10 Wedding Presents You Should Never Buy For Newlyweds

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Photo: Flickr/flickr4jazz

A monogrammed towel with the wrong initials? A birdbath for a fifth floor walkup?When so many couples register for wedding gifts, how can the giver go so wrong? To prevent gift-giving mishaps, it’s probably best for guests to stick with the registry unless they know the couple’s taste very well.

But if you do decide to venture off the registry, here are some guidelines for wedding gifts better avoided. Stay clear of these gift types ranging from relationship advice books to obviously re-gifted items so that your contribution will be cherished rather than discarded.

Remember, we recommend making a budget that accounts for all of your wedding season expenses and sticking to it. Wedding gifts should be about 50% of your overall gift budget, leaving room for engagement, shower and bachelorette presents so you won’t ever show up empty handed.

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Something Monogrammed

Steer clear of monogrammed items unless the couple has registered for them. Monogramming a gift makes it impossible to return, and adds unnecessary expense for you. It is better to spend the money that would have gone to a monogram charge on something of better quality. The couple can always take the gift to be monogrammed at a later time.

An Obvious Re-Gift

Giving an obviously re-gifted present will show your thoughtlessness when it comes to the newlywed couple. Make sure to avoid giving presents that have been dedicated or inscribed to you, or noticeably used.

Half A Gift

Who wants a pepper shaker without the matching salt? A half-gift is not useful to the couple and it is likely that they will not end up with a complete and matching pair for their set.

A Honeymoon Excursion

Couples like to relax and make their own plans on a honeymoon. You don't want to add stress to what is supposed to be a stress-free vacation by tying them down to a snorkelling trip or boat ride. Make sure to check with the couple first if you want to go this route. Or, instead, try organising for champagne to be delivered to the couple's room at their convenience, or send a bottle of wine to their table at one of the restaurants where they will be dining.

An Insinuating Gift

Avoid giving any present that may seem judgmental or assuming about the couple's future, even if it is not intentional. Steer clear of any self-help or relationship advice books, and baby clothes or other baby items.

A Gift That Can Go Bad

No couple wants to have to trash moldy fruit or dead flower bouquets when they return from the honeymoon. It is better to give a gift that will last rather than food baskets or flowers that will perish by the time the couple returns.

A Gift That Does Not Suit The Couple's Lifestyle

If the newlyweds are moving into a city apartment, it doesn't make sense to buy them outdoor furniture or a hammock. An inappropriate gift can reflect the fact that you don't know the couple well, so make sure to do your research.

Something That Requires Upkeep And Payments

Don't splurge on something like a new iPad with 3G for the couple if you know or suspect that they will have trouble paying for the expensive internet service each month. It's better to ask the couple beforehand if you are considering this kind of gift.


It can be hard to predict a couple's taste in art, regardless of how well or how long you have known them for. It is also a challenge to get good quality art for what a guest would typically spend on a wedding gift. Additionally, framing costs for the newlyweds can be an unwanted expense, especially if they are on the fence about the artwork to begin with.

A Gift That Targets Half The Couple

Avoid purchases that may only suit half of the couple. Generally, apparel or items that are specific to only one of the partners' hobbies cannot be shared. Instead, try to find a wedding gift that promotes the couple's unity.

You should probably stay away from these gifts, too...

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