What if you can’t afford anything on a wedding registry?

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We all know it’s rude to attend a wedding without giving the couple a gift, but what if you can’t afford anything on the wedding registry? Maybe the couple have expensive tastes and all the registry items are out of your budget, or maybe you waited until the last minute and the only remaining registry items are costing you too much.

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Whatever the case, it’s important to know your options so you don’t come off as a rude wedding guest. Here’s what etiquette experts and wedding pros say to do in this situation.

Pool your money with other customers for a group gift

“In an ideal world, the bride and groom will choose a wide enough selection of goods that most people can afford something in the registry, but of course there is always the possibility that the remaining items or items will be out of order. your budget,” said Julia Estève Boyd, The label consultant. “I would suggest trying to find another guest or guests who would be willing to split the cost of a larger gift. That way the couple gets something from the registry and you don’t pay the full price of the article. “

Give them an experience instead

An alternative to buying the registry could be to offer the couple a one-of-a-kind experience.

“Give a couple spa day, a guided tour, etc., and say you wanted to get something a little different that they can enjoy after the wedding and also remember you,” said Esteve Boyd.

Purchase a gift of your choice that is not in the registry

Just because a couple provides a wedding registry doesn’t mean you have to buy a gift there.

“The registry is a guideline, not a required contribution to attend the event,” said Jodi RR Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. “Use the registry as a guide and pick something that matches the couple’s tastes.”

If you don’t know the couple well and aren’t sure what to gift, Angie Allison, Master Etiquette Trainer and Founder of Daily protocolrecommend browsing the wedding website to find out what they might like.

“Perhaps an idea can be sparked for a personal gift that is not on their registry, such as pet sitting or pottery lessons, or a monetary donation for a cause close to their hearts” , she said.

If you are purchasing a gift that is not on the registry, you may want to include a note explaining why you chose an alternative.

“There’s always room for honesty,” Esteve Boyd said. “Give a gift of your choice and say there were no more gifts left on the registry in your budget, so you’ve selected something you hope they’ll like. [This] won’t be unwelcome – at least it shouldn’t be.

However, if you don’t feel comfortable giving an explanation, you don’t have to.

“There’s also the option of choosing a gift of your own without giving an explanation,” Esteve Boyd said. “After all, you wouldn’t bring a hostess gift and announce that you can’t afford anything more expensive!”

Give them a thoughtful gift card

“If you’ve waited too long and options are limited in the registry, a gift card to the store they checked in is acceptable,” said Mona Zegarelli, an expert on modern etiquette and financial responsibility and author of “The Hopeful Hostess.” “Use an amount that fits your budget.

“If you’re giving a gift card, it’s best to have a real gift card and put it in a nice store-bought card, and bring it with you to the wedding,” she continued. “Most cases will have a box or basket for the cards.”

Money can also be an acceptable gift

“[Giving] cash is becoming more and more popular in the United States post-COVID,” said Maryanne Parker of Manor of Manners. “In many cultures, the cash option is widely accepted — and preferred — because the new couple can be flexible in their use.”

If you donate money, you are free to donate an amount you are comfortable with.

It’s okay if you really can’t afford to give anything

If you are going through a difficult time financially, you may not give the couple a gift. This shouldn’t deter you from attending the wedding.

“If you’re in a situation where a gift just isn’t possible, chances are the bride and groom are aware of your situation,” Zegarelli said. “They invited you to be part of their day, so go ahead!” Bring a cute card and write a sweet memory or message to the couple that they can cherish. Your best gift is to be at the wedding and be part of the day.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Prior to joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. His work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she’s been featured on “Good Morning America” ​​as a celebrity news expert.

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