How to choose the right wedding gift

How to choose the right wedding gift

The age-old dilemma of choosing the perfect wedding gift is more easily solved with a few key considerations.

When bringing a gift to a wedding party, think of items that are pleasing and portable.

Some brides-and-grooms-to-be make their guests' decision easier by registering at a retail store noting their specific desires and tastes. Wedding experts recommend sticking to the registry if you don't know the couple very well. Using a registry makes shopping simple, especially since gifts can be shipped door-to-door. But if you prefer to select a special custom gift and want to attend the wedding with the present in hand, your personal touch is always acceptable, whether the event takes place in a home or a hall. Provided you bear these tips in mind:

1. Handle with care
At most weddings a gift table is set up where guests can place items. Gifts are stacked, and may fall or end up stored beneath the table as new guests arrive and place their items on a growing pile. So avoid bringing a present to a wedding that is fragile. Instead of breakable items, consider bringing small presents made of metal such as a handsome pair of sterling silver candlesticks. Also take caution with very small gifts. Wrapping a small gift in a larger box will ensure it isn't lost during transport.

2. Keep it light
Always consider who will be transporting it if the reception isn't at the couple's home. Is it too large or heavy that it might be burdensome for the person lifting itincluding you? Bulky items may be fine if they don't weigh over ten pounds. Some wedding facilities provide a service that delivers gifts to the bride or groom at the end of the evening, but don't leave this to chance. Lightweight and elegant gifts include high-quality stationery, hand towels, robes and linens, all of which can be personalized with monogrammed initials.

3. No perishables please
The gift of food or a live plant may seem unique and thoughtful but bear in mind the bride and groom will likely head off on honeymoon, leaving your oranges from Florida or figs from Italy to rot in their absence. A more fun and practical idea for a “living” gift could be a club membership that ships comestibles or flowers once a month during the couple's first year of marriage.

4. Sentimental value
Think carefully before bringing an expensive present or one of sentimental value to a wedding. Weddings can last the better part of a day, and many guests and hired help come and go throughout the affair. In some cases, wedding venues offer security but watching the gift table may not be a top priority. If you plan to give a gift of high value, it may be best to find a time other than the wedding day, when the couple is too preoccupied to safeguard your gift. Alternatively, present the couple with a card that contains a high-quality photo of the gift with details of how you would like to make the exchange.

5. Get creative with currency
A gift of cash is perfectly acceptable and a sensible choice for a young couple starting a life together, as it offers them the option to purchase what they need most. A cheque along with some meaningful words for the happy couple is portable and practical and provides both the giver and the recipient with a paper trail in the event the gift is lost. Or perhaps speak with a banker about a smart long-term investment.

6. Advice for destination weddings
Bear in mind that should the couple be celebrating their nuptials in an out-of-town or exotic location, they may appreciate not having to transport gifts home. Bringing a gift to a destination wedding increases the odds that the gift could be lost or stolen. Consider sending a gift well in advance or give cash or the equivalent, such as a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.

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