Wedding Gift Ideas For When There’s Nothing Left On The Registry

When couples get married, they generally register at a few stores for plates, kitchen appliances, and other household items so their wedding guests can buy them exactly what they need (or want). For the most part, these lists are extensive enough that it’s not hard to find a salad spinner, table setting, or set of towels that fits into your budget. But if you wait until right before the wedding to purchase a wedding gift, a $400 mixer might be all that’s left on the registry. Since we’ve experienced the desperation that comes with shopping for a couple when everything on their registry has been taken, we asked a few of our recently married friends what route wedding guests should go when this happens. Read their advice after the jump.

  1. Money: Don’t worry, it’s not tacky to write a check and stick it in an envelope with a card (just be sure to write a thoughtful note). Rather than taking a stab in the dark, give them something you know will be put to use and appreciate.
  2. Gift Certificate To A Store Where They Registered: There’s a reason they picked Crate & Barrel, Bloomingdale’s, and Williams-Sonoma. The reason? They like the stuff there, and they should be able to find something else they’ll use.
  3. Gift Certificate To Their Favorite Restaurant: Treat the newlyweds to a special dinner date – maybe even their first anniversary meal – at a restaurant you know they enjoy but don’t visit on a weekly basis.
  4. Extra Set Of Silverware: Whether a fork goes missing or they invite 13 people to dinner when they only have 12 sets of utensils, an extra set of silverware will come in handy.
  5. Ask Them What They Want: Don’t be afraid to call or email the pair to tell them about the situation, especially if you’re close friends. Brides (and grooms, too) should be monitoring their registry to make sure it doesn’t go dry, but if they don’t, a quick conversation can give you an idea of what they’d like. We promise it won’t be awkward.

Whatever you decide to purchase, don’t buy anything they didn’t register for unless you know them so well that you can guess what’s on their secret wish list. Our bride friends said random presents are the absolute worst, because then the couple either has to spend time returning items, or they’re stuck with stuff they don’t even want. And who wants to be the bearer of unwanted gifts?