet and the bar, they will view your gift as a message that it's time to get their butts back in the gym.
2. Anything With An Expiration Date
Who knows when they'll open your gift or have a minute to use it? Be careful of getting gifts like concert tickets or food because it might go bad before they have a chance to get their hands on it.
3. Off-Registry Home Décor
Even if you have an urge to get them a gift that'll help make their home feel complete, stick with their registry items. Getting them something not on their registry, especially if it's a large piece of furniture, may be a headache for them to return if it doesn't fit their space or their theme.
4. Monogrammed Madness
Nowadays, brides don't always change their last name to match the groom's, so getting a monogramed gift may be hard to figure out. Also, if they don't need or want the gift you gave them, they won't be able to bring it back when their initials are plastered on them.
5. An Obvious Regift
If a gift has your name on it, has been opened or is something the couple knows is yours, don't try to pawn it off on them as a regift. It'll be obvious and perhaps a bit uncomfortable for you when the couple asks, “Is this yours?”
6. Advice Books
This gift just screams, “You're not doing it right or well.” No matter what the advice book is on, it's just not the time or the place to introduce this kind of gift during what should be the couple's honeymoon period.
7. Something That Puts The Expense On Them
If you want to go with some sort of subscription service as a gift, whether that's for a wine of the month club or a meal delivery club, make sure you've footed the bill for the whole thing. If it's getting pricey, find a service you buy for three months, without making them pay the rest, unless it's something they want to continue.
8. A New Pet
Don't surprise the couple with a puppy, a goldfish or a hamster, even if they've been eager to get a pet for more years than you can count on your hands. Picking out perfume, artwork and even a new mattress is something people need to do on their own, for themselves. Picking out a pet is a whole new ballgame of a personal experience. So, leave it up to the couple to find the pet of their dreams.
9. A Gift For Half The Couple
Think a nice tie will be a great wedding gift? Or, is a pair of running shoes for the bride something you want to buy? Skip the one-sided gift and find something the couple can use together. If you don't have anything in mind, stick with cash.
10. A Piece Of Art
If you find yourself eye-to-eye with a piece of art or a painting you think your newlywed couple would enjoy for their new apartment or house, walk away from it. That sounds harsh, but whatever you do, don't pull out your wallet and buy it for them as a wedding gift.
Send them a photo and tell them where they can find it if they want to buy it on their own, but refrain from assuming it's something they'll love and buying it for them. If it's not on their registry or something they've hinted they wanted, your precious piece of art may end up in their basement for a lifetime.