The Worst Wedding Gifts Ever

miles stiverson the knot contributor
Miles Stiverson
miles stiverson the knot contributor
Miles Stiverson
The Knot Contributor
  • Miles Stiverson is the Executive Director of Content Strategy and Digital General Manager of Meredith Corporation’s Travel & Luxury Group.
  • Miles has focused on wedding, entertainment, beauty, travel, and luxury content.
  • Miles worked for The Knot as a Researcher, Editor, and eventually Site Director.

Wedding guests inevitably face the age-old question: What to give the bride and groom? If you're attending a wedding and thinking about anything that appears on the list below, please reconsider. Brides told us the worst wedding gifts they received.

Erring with art

Don't assume that your taste in art is the same as the couple's -- one person's Picasso is another person's "what were you thinking?" Here are a few pieces of tragic wedding present artwork that are sure contenders for "Most Likely to be Stashed in the Attic":

"A 3-D painting of horses"

"A really ugly art piece involving a cow tooth"

"A ceramic fish statue"

"A hand-painted lucky horseshoe"

"A picture of a wine cork"

"A ceramic angel in a bathtub"

"A hand-blown vase that looks like a hookah"


The standard wedding etiquette is to spend approximately as follows: For a coworker or a distant family friend or relative, try to spend around $50-$75. For a relative or friend, the ballpark should be about $75-$100, and for a close relative or close friend, you'll want to spend $100-$150 or more. But as long as you avoid the skimps below, you should at least stay on speaking terms.

"A $15 garage rack (we don't even have a garage!)"

"A bottle of vinegar vegetables"

"A mop"

"Dollar-store picture frame with price tag still attached"

"Febreze air freshener"

"Gift card that was empty"

"Mounted can opener with the UPC code removed (so the giver could get the rebate and we couldn't return it)"

"An IOU"


Re-gifting is a crime

Nothing says "Congrats on your marriage, but we didn't want to shell out for a real present" like giving a gift that someone else has already given you. Here are a few of the most obvious regift no-nos:

"A regifted tray (with the original card to the regifter included with the present)"

"A regifted set of wine glasses we'd given our cousin"

"A regifted apple peeler/corer/slicer"

"A regifted gravy boat that was broken"

Incredibly inappropriate

These couples received suggestive wedding gifts could be taken the wrong way -- without really trying. Avoid these inappropriate presents, or risk having to explain yourself to the happily married couple, and in some cases, the bride's father.

"A book on relationships"

"An emergency survival kit"

"A book called Why Men Love B****es -- I returned it"

"Edible underwear"

"Fertility idol"

Utterly useless

From the redundant to the... er, "unique," here's a list of gifts that would make better gag gifts than wedding presents.

"Six George Foreman grills"

"A birdhouse made of license plates... we live in a condo!"

"A friend gave us a framed invitation to her own wedding, which happened about five months before"

"A Jesus night-light"

"A snowman lamp"

"A Bill Clinton pot holder"

"A cinnamon-scented stuffed dog"

"Dueling harmonicas"

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