Top Wedding GiftsRaise your hand if you have a wedding invitation posted on your fridge and need to find the perfect wedding gift! Take a look at these top three wedding gifts that every newlywed couple wishes they had!
1) Kitchen Aid Standing MixerThe Kitchen Aid standing mixer is the premier standing mixer for households from beginning to more professional levels of cooking and baking. What makes this product great is that it really is high quality and the couple won't have to replace it any time soon. Furthermore, it is really customizable to the couple's wants and needs; this customization includes the color, style, and size, as well as the many different attachments. This makes the Kitchen Aid standing mixer a top choice for a wedding gift.
2) High Quality Pots and PansPots and pans are one of the number one household items that are taken for granted and that can make all the difference in a couples family dinner game. It may be a good idea to either go off the couples registry or ask if they prefer copper, stainless steal, or ceramic, etc. This may not be the most important decision they make in life, but it is a pretty big one.
3) Gift CardsA lot of people think that gift cards are not personal enough for a wedding gift. However, as many newlyweds will tell you, pulling out that $100 gift card when they need it most is a pretty spectacular gift. One bride even said that she had forgotten about a gift card and found it about three months after the wedding. "It was so awesome! I thought it was a $5 gift card that I got in a promotional purchase, but it turned out to have over $100 on it and covered everything we needed and still had some left over. BEST. GIFT. EVER!"
Wedding registries are difficult sometimes; the experience differs from couple to couple. What’s appropriate and expected in your circle will differ from family to family. So, when you’re ready to start scanning coffee grinders and knife blocks like a mad woman, it’s good to be informed. If you’re not so “into” weddings and you aren’t sure what the gifting norms are in your “circle,” here are a few tips about what to steer clear of when you’re looking through the many tempting aisles of your local wedding gift shoppe:
Items that don’t belong
While sometimes stores drop the ball a bit with registries and add not-so-important items to your list without your knowledge or consent (picture a guest getting a toothbrush at the same time he purchases your new washcloth set and both items end up on your “purchased” list), some couples really do run out of ideas in the store and start getting a little excited and scan-crazy in aisles they have no business in. Your guests would like to aid you in the building of your home – you buy your own bleach.
Items that only fit one budget
As you’ll probably have guests of all budget levels celebrating your marriage, so it’s pertinent to note that not all of them will have endless budgets. While it’s true that some of your guests will team up to get you something big, or will dig deep into their wallets to provide you with the stand mixer you need to lead a happy married life, most of them won’t. Weddings are expensive, and after hotels, meals, flights, and maybe even time off of work, an extravagant wedding gift often isn’t on the table. Guests will want a selection of items to choose from when they hunt down just the right gift. Some guests might even want to purchase several smaller items instead of one big gift. Make that selection process easier by registering for gifts in all budget ranges. Items that aren’t items at all
Asking for money is where many brides deviate in the etiquette world. In some circles, traditions such as honeymoon funds and the “money dance” are a part of wedding culture. That’s completely fine. This is a warning to brides who might not have tested the waters yet. Honeymoon registries, and “CASH ONLY” notes or other variations of the phrase on invitations and websites can be taken the wrong way by guests. Gifts are always an option, not a requirement, of wedding attendance, and you want to make sure you aren’t offending anyone before they even show up. Many guests will find the suggestion of monetary gift giving rude – make sure you’re familiar with the customs of your circle before committing to a non-traditional registry. Create a very small, or nonexistent, registry in lieu of a large one, and guests will get the hint.
