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        Wedding Gifts: Guests, this is how to do it.

        We all know the struggle, someone close to you is getting married soon and you’re so unbelievably happy for them you could float. And then, you start to think about what you should get them. What should you definitely not get them? How much should you spend? Should you stick to the registry? Can you get wedding gifts as a group to save money or does that make you look cheap? Before you know it, you’ve pulled all your hair out and can’t go to the wedding anyway because now you look ridiculous. Stop. Take a deep breath, and let us and our friends at Zola help you navigate the very temperamental waters of wedding gifts-land.

        Zola is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience with a free suite of wedding planning tools including wedding websites, a checklist, guest list and registry.

        Zola Weddings & Registry is a free, all-in-one planning suite. Here, couples can use the ridiculously-easy-to-use interface to create their registry, and it can include whatever that want. So the wedding gifts registry will have sections for appliances, decor, experiences, or a cash fund to name a few. The couple will be able to put together, all in one place, all their dream gifts and experiences and as the guest all you have to do is go onto their customized page and click away. The site allows the couple to manage the entire process, exchange gifts online (in case they change their mind), and choose when to have them shipped. It’s a dream.

        They also offer really helpful tips that I know we can all use, making wedding gift buying and receiving a painless exercise. Here’s a few of the most important things we think everybody should brush up on regarding wedding gifts:

        How much to give?

        The old rule is ‘enough to cover your plate’ but there seems to be a new one in play now. Nowadays, as a guest you’re expected to give according to how close you are to the couple. A great starting point is $50, if you’re a distant friend or colleague, anything in the $50 to $75 range is safe. If you’re a friend or relative, $75 to $100 is good. And if you’re a close friend or relative then work around $100 to $150 or more if you can afford it. The most important thing here, regardless of your relationship, is to stay within your budget. This is just a guide. I’m here to remind you that the most important gift you can give is your presence, love and support.

        If you can also afford a present, then that’s a bonus. Another option if you’re a little strapped for cash, is to go in on a gift a few other people. It doesn’t make you look cheap, unless you choose to divide a $50 gift among five people. That’s a little sketchy. But if done right, you all save and they still get a great gift. Everybody wins.

        What if you’re actually giving cash?

        Zola allows you to do so in a safe, efficient manner by using the couple’s cash fund on their registry. Yep, seriously. Another consideration is whom to address the money to. Pro tip: Pick the person you’re closest to. If you’re close to both and have insider tips that the bride is changing her name, then address it to Mr & Mrs [So and So], newlyweds love seeing this and it makes them giddy. Yay! Or play it safe and don’t assume the bride will be changing her name. You can be coy but still cute here by addressing it to ‘The Newlyweds’ or something along those lines.

        When to give your gift?

        Gone are the good old days when you had an entire calendar year to send your wedding gifts and it was perfectly acceptable. Nowadays, people seem to prefer keeping the gift giving window rather tight. To be safe, give your gift before the wedding or immediately after. Pro tip: Plan your gifts wisely if you’re close to the bride and/or groom. You will most likely also be invited to engagement parties, bridal showers and maybe more, all before the actual wedding. A gift may be expected at all of them, so keep that in mind. An idea is to have gifts that build up, small ones at the other non-wedding events, saving your best gift for the grand finale.

        wedding gifts

        Should I really use the registry?

        So you looked through the couple’s registry and you think all those gifts are boring, and you want to give them something utterly unique that you know will just blow their minds? Okay, first take a deep breath and repeat after me: This is not my wedding. My wedding gift idea is obviously superior to all these gifts, but I will respect the couple and get them something they asked for. You may exhale now. I know it can be really tough to have to buy bedding when you wanted to get them a gift voucher to that place in New York where you have dinner completely naked, but alas, you must. Assume the couple knows what they want and need, and take into consideration that they really put time into creating their registry. If you absolutely must get them something not on the list, pair it with something on the list. That was nobody can fault you, in fact they’ll be forced to marvel at just generous you are. You’re welcome.

        The best part

        Here’s something you probably didn’t think about: Zola is so great it even allows the happy couple to add a photo shoot by us to their registry. What could be a better gift than giving them timeless, professional photos so their most beautiful moments are captured in style. Suggest this to the love birds and be their favorite forever! Or if you’re the lucky one, check out this amazing feature here, where you can add the wedding photography item to your registry and ask for your guests to help pay for photography services or other wedding day items. Remember, it’s your wedding and you know best what you really need help paying for. Zola lets your guests know too!

        Weddings can be stressful, picking wedding gifts can quadruple that stress. But as you now know, it really doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be so much fun. Spread the word. Happy shopping!

        See you next time!