It comes in the mail all too often. A large pristine white envelope hand addressed to you. The calligraphy is beautiful. You don’t have to open it to know what it is. It’s another wedding invitation to go with several others you’ve already received. Some of these people you barely know.
You know it means buying a gift and money is already in short supply. So, how do you save money on buying wedding gifts — especially when there are a bunch to buy?
If you’re invited to one of the wedding dinners a good rule of thumb is to spend about as much as the dinner would have cost. This could run between $50 and $125. You’re certainly not obligated to spend that much, but polite etiquette also says you should not go empty-handed.
How can you afford to give something special yet affordable?
Select the gift early.
Get it over with and check the gift registry right away before other people do it. With so many weddings, especially in the spring, registry items can quickly get picked over leaving you with little to choose or gifts out of your price range.
Don’t think you look cheap!
Many thoughtful brides and grooms are now adding a broad selection of gifts in all price ranges. And they definitely want these items or they wouldn’t put them on their list. Again, shop early for the best (and cheapest) idea. With the distinct possibility of going to two or three weddings in the same year, even an inexpensive gift could add up when multiplied.
Use your imagination and creativity.
Make or buy something that’s personalized for the newlyweds but not on the list. Wedding gift baskets can be geared to their particular tastes and lifestyle, or feature delicious delicacies and sweets tailored to their tastes or the wedding.
Most new brides need kitchen gadgets so a basket filled with kitchen basics, a few epicurean recipe ingredients, and even a classic recipe book would be perfect. The groom could appreciate this more than you know.
Frame their wedding invitation.
Make the frame yourself or buy one that can be personalized with their names and wedding date. Framing a favorite poem or readings from the ceremony itself is a very considerate gift.
Newlyweds are usually on a tight budget so give them a movie night out. You could spring for movie tickets and cash for the popcorn or buy them a romantic movie DVD or Amazon gift card and include a package of popcorn to pop. Put all this in a popcorn bowl along with two boxes of movie candy.
Wine always wins!
Give a bottle of wine — ideally from a boutique winery — with a note attached that the wine will be at its prime in 10 years and it’s not to be opened until their 10th anniversary. Decorate the bottle with bows or ribbons. You could also include ingredients for a romantic dinner such as pasta and a gourmet sauce. A couple of candles would round out the gift nicely.
Trying to save money on wedding gifts is actually pretty easy. A lavish expensive gift will never trump a thoughtful personalized one from a friend or loved one who put thought into it. Be creative and give from the heart. If you run out of time and ideas, a little cash or gift card in any amount is always appropriate and appreciated.