Wedding season is in full swing again and one of the most common questions I hear guests asking is “What should I get the bride and groom?”
First lesson in finance: cash is king.
In the hierarchy of wedding gifting, I noticed that many gifters rank cash at the bottom of the sincerity and thoughtfulness level. Having been on the receiving end, I can tell you that it’s not true; cash is one of most helpful gifts you can give a young, newly-wed couple in my opinion.
First and foremost, they can buy whatever they want or repay the wedding debt with it. Weddings are not cheap and I don’t know any vendors who accept toasters as a form of payment. Second, most modern-day couples already co-habitate or live separately in fully furnished homes before marriage so there aren’t many appliances they need that they don’t already have. Third, unless there’s a registry or you know the couple very well, there’s always a chance you’d end up giving something they don’t like. For these reasons, I think many couples and gifters secretly prefer receiving and giving cash but don’t because it’s a taboo!
Cash > Toaster.
I’m not saying that “real” gifts make bad wedding gifts; I’m merely advocating that cash is perfectly acceptable. “Real” gifts are only bad when you have no idea what to give so you end up getting something for the sake of getting something, which usually ends up being toasters, blenders, picture frames, or bath and lotions sets….which, in my opinion, screams thoughtlessness louder than any $100 bill.
Lesson from my $300 bowl.
On a final note, just because something is expensive doesn’t necessarily make it an ideal gift. Someone once gave me a beautiful Elsa Peretti crystal bowl from Tiffany’s. While I was truly appreciative and thankful, I didn’t know what to do with a $300 bowl! It ended up on my second-hand Ikea coffee table holding a couple of $0.69/lb bananas. I couldn’t stop shaking my head at the irony every time I look at it. Eventually I took pity and wrapped the bowl back in its box in fear of breaking it.