Wedding season has just begun, and while you may be feeling the love, you might also be feeling a pinch. It’s an honor to be a guest in a couple’s wedding celebration, but it can get expensive. From the engagement party to the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the cost can add up. Wedding gifts are never required, despite what you might believe. But they are customary and can be an extra way to spread joy and show your support for the couple’s commitment.
The old rule of thumb was to spend as much as the dinner would have cost, usually $50 to $125. But many of today’s weddings are extravagant affairs or creative events with 17 mini-meals from food trucks. This can make food cost approximating difficult, so it’s ok to ignore the old rule. You can still give the blissful couple a memorable gift. Here are some creative — and affordable — wedding gift ideas to spread joy on the couple’s big day.
1. Go in on a Group Gift
Cash and gifts from the couple’s gift registry are often go-tos for last-minute gifts. But if you wait too long to buy something from the registry, you could end up browsing the most expensive items. Gather a few friends and pitch in on one or two of the couple’s higher-priced requests. Or surprise them with a big-ticket item that’s not on their registry, but that they’ll swoon over.
2. Offer Your Services and Time
You’re a talented individual with skills to share. Why not offer them to the lucky couple as a gift? If you’re a photographer, offer your professional skills. If you can do beautiful hair or makeup, or if you’re swell with a sewing machine, you can help the bridal party with preparation and tailoring. Musical skills? Offer a solo performance. Love to cook? You could take over the catering. Have a lovely home? You could provide the venue.
3. Create a DIY Gift
If you’re more of a craftsperson or a maker, consider offering a handmade gift. Perhaps you’re a pro at home-brewed beer. Or maybe your skills are painting or quilting. Whatever the craft, a customized wedding gift is one shared straight from the heart.
4. Buy Now to Enjoy Later
If the couple enjoys sophisticated drinks, consider a gift they’ll need to put on the shelf for a while. Buy a bottle of wine or scotch that will be at its peak in ten years — to be opened on their 10th anniversary. This is a gift best suited to those who appreciate the finer things in life, no matter how long it takes to get them. It’s a testament to your support of their commitment … as well as to their patience.
5. Donate to the Couple’s Favorite Charity
In lieu of a physical gift, make a donation in the couple’s name to their favorite charity. Whether they’re serious about animals, the environment, human rights, or anything else, showing your support shows how much you care. Many charities will send a card to the person in whose name a donation has been given. Find out if the charity you choose will do so. If not, just write a simple note to the couple letting them know you have made a donation in their names.