"We got this hand-me-down casserole dish. The dish was nine inches, oval and white, but it came in a gold wire holder with handles. (Picture something mildly similar to an Easter basket gone terribly wrong.) This gift came from the same person who gave us a blue bell with a picture of a Victorian guy and girl on it. We kept the bell because it made us giggle -- a lot. The casserole dish, however, we donated."
The Offense: Skipping the "something new" for "something old"
This is what you call re-gifting. It's when you unload something you no longer want or need by passing it off as a gift to someone else. This isn't the way you want to help someone you love celebrate a new milestone in their life, is it? Timeless jewelry and cherished family heirlooms are the only exception here -- all other dated picks should stay in the depths of your attic where they belong.
"We got a tin of potato chips! It was the oddest thing I think I've ever seen! We're thankful for the empty tin now because we use it to hold our rice. But we really didn't get it."
The Offense: Being too casual (and random)
Though it can be a little tempting to show up to a wedding reception with the same type of gift you'd usually bring to a Saturday night affair (think wine, snacks or board games), you must remember that this is a wedding, not karaoke night at your best friend's house. Unless the couple has specifically registered for something, it's a good idea to skip giving food or alcohol because it's bound to be more of a miss than a hit.
"We got an under-the-bed storage box filled with Christmas wrapping paper, bows and a few ornaments from one of my husband's kind of unusual relatives (a second cousin, he thinks). And the best part: We got married in July."
The Offense: Not putting any thought into the gift
This is a pretty random choice for a gift, considering the fact that it may not even be something the couple would have use for. When you're purchasing a gift for someone who doesn't have a registry, you at least want them to know that you put some extra thought into the selection.
When you grab anything you can get your hands on and put it in a box, it shows a lack of effort and care on your part. Another note: Unless the bride and groom have selected holiday or seasonally themed items for their registry, you shouldn't go there. Besides: Couples more often shop for these types of items after they've settled into their new home.
"We received a gift that was outrageous. It was a book of illustrations of sex positions from my husband's uncle with a handwritten note inside that says, 'I hope this serves you as well as it's served me.' Um, disturbing!"
The Offense: Trying to be funny
Steer clear of inside jokes when it comes to wedding gifts. The person you've shared the laugh or memory with may not be the only one opening the box. So avoid a potentially awkward future encounter with the bride or groom by going with a safer pick on the registry, like barware or a lamp. And, if you must, reserve those more "personal" gift ideas for the bachelor or bachelorette party fun.
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