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Worst Wedding Gifts: A Guide to Presents Newlyweds Will Never Use or Like

wedding gifts, worst wedding gifts, crappy wedding gifts, return wedding gifts, wedding gift ettiquette

Oh, thank you so much for this mounted deer head, Grandpa! No, we love it!

After I got divorced, I wanted to get rid of all the items I was given as wedding gifts that I couldn’t really use or had no place for. Turns out, most of the stuff I got when I got married fit that category. From glass and ceramic trays to appliances and baskets, I didn’t really want any of the gifts I’d been given – and not just because I wanted to start again with a clean slate. Remember, beggars can’t be choosers, and often divorced people are just happy to have anything to start a new home with. But no one really needs wedding gifts like these, even if they make it to their 50th anniversary.

All of these examples are taken from real-life stories friends shared with me about the horrible, useless, strange or offensive gifts they were given at their weddings. If you’re invited to a wedding and you plan to give a gift, buy something from the couple’s registry. Otherwise, you might end up being the person in the story about these lame presents…

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  • Crystal 1 of 18
    Crystal
    Yes, even Waterford. It's beautiful, don't get me wrong, but as a friend said, "All you can do is worry about it breaking." And you have to buy a cabinet just to display it. This is the kind of gift that only collects dust.
    Photo credit: Waterford
  • Candlesticks 2 of 18
    Candlesticks
    I don't care if they are from Pottery Barn! We do not live in the dark ages! Who has space for candlesticks? Okay, some of you do. Fine. But they seem almost out of place these days, don't they, since we're so used to lighting candles in jars? Plus they can be used as a murder weapon! Haven't you played Clue? (Now that would be a good gift!)
    Photo credit: Pottery Barn
  • 6 coffee makers 3 of 18
    6 coffee makers
    Yes, a friend got 6 of these. I mean, we all love coffee but come on. Also, really big espresso machines that would fit better in Starbucks than a tiny kitchen.
  • Stemware 4 of 18
    Stemware
    Couples get way too much and it all breaks within the first year. Like a married man's spirit.
  • Beer glasses, mugs and shot glasses 5 of 18
    Beer glasses, mugs and shot glasses
    Pint glasses are sturdy, so they won't break like stemware, but shot glasses? No. Unless you're trying to end the marriage that's just beginning, you enabler.
  • 24 martini glasses 6 of 18
    24 martini glasses
    My friend Carly got 24 martini glasses as a wedding gift and says, "We just are not that fun, and never had been. I've never used one of them."
  • Giant martini glass bowl 7 of 18
    Giant martini glass bowl
    A friend was given one. She had the grace to call it a salad bowl, but Bar Louie in Anaheim uses one to serve bruschetta. I'm currently fantasizing about a giant martini glass full of nachos.
    Photo credit: Yelp
  • Tiffany Ice Bucket 8 of 18
    Tiffany Ice Bucket
    This is a terrible gift, and not just because it's crystal. WHO USES ICE BUCKETS? Even if they are from Tiffany? Also, you would feel horrible if this broke, therefore you can't enjoy it. No one wants to hire security to protect a wedding gift.
    Photo credit: Tiffany
  • A bible 9 of 18
    A bible
    Unless you know the couple is *very* religious, a bible is not a great wedding gift. Especially if the couple is Jewish. (True story.)
  • A Christmas ornament 10 of 18
    A Christmas ornament
    Even if it's a cute personalized ornament for couples, again, not a great gift if the couple is Jewish. Oy! People don't know these things?
  • A set of ceramic squirrels 11 of 18
    A set of ceramic squirrels
    Or anything kitschy like this. Even if you know the couple likes kitschy design, people like to choose whimsical items on their own. A wedding gift should be something durable and practical that the couple might not otherwise be able to get themselves. Like a Dyson. Everybody wants a Dyson.
  • A child-sized rocking chair 12 of 18
    A child-sized rocking chair
    Creepiest wedding gift ever? Does it also come with a little girl ghost?
  • Pencil sharpener 13 of 18
    Pencil sharpener
    I don't even know what to say. Maybe the giver thought it would help at tax time? Joint filing - whee!
  • A donation to a Catholic charity of the giver’s choosing 14 of 18
    A donation to a Catholic charity of the giver's choosing
    Nothing says "Congratulations, you two!" like "Hey look at me and this thing I like!" Don't donate in a couple's name unless they've asked you to. You may be giving to a cause the couple disagrees with.
  • Frames 15 of 18
    Frames
    People don't even print pictures anymore! Your oh-so-thoughtful, unique gift is not going to change that. A friend of mine even got a crystal frame! (I did, too!)
  • Yogurt maker 16 of 18
    Yogurt maker
    I mean ... yeast anyone?! Same goes for bread makers. And ice cream makers. And any appliance people have no place to store and no real need for.
  • Wok 17 of 18
    Wok
    Kind of a throwback kitchen tool, woks are handy if you know how to use them, but if you don't, they just take up lots of space. Next to your fondue pot.
  • Personalized wedding blanket 18 of 18
    Personalized wedding blanket
    Or anything "wedding" themed for that matter. It's going to get old fast. And be burned in the divorce.
    Photo credit: Keepsakes Etc

All photos via iStock unless otherwise noted.

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More from Carolyn on Babble:

Check Out My New Food Network Pitch, “Single Mother I’d Like to Cook With!” (Video)

Hip Royal Names for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Little Prince or Princess

Learn more about Carolyn at her blog.

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