The 5 God-Awful Wedding Gifts Every Couple Gets (But Never Asks For)

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Wedding Gifts

The registry exists for a reason.

Anyone who got married and had a gift registry knows that not all wedding gifts are welcome. Sure, it’s nice to get a gift, but not when it’s a used decorative plate with a rooster on it that’s painted like a zebra.

True story. I got that for a wedding gift ... and the outside of the plate was painted like a snake.

The most puzzling thing to me about gift giving for wedding couples is they’ve done all of the work for you, so why not take advantage of that?

I love the wedding registry, especially when I can order a gift from the comfort of my couch. I’m not required to wear a bra there.

Why every wedding guest doesn’t buy off the registry blows my mind. The happy couple equips guests with everything they need to know to buy them exactly what they want.

From the exact store, to the precise aisle to the actual SKU number, couples go to a lot of trouble to tell guests exactly what they want to see wrapped up in a bow on their special day.

Could it get any easier? Apparently so.

I’m amazed how many people give gifts that aren’t included on the registry. I can’t imagine why Great Aunt Nell would know what a 30-year-old woman she hasn’t seen in 25 years would want, but apparently it’s a cross-stitched pillow with her name spelled wrong.

I also can’t fathom why the groom’s boss thinks he needs a shaving kit instead of those gardening shears he asked for.

Because I’ve experienced these issues first hand, I’ve made a list of items I received that weren’t on my registry. I have a feeling these items are universally received by couples everywhere.

1. Vases

I’m not sure why newlyweds would need the amount of vases that come from gift-giving wedding guests.

Don’t they know that giving flowers occurs before the marriage and the wedding effectively stops that from occurring regularly in the future?

If my husband decides to give me flowers, and he really does, he buys a bouquet at the grocery store when he’s picking up a gallon of milk. It’s where financially prudent men purchase flowers.

Granted those don’t come with a vase ... just rubber bands and plastic wrap. However, when that happens I only need just one vase, not the 17 that I received as wedding gifts that are currently in my basement.

Those 17 vases will go unused, most likely until I can come up with an occasion to re-gift them.

2. Picnic baskets

Who goes on a picnic anymore? They’re only done in romantic comedies, and even then Sandra Bullock seems reluctant.

What couple decides to prepare finger foods, package them up, gather silverware, cups, napkins, a blanket, sunscreen, bug spray and wine, and then trek across town to a park to sit on the same grass that’s in their backyard?

No one I know.

3. Candlesticks

Unless it’s the 1600s, there’s no reason the modern couple would need candlesticks. If the power goes out, there’s these new things called flashlights. They provide light without dripping wax on your carpet.

If a guest really wants to give a good gift, they should consider a flashlight with an extra set of batteries.

Even there is a time when the power goes out and the happy couple’s flashlight doesn’t work for some reason, there’s a good chance the bride has several scented candles in varying shapes, sizes and scents ... all of which come in a glass jar.

If someone is dead set on giving the gift of light, might I suggest light bulbs?


4. Picture frames

Although every couple needs picture frames to fill their house, sometimes that "house" is a studio apartment that barely fits a couch and a dirty recliner. Fifty picture frames just aren’t necessary.

Granted, The Dollar Store has a wide array of picture frames for only a buck, but since those frames don’t come in a box and each one has a $1 sticker on the front of it, the couple is most likely going to figure out the guest spent $7.00 on their wedding gift ... while the couple spent $27 on his food and at least $50 on beer for him at the reception.

5. Champagne flutes

I don’t know many couples who regularly drink champagne. Then again, I’m not that fancy. In my experience, if a couple is entertaining guests, they’re usually serving PBR or whatever beer was on sale that week.

Although I like to think people are sophisticated, I suspect the only time most people drink champagne at home is when they have mimosas. Even then, the champagne flutes are far too small. They should drink out of plastic cups they got from the local pizza joint, just like the rest of us.

Hopefully this list will help those gift givers present the couple with things they actually want.

For any of you needing to buy a wedding gift, might I suggest sticking to the registry?

If you can’t do that, and you know if you go to the store you’ll buy them the "perfect" item from the clearance bin, consider this: Do you know what makes newlyweds happier than getting a gift?



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