When navigating the treacherous territory of wedding gift-giving, there’s definitely a no-man’s land to avoid. It’s easy to give a gift that’s sweet or sentimental, but there’s also some clear guidelines about what NOT to give. Follow these tips Fairies, and you’ll be sure to steer clear of the firing line.

1. Anything Not Listed On the Registry

When it comes to choosing the perfect Wedding gift, the registry is like your holy grail. It pretty much guarantees that your gift is something the newlyweds actually want rather than something they have to pretend to like. I mean, no one’s saying you have to get the eight-karat gold teaspoons, but the bridal registry is definitely a good place to start.

2. Anything Weight-Loss Related

This includes exercise equipment, gym memberships, dieting/nutrition books, bathroom scales etc. Buying anything that suggests the Groom (or worse, the Bride) needs to drop a few pounds is not recommended. So, please refrain…unless you’re not keen on keeping in contact with the couple.

3. Anything Raunchy

Save it for the Hen’s Night, ladies, not the Wedding Day.

4. Perishable Items

Usually, the couple are set to dash from the reception and leave for their honeymoon at some point in the following 24 hours. In any case, your gift could potentially remain untouched until the couple returns to their new home… Which now smells like mold and old cheese.

5. Anything that Hints at Childbirth

Because a) way to kill the mood, and b) parenting books, baby hampers and anything else that hints at childbearing could be considered inappropriate if the couple isn’t ready to start a family. One milestone at a time guys.

6. A Pet

Unless explicitly requested (if you can get it in writing, even better), now is not the time to help your best friend fulfil her childhood dream of owning a pony or a teacup Pomeranian.


7. Self-Help Books

Whether it’s about finances or even worse, relationships, including the details of a divorce lawyer would probably be less subtle. The Wedding Day should be a celebration of the couple rather than a free-for-all critique. If the couple need help, they’ll ask for it.

8. Pointless Kitchen Utensils

Butter curlers, chopstick holders, pancake warmers… I’m sorry but, what? Steer clear of anything with the potential to sit unloved in the kitchen as a constant mockery of all the things the couple DON’T know how to cook or will never use.

9. Anything Damaged, Used or Outdated

Enough said.

10. Plants

Unless the Bride and Groom have an incurable green thumb and specifically requested a potted fern, you’re essentially saddling the couple with a really inconvenient gift that won’t fit in the vintage car and needs its own transportation from the reception. Not cool.

11. Art

An individual’s taste in art can be so varied, it might be safest to bypass purchasing any kind of artwork for the newlyweds.

12. Lottery Tickets

There are no words.

13. A Re-Gifted Item

Christmas-themed candles? I don’t think so. Worst case scenario, the gift you’re generously playing ‘Pass-the-Parcel’ with was actually given to you by the newlyweds. Probably best to avoid it altogether

14. Anything Religious

It’s always risky to gift a religious icon, statue or text because it could be outside the couple’s faith or worse, imply that you’re trying to convert the newlyweds (which is great, but the Wedding is not the time to start).

15. Framed Pictures…of Yourself

Nope. Nope. Nope.

1Image from

16.  A Small Gift in a Large Box

Because no one appreciates false advertising.

17. An I-O-U

It’s actually worse than giving nothing at all.

18. Anything Crocheted

Wall hangings, pictures and the rest. Hold on to all of that unless you’re absolutely positive the couple will consider it a sentimental keepsake.

19. Candlesticks

I genuinely can’t remember the last time I saw candlesticks in use in a home, but hey, maybe you know a couple who are the exception!

Main image from Universal Pictures

Posted in Expert Advice, Guests, Planning by wedded wonderland

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