11 Worst Wedding Gifts for Newlyweds

When it comes to wedding gifts, it’s not just the thought that counts.

Four wrapped presents displayed on a table.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to wedding gifts, it’s not just the thought that counts. The money counts, too. The average wedding guest will spend $160 on a gift, according to The Knot. You’re wasting your money by giving gifts that couples don’t want and won’t use.

The safe course, naturally, is to stick to the couple’s gift registry. “The key to giving a good wedding gift is pretty simple: Get the couple what they want and what they have asked for,” said Sarah Trotter of Lasting Impressions Weddings of Minnetonka, Minnesota. Nothing on the registry you like or can afford? Then give cash as a wedding gift, said Trotter.

Many guests agree. Only three out of 10 wedding gifts are not from the registry, according to a survey done by The Loupe, the blog of the jewelry company Shane Co. Nearly half of those surveyed said they gave tangible gifts, while a whopping 38.6% went with cash. 

The Knot advises spending $200 on gifts for close family and friends, between $50-$100 for colleagues and coworkers, and $75-$175 for loose acquaintances. 

Here’s a look at some of the worst wedding gifts to give, based on feedback from wedding experts and wedding participants. Consider yourself warned.

Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.