To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift

As a guest, weddings are amazing. There is free food, free entertainment, and a great way to support a family member or friend during one of the most important decisions of their lives. What most people fail to realize, is that attending a wedding is not actually as “free” as we originally thought! There are costs involved, like travel arrangements, hotels and transportation, baby sitting of small children and pets for the evening, buying a new outfit for the occasion, and finally, but the most important towards your attendance to the wedding, buying the new couple a gift. While most people would frown upon what we are about to talk about, it’s actually more common than originally thought. Think about it, why go out and buy a gift when you can give the newlyweds that extra china set from your aunt that you know you are never going to use. That’s right, we are going to open your eyes to the world of re-gifting!

You may think re-gifting is tacky or going against proper etiquette, but it is actually very sensible and acceptable in today’s eco-sensitive society. Not to mention, it will save you the time of finding the appropriate, yet in-budget, item from the registry, and that’s if they have even signed up for one. Think of re-gifting for newlyweds as hand-me-downs for their new lives. When a new couple starts out with not a lot of money, they are constantly looking for used sofas, tables, and chairs from family members. Why not a toaster or a bath towel as well?

As a side note, re-gifting does not mean digging through your clothes for unwanted items and gifts that no one in their right mind would find use for (i.e. the crazy aunt’s knitted sweater that seems to

be passed around the family). The gift should not look old, but should be in its original packaging, preferably with a gift receipt, if it came with one.

Ensure the gift you give the couple is something they will actually use. If they do have a registry, look at the colour themes and patterns they enjoy to help guide your search. If the gift was the result of an inside joke, or, even worse, has someone else’s name or picture on or in it, don’t give it away. If you receive a cookbook called “Everything Deep Fried and Southern”, don’t give it to the bride who you know is on a diet. Another thing to remember is to remove the cards that came with the gift. What an embarrassing moment when the bride reads the Happy Birthday card from your mother while opening her gift, and realizes that the gift had made its rounds and she was recipient #2.

Present the gift as if it were new. Do not use the same wrapping paper or bag it came in, if it is anything but spotless and untouched. Spend the extra couple of dollars to purchase a new bag or a new roll of wrapping paper to at least give the illusion of a gift selected just for them.

One final thing, if you decide to re-gift, DO NOT get caught, and enjoy the wedding.