wedding-gift.jpgI’ve been to my fair share of weddings. Heck, I’ve been in my fair share of weddings, so I know all to well that as much fun as they can be, the can also get a little pricey. The good news is that you don’t have to remortgage your home or sell a kidney to get the happy couple a wedding gift that won’t just be appreciated, but will actually be a welcome addition to their home. Here are some great wedding gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

Wedding gift etiquette

In my somewhat vast experience as a wedding guest, I’ve found that there is a standard set of questions that are asked when talking behind the couple’s back about their big day: (1) is there an open bar? (2) What does her dress look like? (3) Are you sure it’s an open bar? (4) How much am I supposed to spend on their gift? While there are no hard and fast rules for how much you should spend, the experts at recommend:

  • If you’re a co-worker or a distant family friend or relative: $75 to $100
  • If you’re a relative or a friend of the bride or groom: $100 to $125
  • If you’re a close relative or a close friend: $100 to $150+

So, essentially I’m a cheapskate. Sorry all my friends … I’ll buy the wine next time we’re out. But I digress; here are some gift options for each category:

Co-worker or distant family friend of relative: $75 to $100

Not going to lie, this seems like a lot to spend on a “distant family friend” but then again, we’ve already established the fact that I’m cheap.

  • Wine GlassesWine-Glasses.jpg
    You really can’t go wrong with a nice set of wine glasses, like this set of Sauvignon glasses and this set of Merlot glasses from Bormioli Rocco. Said to “magnify the nuances of your favourite wine,” these gorgeous wine glasses are each produced from a single piece of crystal glass with long, pulled stems and blown bulbs to enhance the flavours and undertones of the wine. Even if your bride and groom enjoy their wine from a box, glasses like these will make them look like Sommeliers.
  • Steak Knives
    There’s nothing worse that trying to dig into a piece of meat – or a tough piece of tofu for the vegetarians out there – with lackluster “all purpose” knives. A nice 4-piece set like this TWIN set from Zwilling J.A. Henckles will stay part of your couple’s kitchen for a long time to come. Each knife is made from high-quality stainless steel and has traditional shaped handles with a three-rivet design. Bring on the steak.

Relative or friend: $100 to $125

This is the very likely the most ambiguous category – you’re not quite distant, but you’re not quite close. I’ve been there. I don’t like it.

  • FlatwareCutlery.jpg
    A decent set of flatware is always a good idea for a wedding gift, especially if you’ve been to the bride and groom’s home and see that their cutlery drawer is a mish-mash of random forks and knives accidentally stolen from work lunchrooms over the years. A nice option is the Paderno 20-Piece Redpoint Cutlery Set, which has a classic design that will definitely stand the test of time.
  • Butcher Knife Set #1
    Knives range in price from reasonable to “I could buy a car for that” but this Wiltshire ECLIPSE 8-Piece Knife Block Set is a fantastic gift for the couple that aren’t necessarily Gordon Ramseys’ in the kitchen. Each knife in the set is made of stainless steel and features a contoured handle that will let the new bride or groom dice and slice meals in newlywed bliss to their heart’s content. Plus, this set comes with a gift box, so you’re wrapping is almost done for you!

Close relative or close friend: $125 to $150

At a wedding, when you’re a close relative or friend, you are guaranteed to either have the best table in the place, or be right up front and centre as part of the bridal party. It also means your budget should be a little higher than the other two categories.

  • Butcher Knife Set #2knives-2.jpg
    For the couple that is akin to Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen, a great gift option is this Titanium 8-Piece Knife Set from Cuisinart. With their protective titanium coating that’s permanently bonded to their high carbon stainless steel blades, these knives have a ridiculous non-stick quality that will let your bride and groom showcase their inner Master Chef.
  • Bedding
    You can never go wrong with an amazing set of sheets as a wedding gift. By amazing, I mean decadent sheets like these 400 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets from Maholi. When the happy new couple crawls into bed with these silky-soft sheets, they’ll start married life in incredibly soft, luxurious comfort.

Being asked to be a part of someone’s big day doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give your credit card a work out. Just make sure you are giving the newlyweds something you think, or know, they either need, want, or will use. Otherwise, you run the risk of visiting them at some point in the future only to see they’ve exchanged your gift for a ridiculously tacky cuckoo clock.

Stacey McGregor
Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.