6 Steps to Recycle Unwanted Wedding Gifts the Right Way!

If you have lots of weddings coming up this season and lots of unused gifts lying at home, it can go two ways—a recipe for disaster or a great cost-saving exercise. Of course, we’re not a  fan of re-gifting, but if you weren’t smart enough to do a gift registry for your wedding, you’re bound to be stuck with lots of wedding gifts that may not fit your home.

Unwanted wedding gifts
Unwanted wedding gifts

So if you’re about to tread the re-gifting path, here are some essential protocols to follow! 

#1. Have the courtesy to unwrap!

Ok, so you received a beautifully wrapped gift from a distant aunt. You feel it, you rattle it and now you’re sure you know what’s inside. And you don’t want it. That does not mean that you can pass it forward like that, irrespective of how beautiful the gift wrap is. There is no way to know if the gift has a note, a customisation or a gift card inside and if the couple you gift it to finds that card, it just makes for the worst gifting experience. So make the effort to unwrap and re-wrap wedding gifts!

#2. Sometimes, there’s no silver lining!

Yes, silver equals wealth. So how can you go wrong when re-gifting silver? There is one easy answer to that—engravings! Silver very often tends to be a customised gift, with initials, monograms or occasions written on it. When re-gifting silver, make sure that the person who gave it to you did not have it customised for you. And worst still, that they did not gift you something customised to someone else!! Because wealth is ok, but nothing takes the sheen off a gift like having someone else’s initials on it. 

#3. It’s got to be useful! 

The whole reason you have wedding gifts to re-gift is that someone, somewhere, simply had no idea what you would want and so gave you whatever came to their mind. And it’s high time we stop this cycle. So before you decide to pass off a gift to someone else, think about it. It wasn’t of use to you, but will it be of use to the couple you’re giving it to. The poor gift needs to find a home and break free from the cycle of regifting. And just because you didn’t want something doesn’t mean no one will. You just have to match the gift to the right couple for it. 

#4. Stay in budget

Because recycling your wedding gifts saves a considerable amount of money, we often tend to forget the value of the gifts we pass on. Just because you don’t want the Swarovski birds that someone gave you, it doesn’t diminish its cost. And when gifting, the polite thing to do is to give something in a budget that is appropriate to your relationship with the newlyweds. Because it might be something you want to get rid off, but it puts a strain on the couple, who might feel obliged to give you something equally costly.  

#5. Keep your dignity

Just because someone gave you something terribly tacky does not mean you have to pass on the same torturous gift to someone else. It’s ok to just dispose of some things. Not every gift was meant to be recycled, and your pride is definitely worth a lot more than making the effort of buying the couple a gift. 

#6. Stop the cycle

Saving the most important one for the last—you mostly think of regifting when you have no idea what a couple wants and so use the opportunity to pass off something YOU don’t want. However, when you face a situation like that, refer the couple to a gift registry so they can create a list of the wedding gifts they love. It will make sure everything they get is meaningful, useful and most importantly not something they want to re-gift. After all, if we want to make gifting joyful again, this cycle has got to stop! 

Visit Wedding Wishlist for more wedding ideas and to create a gift registry!

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Tanvi Saraf

Tanvi Saraf is a writer, editor and traveller who's recently moved to the south. Having worked with the country's leading publications, including Marie Claire, India Today, Harper's Bazaar Bride and L'officiel, she now heads marketing for WeddingWishlist.com & CherryTin.com. Her life's philosophy and choices are guided by her motto, "Enjoy it. Because it's happening", and with both our websites, she's all set to bring the joy back to gifting.

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