One of the frustrating things about registering in-store is the lack of knowledge we had about each individual item. No amount of prep work would have prepared us for the number of options we had. On-the-spot research was not an option, and I was not looking forward to the research once we got home. When we make a purchase for our home, it’s usually informed. We spend time looking up reviews online, shopping around, and THEN finding the right loofah for us. When everything that we register for has to come from one or two places and we’re largely uninformed about what it is we should be noting, registering can get frustrating. How am I supposed to know what to look for in a good set of high balls when I encounter them? We wasted a lot of time worrying for no reason. I thought I was going to have to sift through our registry and Google each item individually to find reviews, but I found that our online registry info links right to reviews. I suggest that any couple looking to build a registry hops right online after making the first sweep of the store. If something you scanned isn’t up to par when faced with the harsh judgment of the internet, strike it from the world. It is way less of a pain to swap out a few unsightly items online than to pull out your phone every few minutes in-store to make sure you’re selecting the right knife block. The Huge Amount of Time it Takes:
I popped into Bed, Bath, and Beyond with my fiancé just to entertain the idea of starting a registry. We ended up staying for so long that we had to designate a lunch break. We’d browsed the website a little beforehand and thought that we only really wanted a stand mixer and some actual storage containers (that aren’t stained with spaghetti sauce) but a grand tour of the store was peppered with realizations like “Well, our suitcases are older than we are” and “We should probably graduate to bath towels that don’t have ragged edges.” It was a long day. One suggestion I have for managing the time commitment? Come with an aesthetic for your future (or current) home in mind. We didn’t have one, and the hemming and hawing over differences in style ate up a lot of our day. We ended up figuring out what we liked, but only after we’d made our way through half of the store. Be Clear:
Here’s something I wasn’t expecting: I really hate being referred to as the “bride.” The sales associate assigned to follow us around the store just would not stop referring to me as “the/my bride,” and it drove me absolutely nuts. By referring to me as “his bride” and introducing me (and only me) to the other employees that way, I felt as if he was ignoring my fiancé. But the problem here wasn’t the sale associate’s terminology; it was that I made my registry experience less fun by not asking him to refer to my fiancé and I as a unit. So the advice here is to be straightforward with whoever is helping you to build your registry – be it a salesperson or your mother. Don’t be pushed into registering for things you don’t need, and don’t sit and stew in anger over terminology that frustrates you. Registering should be fun, and being straightforward about your needs and preferences will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone!
Your Wedding Website – 8-12 months before
A wedding website is a great way to organize the details of your wedding in a way that your guests can access and enjoy as soon as they get their save-the-dates. The website is where you’ll put details about local hotels, directions to venues, registries, and even your unique proposal story, so feel free to make one as soon as any of those details are nailed out. You can always add information as you progress in your planning and spend the extra time tweaking details. Your Save-the-Dates – 6-8 months before Save-the-Dates are for letting your guests know to make travel plans ahead of time. If you’re having an entirely local wedding, don’t even worry about sending them. If not, it’s important to balance when you send them out. Your guests need to book hotels, find a way to get time off of work, and maybe even book an extended stay babysitter. If you’re planning a summer wedding (high traffic vacation time) or a Christmas/Thanksgiving date, send them out as early as eight to nine months ahead of time. Just don’t send them out so early that everyone tacks them up on their refrigerators and forgets about them.
It’s also important to note that you should have your guest list (mostly) finalized before you send them out. A save-the-date is as good as an invitation, and guests will be confused and potentially offended if they don’t “make the final cut” and receive an invite. Your Registry – 6 months before
You can bump that registry deadline up if your circle is into engagement parties (as the point of a registry is to let everyone know what you want and need for gift giving occasions), but there really isn’t any reason to put together a registry until someone offers to throw you a shower. You don’t want your favorite items being discontinued way before your wedding date, especially if they’re part of a set and you end up with half a stemware set.
If you do end up setting up your registry early, avoid registering for sets of things and just throw some items on it that can be purchased singularly. You can always go back and add/remove items at your convenience. Your Invitations – 8-10 weeks before
It’s important not to send your invitations out too soon, as you don’t want them collecting dust on a desk for three months. If you didn’t do save-the-dates, however, it’s equally important that you let your guests make plans well ahead of time. Be careful, though - any more notice than10 weeks and your guests are going to forget about their RSVP date.
Your RSVP cards, by the way, should carry a date of about two weeks or so before the wedding. Ask your caterer when they need the final headcount by, and give your guests a few days of a buffer zone; you want plenty of time to make a few calls to guests who missed the deadline. Your Thank You Notes – within 2 months… within 2-3 weeks if it comes ahead of time
Get your thank you notes done as soon as you can – trust me! Any time between a month and two months after you return from your honeymoon is fine, but you can only help yourself by doing them as soon as you can. If you wait much longer than a couple of months, a note will just draw attention to the fact that it took this long to send a note.
If you receive a gift before your wedding date, you generally have a few weeks to send a note out, but don’t wait too long; your guests like to know that everything arrived in one piece.