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5 Creative and Cheap Wedding Gift Ideas on a Budget

Posted by Daniel Azzoli on August 25, 2019
cheap wedding gift ideas

When wedding season starts to heat up and it feels like you’re celebrating the union of a different couple every other week, shelling out for wedding gifts can start to seriously eat into your budget. While you want to show the happy couple that you care about them, it may get to a point where frequent gift-giving becomes too much for your budget to handle. While some people follow the rule of spending around the amount that your plate costs, many experts agree that there’s no reason to follow this rule. When a registry is full of pricey appliances and expensive items, you may need to turn to some cheap wedding gift ideas.

While your budget might be a little tight and you want to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of overspending, there are still ways to find cheap wedding gifts that express your best wishes to the happy newlyweds. They’re probably just happy you could make it to the wedding in the first place! Having said that, it’s nice to acknowledge this new union with a gift, so we’ve put together some cheap wedding gift ideas that will hopefully help you express your feelings without breaking the bank.

1. Look for less expensive registry items

Before you start wracking your brain trying to come up with creative but cheap wedding gift ideas, make sure you look at the wedding registry first. Engaged couples will often look to add items to their registry that fall all over the financial spectrum to accommodate the different budgets of their guests. You may find that there are plenty of less expensive items that are within your price range.  

look for cheap wedding gifts on the registry

If you can afford more than one of these gifts, pick a few different ones and put together a small gift basket. This way, you can still have control over the amount you spend, and the newlyweds will still get those smaller items they’re looking for. Some of the other guests may be looking to buy the more extravagant gifts, so it’ll be good for you to balance things out. You may even be able to look at the registry online and sort these wedding gifts by price to make this process easier.

2. Dinner or dessert baskets

As we’ve already mentioned, you can put together some great cheap wedding gift ideas by taking a few less expensive items and turning them into a gift basket. One great way to do this is to put together an inexpensive dinner or dessert-themed gift basket. Here are some things that could make up each type of basket.

For Dinner:

  • A pack of pasta
  • A jar of pasta sauce. You can even make your own sauce for them and seal it yourself in a mason jar
  • A colander
  • Some inexpensive candles
  • A tablecloth

For Dessert:

  • Some brownie or cake mix
  • Oven mitts
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A spatula
  • A whisk

Put these items in a basket, wrap it in clear cellophane or plastic wrap, and tie it all together with a nice ribbon. If you have room in your budget, you can even throw in a relatively inexpensive bottle of wine in either basket. The great thing about both baskets is that while you’re giving them a meal, you’re also giving them a few staple items for their kitchen.

3. A date night in a box

a date night in is a great cheap wedding gift idea

Weddings typically don’t come cheap, with the average cost of a wedding in the US coming to around $33,000 in 2017. If the bride and groom are paying for their wedding themselves, there’s a chance that money may be a little tight for the foreseeable future. And when you’re trying to balance rent, bills, debt from online loans, and other monthly expenses, it might be tough to find room in your budget to go out for an expensive date night. That’s why it might be nice to acknowledge this reality by putting together a little box or basket to help facilitate a date night at home. This is a thoughtful and cheap wedding gift idea that may help the newlyweds have a nice night together even when money is tight.

Get a basket or decorate a box you find at a craft store. Fill it up with items that they could use on a date, like:

  • Fancy popcorn
  • Candy
  • A bottle of wine
  • A soft blanket
  • A candle

These items don’t need to cost more than $25-$35 combined, and you may help the newlyweds have a relaxing night in together.

4. A honeymoon kit

If you know where the couple is going for their honeymoon, you may be able to put together a little honeymoon kit that would help them out on their trip without spending a crazy amount. The contents of the kit will vary depending on where they’re going, but these combinations might give you some ideas:

  • For adventure: If they’re going to be hiking on their trip, include things like sunglasses, a first-aid kit, a compass, and some trail mix.
  • For the beach: If they’ll be lounging on a beach, gift them some sunscreen, fun beach towels, and a couple of good books to read.
  • For a trip through Europe: Give them city maps of the places they’ll be visiting, a passport holder, and some tags for their luggage.
  • For a road trip: Make them a playlist, give them some road maps, a gas card, and put together some healthy snacks for them.

If you know that these newlyweds will likely be enjoying the nightlife on their trip, you could also put together a recovery kit for them. You could include things like water, eye masks, ibuprofen, and ear plugs so they can sleep off the effects of the night before.

5. Have some plain linens embroidered

embroider linens for an inexpensive wedding gift

You can always buy a few household items for the happy couple and pick up some inexpensive sheets, pillowcases, and towels. But if you want to turn this into a special but cheap wedding gift idea, kick things up a notch by taking these linens to a tailor or seamstress who offers embroidering services.

Keep an eye out for people who offer machine embroidering instead of hand embroidering, as the latter can be a much more expensive option. Spend a few dollars to embroider the name and date of the wedding, or some sort of message you know they’ll like. This cheap wedding gift idea is a great way to turn an otherwise plain gift into something special.

Try out one of these cheap wedding gift ideas to avoid breaking the bank

A wedding doesn’t always have to be an expensive and extravagant affair at a fancy venue. Their purpose is to celebrate the love and commitment of a couple as they embark on a new phase of their life together.

With this in mind, wedding gifts don’t need to be over-the-top and expensive either. They should be an expression of your feelings for the couple and you don’t need to break the bank to do that. There’s no set amount of money you need to spend, particularly when you think about the cost that sometimes comes with simply attending the wedding in the first place.

By putting some thought and effort into your gift, you may be able to turn some cheap wedding gift ideas into something useful and treasured by the newlyweds. We hope this list can help you do just that!


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

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