The Great Wedding Gift Debate Survey Results

Apparently you all are awesome, because 108 people took my wedding gift survey. This means that for the first time in the history of mankind, we have conclusive data about when you should buy people wedding gifts (answer: pretty much always if you’re attending the wedding) and how you should determine how much to spend.

I used random.org to draw the winners of the survey (congrats, Sarah, RB, person without a name, and Amanda), and I contacted the winners this afternoon. For the rest of you, I have an even more delicious treat than Angel Baked Cookies: Survey results. See below, followed by my favorite comments left on the survey.

This one might be a little hard to read, but the gist of it is that the key deciding factors you should consider when determining the value of a wedding present are if you’re attending the wedding as a couple versus and individual, and if you had to travel to attend the wedding. Strength of friendships with the bride and groom may also be considered.

It’s tough to get any conclusive data from this question–it’s pretty subjective. At the very least, it’s clear that the only gift that’s acceptable 99% of the time is a gift off the registry. Like a chalice the lucky couple will never use.

My favorite comments from the survey below. There were a LOT of great comments, so if I missed yours, feel free to add it to the comments section below. These are helpful, insightful, and even funny.

  • If you are a guest buying a gift and Bed Bath and Beyond is an option, buy from there. The couple can exchange the gift for cash without the gift receipt.
  • Some couples register for insanely expensive gifts not because they are greedy and think a family member will buy it for them, but because most stores offer a discount (in the neighborhood of 20% off) on anything remaining on your registry after your wedding date.
  • Give through the I Do Foundation.
  • A $70 dollar hotdog warmer isn’t going to equal happily ever after.
  • I also have a strong opinion about buying something that is the same as a gift someone registered for, but not the actual gift (e.g., a set of wine glasses that are still wine glasses, but not the ones that were registered for).
  • Jamey Stegmaier is all the wedding present I need.
  • I’m giving the couple a gift because I love them. [I *love* when people equal money/gifts with love! Isn’t love all about buying stuff for other people? (sad face)]
  • I was recently told that it is ok to buy the wedding gift up to a year after the wedding.
  • I figure if they have to buy the Vera Wang china themselves, maybe they will realize it’s a waste of money since it’s now their own money they are wasting, not mine.

Also, a request from one person:

  • Is there a way to register at multiple locations on one registry without leaving home?

My closing thoughts:

  • I’ve learned a lot from this whole debate. And although I’m still a bit cynical, it’s clear from the survey and the comments (the vast majority of comments said this) that you should pretty much always bring a gift, and the safe bet is to get it off the registry. Based on comment #1, I’ll probably buy from the Bed, Bath, and Beyond registry so the couple can just cash out my gift if desired (and possibly even give that money to charity, but I want that to be their choice).