Weddings are expensive for everyone, even guests. According to a CNBC survey in April 2017, the average cash wedding gift is $160. If you can’t afford anything on the registry or $160 cash, here are some great ideas to delight the newlyweds without going into debt.
- A memorable video
If you’re handy with your iPhone and iMovie and have the chutzpah to ask people you don’t know to participate, a video from the big day is a great gift. You could capture well wishes from guests, stories about the couple from when they were kids and/or marital advice from family and friends. Don’t just film young guests; wisdom from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will be especially cherished years after they’re gone.
- A helping hand
Babysitters and pet boarding are expensive. Considering offering the couple your assistance caring for their pet and/or house sitting when they’re on their honeymoon. You could also stock their freezer and pantry with home cooked meals, drinks and snacks so when they return home from their honeymoon broke and exhausted, they don’t have to go grocery shopping. If they have children, you can gift them a date night by combining a coupon for a night of free babysitting along with a gift card to a favorite restaurant or movie theatre.
- A honeymoon to-go bag
Planning a wedding is such a huge job, the couple probably won’t have time to adequately prepare for their honeymoon. To send them off in style, pack a tote bag with aspirin and drinks to hydrate in the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Then pack snacks for the airport or road trip to their honeymoon destination. You can also include a travel blanket, magazines, some basic toiletries in case they forgot anything, bandaids, eye drops, new ear buds or a portable Bluetooth speaker and a little spending cash.
If you plan ahead, you can find awesome gifts on Groupon at an incredible discount. Search under “goods” and select “for the home.” There, you’ll find luxury sheet sets, stainless steel and glass water bottles, fruit infused water bottles, wine glasses, copper mugs, velvet clothes hangers, cold brew coffee makers, glass terrarium kits, glass food storage containers, outdoor fire pits and more.
If you simply can’t afford a gift and none of the free ideas above work, you could always decline the invitation altogether or attend the wedding ceremony but not the dinner. That way, you’ll be there to share the couple’s special day, but you won’t feel guilty for eating and drinking at their expense with nothing to offer in return.
After all, your friends invited you to their wedding because they love you, not because they hope you give them a great present.