It’s a sad fact that many wedding gifts are never used by the new couple that receives them. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the giver’s unfamiliarity with the bride and groom, buying the present in haste, or unimaginative givers who simply go out and buy some generic gift like a blender so that the poor new couple winds up with five blenders or a quartet of bread makers.

green wedding bagFolks, this is just unacceptable. I personally feel that it’s just simple good manners to put enough thought into buying a wedding gift that it will be something the recipients will actually appreciate and use. To that end, find out whatever you can about the happy couple, even if you don’t know them well. Talk to anyone you know who knows them well and find out their likes and dislikes.

For instance, if the wedding couple eats out all time, it’s probably a bad idea to shell out for a fancy food processor that will most likely wind up on the kitchen counter gathering dust. However, if they are gourmets who like to cook at home, that opens up a whole arena of gift-giving, including gifting them with expensive bottles of wine, an engraved silver champagne bucket, silver oyster forks, crepe pans, or any other exotic kitchen implement, the fancier and more specialized the better.

But if you are buying something for the new couple’s kitchen, be sure it’s appropriate. For instance, you wouldn’t want to give carving knives to a pair of vegetarians, but a set of sterling silver corncob holders might be very well-received indeed. I’ve found that expensive crystal wine glasses or champagne flutes are a lovely gift, but be sure the recipients aren’t teetotalers. You can also find out if the bride and groom share any hobbies or special interests. If they collect something like antique glass or Christmas ornaments, then a rare or unusual example of whatever they collect would probably be a most welcome wedding gift. And if the new marrieds are well-off and don’t really need anything to start off their lives as a couple, why not make a generous donation in their names to their favorite charity, or name a star after each of them. It’s easy and fun to “buy” a star that you can name after someone. Sometimes an intangible present can be the most special of all.