Weddings are about two things: Having hella fun with your friends and then charging them for the privilege of attending. But because every gift you receive is a mandatory thank you note to write, even the best gifts can be pain. So what happens when you get an awful gift? Like a handmade puppet or a fertility idol? Do you have to write a thank you if you’ve murdered the gifter with a personalized avocado scooper?
Because wedding season is approaching and because only yesterday I learned that brides and grooms actually ask for 14 karat gold plates, I’ve put together this completely unbiased list of gifts that suck and should be avoided. It may actually be better not to give a gift than supply the couple with a pair of crystal candlesticks they’ll never use or a hideous piece of art that they won’t just not hang up but not even be able to give away on Craigslist. When in doubt, give a gift card. When in serious doubt, give a card and tell the person they are cool. If that’s all I got at my wedding, I would be very pleased because not enough people tell me how great I am and starting my wedded life with just a bunch of cards validating my awesomeness would be the best way to spend a day opening gifts. So, consider that! It’s free and it’s going to make someone’s day.
Also: please note that if you’re flying in from another state, have to stay at a hotel or are in any other way financially affected by the wedding, I don’t feel you need to bring a gift. If I’ve traveled six hours to be here for your cash bar, no-food wedding (has happened), you’re not getting jack shit but my love and a good attitude for one half to two hours.
And now, without further ado, here is an ordered list of the 30 worst wedding gifts, ranked.
30. Anything not on the registry. This was either going to be first or last on the list, and since some people are incredibly creative and know how to gift (wish I had this power), I’ve chosen to put it last. You can buy off the registry, but be prepared to face the consequences.
29. A knife with your name on it. (Very easy to frame you for future murders.)
28. Crystal anything if you didn’t specifically ask for crystal anything.
27. By that same token, crystal candlesticks, especially. I don’t know why this is such an offensive thing to me, but I don’t know one person who uses candlesticks anymore. If Jean val Jean broke into your house and stole those candlesticks he wouldn’t make any money off that shit and would continue being poor his entire life.
26. An avocado scooper. How? Why? No.
25. Any form of exercise equipment, including that new vibrating thighmaster thing that does absolutely nothing but gives you a subpar orgasm. Also, one of my friends once received the shakeweight and thought the gifter was calling her fat and not just shopping at a Walgreens at the last minute.
24. Lingerie. Appropriate from friend at a wedding shower/bachelorette party. Not appropriate to open from your grandmother on your wedding night.
23. Sex toys. Especially the expensive ones.
22. A gym membership for two.
21. A timeshare.
20. A melon-baller. Y U DO DIS?
19. A gift certificate to Best Buy for $50 bucks, which is not a bad idea but have you seen the prices at Best Buy? Think Target instead! Or Amazon. I once got a $25 gift card to Amazon and ordered a shit ton of marbles for no reason and it was the best time I’ve ever had in my life.
18. A wok. (Everyone already has one. If they don’t, they’re never going to actually use it. Trust.) (Same with slow-cookers.)
17. Anything that needs maintenance, like a wooden bowl that the couple will never use because you’re supposed to oil it every day for half an hour.
16. A sundial.
15. Anything advertised “as seen on TV.”
14. A Criss Angel magic set.
13. A regift of something you got for christmas but don’t want, especially if it is a seasonal item. No one will think you’re planning ahead when you dump a plastic pail of christmas cookie cutters on the gift table, they’ll just think you’re inconsiderate. If you do regift, make sure that it’s not something the bride and groom gave you in the first place.
12. Anything the bride and groom did not ask for but you feel they must have because of what you got at your wedding and you know better than they do about life. This includes crystal, china, and wood block letters spelling out shit like “love” and “comfort.”
11. Cleaning supplies.
10. A George Foreman grill.
9. A pizza stone. I don’t know why this offends me so much, but it does. I hate pizza stones with a fiery passion, probably because I don’t know how to use one. When I am at home alone and making pizza what I like to do is break it into frozen chunks, put it into a bowl and then microwave it until it is edible. Having a pizza stone is like having a slow cooker: It’s just going to sit there and fucking mock you for eternity.
8. A book on relationships. Fuck you, you think we’re already off to a bad start??? Why don’t you just use your lawyer’s card as the bookmark. Oh, you did. Awkward.
7. An engraved version of that “love is gentle, love is kind” monstrosity that everyone insists on having at their wedding for some reason or another even though love is usually neither gentle nor kind but instead angry that you forgot to pick up the fucking milk even though you were asked three times.
6. A book about having babies. Or a box of baby goods. Some people are not yet ready to procreate (and might never be), but this is something that people may have given in the past. I may know at least one person who received a kit of baby stuff for her wedding.
5. Anything that can be construed as even mildly creepy. Ask yourself “can this book of De Sade’s best work be misconstrued in any way?” If the answer is yes, put it back. Or keep it for yourself! Even better!
4. Art that you have made even though you are not an artist. This wasn’t a wedding, but I once made someone a card with Lisa Frank stickers, stamps, punch outs, and embossing and the response from the giftee was “Next time you don’t have to bother,” which was cold, but also fair. Unless you’re an outsider artist, plz just get the stuff from Pier One.
3. Stuff from Pier One. SORRY.
2. A pet that no one has asked for, even though the bride may have, at one time, expressed an interest in owning a chinchilla.
1. A child you no longer want to take care of. The bride and groom may have stated that they’d like to start a family at some point, but pinning a note to your youngest that reads “this was the runt, do your best” and sending him to stand by the gift table is considered poor form by both Miss Manners and Child Protective Services.
Image via Getty.