Let’s be honest: Getting invited to a friend of family member’s wedding is always exciting. But there’s also a teeny bit of dread that goes along with it. Not only because you might have to book flights and a hotel if it’s a destination wedding, but you’ll know have to think about wedding gift ideas that nobody else has. Trust me. I run a wedding website and I know that being a wedding guest these days can be a little bit stressful, not to mention expensive!
Before we get into the best wedding gift ideas for 2023, let’s talk about where to buy the best wedding gifts. And if you’re looking to find out how much to spend on a gift and when to send it, be sure to read our guide to wedding gift etiquette.
First Things First, Start With the Wedding Registry
Before you go shopping for a wedding gift, you’ll want to see if the couple has created a wedding registry. This information will usually be located on the couple’s wedding website, and will link to their registry so you can easily buy a gift from it online, or visit the store in-person depending on which retailers they’ve chosen.
Where are couples registering?
Most couples these days are choosing to create an online wedding registry that is easily accessible to guests across the country (and globe!). While a lot of couples will still create online wedding registries at stores with brick and mortar locations that you can visit like Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel, online-only options like those from The Knot and Zola allow couples to pull in gifts from lots of different brands, giving them (and you!) more options to choose from.
A couple may also choose to have a traditional wedding registry, or one with a cash fund for a honeymoon or even a home. (You can read more about these honeymoon registries here). While it might have been taboo to ask for cash 10 years ago, it’s completely acceptable (and actually common!) now. Thankfully, online wedding registries have made it easy for you to safely and securely send a cash gift to the couple, and instructions on how to do it should be on the registry website.
Can I buy a gift that’s not on a wedding registry?
Yes. Just remember that a couple has created this wedding registry for a reason. It might be filled with household essentials they are hoping to get, and the gifts are in their exact style. While you might like a brightly-colored set of dishes, they might be looking for a more simple, everyday color, which is why they registered for the set they want in the first place! It’s always best to err on the side of caution and go with what the couple requested.
Need wedding planning help? Our wedding e-book will teach you everything you need to know!
With that said, if you want to go off-registry to give them a unique gift (like an heirloom-worthy vase), or an actual heirloom or personalized gift that will have meaning to them, that is ALWAYS appreciated.
What if a couple doesn’t have a wedding registry?
Don’t see wedding registry or gifting info on a couple’s wedding website? First off, have them come talk to me. LOL. Because they should absolutely have gifting instructions on their wedding website or invitation insert, even if it’s to say no gifts! But on the off chance they don’t, it’s perfectly acceptable to text the wedding party member you’re closest to (be it the parents or couple themselves) and ask them if they are registered anywhere. If not (and they didn’t insist on no gifts or give instructions otherwise) you can choose from one of our wedding gift ideas below. You can also write a check. And remember there’s no specific amount you have to spend. You can send them a gift amount that works best for you and your budget. If you are looking for a range, however, my rule of thumb is to gift what I would spend on a nice dinner out with my husband.
Where to Buy Wedding Gifts
Not sure where to shop? First, we’re always a fan of finding local home stores so you can support small businesses. So start there! (Just make sure they offer shipping, and that you have the couple’s address if you need to mail the gift.) Also most small businesses across the country have a web presence, so if there’s a store you visited once and loved, see if they have a website you can order from if you can’t physically go there.
Also, I would avoid buying anything too personal, like sheets or towels or things like a complete dinnerware or glassware collection. If they really wanted those basics, chances are they would have registered for them. Instead, opt for unique gifts like a beautiful vase, salad serving set, platters, or candleholders.
If you’re looking for other online option, some of our favorite go-to stores to look for wedding gifts ideas include:
WGM Says: If you’re buying off-registry, be sure the store you purchase from offers a generous return policy for wedding gifts, and ask them how the couple can return if it doesn’t work out. For example, will they provide a gift receipt?
What’s the Best Wedding Gift You’ve Received?
We recently polled our followers on Instagram and Facebook, and got some great responses. Here’s a few of the items that couples said were the best gifts they received:
- “Gift cards! Not al people share the same style, and it’s nice to have a house with 100% your own style.”—Arianna
- “A beautiful wooden cutting board with a chef’s knife.”—Caitlin
- “My Dyson vacuum!!”—Paige
- “Our friend (who is an artist) painted a watercolor picture from a photo of our first dance. It’s now hanging in our living room.”—Jen
- “It’s not very uncommon, but our KitchenAid stand mixer is my favorite. I use it all the time to bake and even make pasta with a separate attachment I got.”—Kai
- “We got a set of Riedel wine glasses, and even through several house moves we still have them, and they’re the best!—Annie
Our Favorite Wedding Gift Ideas for 2023
Ready to go shopping for the happy couple? We’ve put together some of our favorite wedding gift ideas for 2023, from $30-$1,000+ (which can work as a group gift!). And if the newlyweds don’t like them, we’ll send you our address. 🙂
Jerrelle Guy Teaspoons, Set of 4
The author of “Black Girl Baking” Jerrelle Guy teamed up with Anthropologie for an exclusive collection that is so fun. We love how unique these colorful teaspoons are, which are great for desserts or tea time.
Heirloom-Quality Tea Kettle
MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Tea Kettle
Made of steel then handpainted and given a wooden handle, this classic MacKenzie-Childs pattern works for any decor, modern or vintage.
Ruffoni Historia Hammered Copper 11-Piece Cookware Set with Olivewood Tools
Even if a couple already has a complete cookware set, these copper pots are so unique they would be a welcome addition to any kitchen.
Atlas 150 Aluminum Pasta Maker
A pasta maker is one of those kitchen appliances that not everyone has. The Atlas 150 is considered the Lamborghini or home pasta makers, and will help the newlyweds create perfect sheets of lasagna and spaghetti.
Ooni Koda 12 Gas Pizza Oven
While we’re talking about delicious Italian foods, we’d be silly not to bring up this amazing pizza oven. If you know the newlyweds have a backyard, this portable pizza oven hooks up to a gas tank and delivers restaurant-quality pizza in less than 60 seconds.
Away ‘The Bigger’ Carry-On
Luggage is definitely a personal decision, but it’s hard to go wrong with the Away brand of luggage. Available in a variety of colors (including this limited edition ‘Aura’), the couple will appreciate a gift they can use for years to come. Just remember that you’ll likely want to get a set of two (one for each person) unless you know only one of them needs new luggage. Consider an entire set for a group gift! Or better yet, give them an Away gift card so the newlyweds can pick out exactly what they want.
Cellars Wine Club
Wine is the “one size fits all” gift, and it’s made even more perfect when it arrives to your doorstep every month! While there are quite a few wine clubs/subscription services avaialble, the Cellars Wine Club was recently voted one of the best by CNET. You can choose which type of club you want to joint (like the Red Wine Trio, pictured left) and how many months you want to gift it for. Note: You need to subscribe for a minimum of two months.