5 Tips for Picking Out Wedding Gifts

Happy FriYAY!! What a few months it has been!! What with getting engaged, planning my move to Seattle, getting a dog (see pics of Max here) and all our travel, SH and I have been non stop on the go. And with it being mid-June, we are smack dab in the middle of summer wedding season, and starting to plan our own wedding, too!

Have you ever heard of Zola? They are an amazing resource for both planning your wedding (hello free wedding website, checklist, guest list and registry!) and finding a unique gift for your registered newlywed friends.

I have been to a lot of weddings over the past few years so I thought I'd share my gift giving experience with you (and I have some new perspective now that I'm engaged, myself!)

5 Tips for Picking Out Wedding Gifts:

1. Stick to the registry!
This is one I used to deviate from. "But I want to give them something unique and personalized!" I'd say. "I want the gift to be memorable, not a bunch of towels!" I totally get it. I used to be you. I feel your pain. You want your gift to be a representation of your relationship with the couple so you want it to stand out and be special. Here's the thing- young couples often are broke or strapped for cash. Pick out a gift FOR THEM, not FOR YOU. This means if they want new towels, get them new towels! They spent hours upon hours picking out items for their registry. They said no to some things that didn't make the registry cut. They painstakingly chose what they need and really, really want. Don't deny them the pleasure of getting exactly what they want! And it's really okay. They know you love them more than you can say with a set of hand towels. (Which they will be thrilled to have, by the way! If it's on their registry, they actually want it!)

2. Plan ahead.
When I have weddings to attend, I have to start budgeting early. I budget for the bridal shower, bachelorette, the wedding gift, travel arrangements, etc. I start saving a few months ahead and set aside money little by little. This is even more important if you are a member of the bridal party (think bridemaid dress $$$)

3. Stick to your budget!
So you set a budget ahead of time - now stick to it! The couple doesn't want you to suffer or set back your finances to buy them a fancy wedding gift! Most couples will pick items from a variety of price points. Check the registry early so you get first pick and can stay within your price range. The reality is, if I have to travel for a wedding, I am probably spending hundreds of dollars on airfare, lodging and transportation, so the gift will probably be $50 or less. I had a friend whose out of town wedding I couldn't attend, so I splurged a little more on her. At the end of the day, the couple cares about you sharing in their love on their big day. They aren't going to care about whether you spent $25 or $100 on a gift for them.

4. Go in with friends. 
There's no shame in group gifting! A lot of couples now are doing group gifting options where you can pitch in with a few people to buy a more expensive gift for the couple. This is a nice way to contribute to a cool gift the couple wants without having to shoulder the burden all by yourself.

5. Don't freak out!
Remember, this is supposed to be fun! Have fun when picking out a gift off of the registry. If you want to personalize it, buy a cute card that represents your relationship or personality and write a sweet, heartfelt note.

Buying a gift off a registry can feel impersonal, but it's really not! Especially with sites like Zola that have everything a couple could possibly want - from hiking gear to coffee makers, serving bowls and suitcases - they've got you covered!

Brought to you by Zola.

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