8 Wedding Gift Hacks

Wedding season is in full bloom and while tying the knot is getting more expensive for the bride and groom, attending a wedding is becoming costlier, too. In fact, a survey from American Express reveals that it now costs on average $539 to attend a single celebration.

Gifts take a big bite out of every guest’s budget with average spending ranging from $75 to $175 per person, according to The Knot Registry Survey. Relieve the financial pressure by saving on the gift with these eight tips.

Compare prices on registry items. It’s wise to reference a registry to see what the couple wants, but it’s even smarter to compare prices among stores. Online retailers like Amazon and Overstock sell popular registry brands for less than most high-end stores.

Use discount gift cards. If you’re planning to give a gift card or you’re buying an item off a couple’s registry, save money by purchasing discount gift cards from GiftCardGranny.com. The site offers gift cards for less than face value, like a $100 Macy’s gift card for less than $80.

Know where to find coupon codes. Most stores offer coupons these days, you just have to know where to look to find one. For example, by signing up to receive an e-newsletter from Pottery Barn or Williams-Sonoma, you’ll get a coupon code for 10 percent off a future order. If you want a coupon for a specific retailer, do a Google search using that retailer name plus the words, “coupon code.”

Head to a warehouse store. Big box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club sell popular registry items like blenders, food processors and other household goods for roughly 30 percent less.

Go in on a big gift. If the couple registered for an expensive item that is out of range for one person to afford, find a group of friends or relatives to split the cost.

Gift wrap and cards at the dollar store. While the cost of wrapping the gift and signing a greeting card seems insignificant, you may be tacking on another $20 to an already pricey present and every dollar counts! Duck into the dollar store to get the items for a buck each.

Offer your services. If money is really tight, offer your services in lieu of a physical gift. Whether it’s doing hair and makeup for the bride and her maids, putting your photography skills to work at the ceremony or dog-sitting while the couple’s away on their honeymoon, your gift is sure to please.

Spread out purchases. If you recently bought a gift for the bridal shower or booked airfare and hotel for the wedding, don’t feel pressured to purchase a gift right away, especially if funds are limited. The bride and groom would never want you to go into debt to attend their nuptials, so space out your expenses. Simply follow the traditional wedding etiquette rule and send a gift within one year from the event date. Just don’t forget!


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  • Carole

    Pay what you can afford for the gift. If $75 and up is too much, choose something from the registry that is in your price range or choose something else not on the registry. Some people make an afghan or other homemade item . It’s silly to pay more than is affordable for a gift. You can’t blame the merchants for wanting to make as much money as possible, but don’t be gullible.

  • kddomingue

    My daughter and her fiance are getting married in March. They are both in their early 30s and this is his second marriage while it is my daughter’s first. They have combined their households and truly NEED very little. But we live in the deep South where gift giving at weddings is a thing everyone will do whether you have a registry or not. My daughter waffled over the decision to have a registry or not. I finally told her that people would get them a gift anyway and a registry certainly makes it easier for the giver AND the recipient in a lot of cases. I suggested that they list those things in their registry that they’ve put off replacing or simple things that they just haven’t purchased yet or something pretty and decorative for their new home. A new cutting board, storage containers, a pretty candle holder or art print they like. Soap dishes, a dish drying rack, kitchen towels. Kitchen canisters, throw pillows, a good frying pan. Things that are not terribly expensive but will be used or admired daily. She thought that was a good idea. They will receive things that they’ll use and won’t feel guilty that their guests spent too much money!

  • Ellie Jackson

    Check out this great idea. I am in a wedding and the wedding party and I are going in together to give the bride a Dreamlines wedding dress sketch and a sketch of his suit. My husband gave me this on our wedding day. I love giving this gift. Personalized and so unique.

  • Amy Hellesen

    The problem with buying an item on a couple’s gift registry at someplace other than the registry’s store is that the item is then not taken off the couple’s registry list — it is still shown as “not purchased” and someone else is likely to purchase the item at that store. The couple is then saddled with two of the same item and the cause of the problem points directly at you because your gift receipt is not from the store where the couple registered. They may then have a bigger issue trying to return your gift. And even if it’s not an issue (tho’ they may get stuck with a merchandise credit at a store that they don’t frequent or isn’t in their new city), it is still an inconvenience because they still have a gift to return — one of the reasons couples register in the first place. Saving money is commendable but not at the expense of another’s inconvenience.