The No. 1 Worst Wedding Gift

Don't even bother regifting this one

Welcome to The First Years of Marriage Newsletter! We talk about the conversations, challenges, and changes that begin once the honeymoon ends. Advice from experts, mistakes from me (Jen Glantz), and things you’re going to want to know as you continue to ask yourself this question - “I’m married, so now what?”

This week is all about wedding gifts.

The gifts we love and the gifts we loved to sell.

On Monday, I shared tips on how to make $$$ from wedding gifts.

Today, I’m sharing some of the most blahh-worthy wedding gifts that real people have received.

All of this serves as a reminder that when it comes to giving a newlywed a celebratory gift, stick to what’s on their registry, hand them cash, or if you can’t afford anything right now, just write a handwritten card.


Keep it simple

If you’ve ever wondered why people don’t head to a registry and buy what’s on there, you’re not alone.

I’m guilty of (1) not making a registry which in turn makes my guest’s lives harder because they have to figure out what I want and need, (2) not buying off a person’s registry because I found something so cool on Etsy and thought they’d love that instead.

According to NPR, there’s a method behind that madness - when a friend skips out on the registry and picks something else out for you instead.

NPR found that close friends are indeed more likely than strangers to buy things that they think we want or need rather than simply listen to the preferences that we've expressed ourselves.

The fact that they don't suggests the real reason close friends depart from the registry is to send a signal to us, to the world, maybe even to themselves that they have a special relationship with us and the unique gift is an advertisement for that special relationship.


Let’s Talk About Odd Wedding Gifts

At one of the first weddings I ever worked as a hired bridesmaid, I was a witness to a really awful wedding guest.

All of a sudden, a group of people walked up carrying a bench….an actual park bench…that they bought and then put a plaque on with the couple’s name.

This bench was large, heavy, sturdy. It would need someone with a pick-up-truck to drive it the couple’s home.

The problem with this gift?

THERE WERE A LOT OF PROBLEMS.

  1. The couple did not want a bench!

  2. The couple had to stress about how to get the bench home post-wedding. The guest didn’t help them figure it out.

  3. The couple lived in a tiny studio apartment. There was no room for a bench.

This became my problem. So how did I solve it?

I paid someone at the venue $50 to store the bench in a garage. I then told the bride’s dad to enjoy the night, but the next morning to find someone who could bring this bench to their home.

What ever happened to the bench?

The couple took the plaque off and donated it to a local park.


Odd Wedding Gifts

1. Lawn Ornaments: “A ceramic rooster the size of a garden gnome.” — Kristen S

2. Good Snacks: “In my first marriage, we registered for Doritos. Plan worked! Got months worth of Doritos.” — Lauren C

3. Oops, I forgot about that: “A churro machine! A friend of mine had it on her registry as a joke, forgot to take it off, and I think some friends actually bought it for her (I need to check) as a joke.” — Meredith B

4. Divorce lawyer: “Someone gifted us a free session with a divorce lawyer. It had no expiration date. I was outraged and we no longer talk to that family member.” — Tina R

5. Elvis Impersonator: “Odd but cool surprise gift was that for our wedding, a friend hired an Elvis impersonator to show up for the last hour of the reception. It cost him $250 and it was an epic gift.” — Tracy B.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on someone’s wedding registry?

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