The Least Expensive Thing on the Registry: You are cheap, sure, but they wouldn’t put the gift on the registry if they didn’t want it, right? Enjoy the picture frame, newlyweds! At the $200-per-plate reception, you’ll be telling the “drinks are on me!” joke at the open bar all night.
The Second Least Expensive Thing on the Registry: Someone already bought the cheapest item.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven: You hope they will buy this for you when you get married. Or at least whatever advanced model is on the market by the time you get married. Someday.
High-End Thank You Notes: Hint-hint.
The Knife Block with Seven Japanese Steel Blades: You grossly overestimated how much this couple likes to cook.
Sur La Table Flatware: You fully expect to be invited over for a dinner party after they get back from their honeymoon.
The KitchenAid Stand Mixer: As soon as you got the link to the registry, you jumped on this so that no one else could buy it. They are going to love you for this gift. It’s classic. It’s trendy. It’s the first step toward that dream Nancy Meyers’s kitchen. And you got to it first. You won the registry.
Monogrammed Whiskey Glasses: You are the out-of-town guest the couple knew wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding, but you are still expected to send a gift. This is a personalized yet impersonal gift, much like your invitation.
Eddie Bauer Thermal Quilt Set: You live in the Northeast and assume everyone is always freezing.
Luggage: They got you something of similar dollar value for your wedding, so you had to reciprocate. It was either this or the $200 toaster, and there’s no way in hell you are buying them that.
The Millennium Falcon Belgian Waffle Maker: You are the groom’s friend from high school.
A Home Brewing Kit: You are the groom’s friend from college.
$100 Amazon Gift Card: Your life is too busy to put any imagination into a gift. Enjoy whatever it is people buy from Amazon. Maybe batteries?
Matching Luxury Robes: You are madly in love with your amazing partner and want to share that feeling with the happy couple. You hope these robes offer the same level of intimacy you feel right now, one month into a relationship. Isn’t love spectacular?
A Contribution to the Down Payment on Their First Home: Seriously? You know home ownership is a challenging prospect, but they’re asking us to help them with their living situation? Does that mean we get an equity stake in their home along with our contribution? And if they don’t close on a house, do you get my money back? Whatever. You suppose helping them buy a home is better than giving money for their honeymoon.
A Contribution to Their Honeyfund: Nothing else on the registry seemed practical, so why not let them go parasailing in Cabo? That’s about as practical as a $200 toaster.
Buying Three of the Cheaper Options and Bundling Them Together: This proves that you are not cheap. You have no doubt this cookbook, oven mitt, and napkin rings will be a cherished part of their marital life.
A Set of Dish Towels: You didn’t expect to be invited to this wedding (you never thought that you and the couple were “wedding” close), so this feels like a solid neutral option that doesn’t presuppose an unwarranted level of closeness.
The Smeg Toaster: You are a rich motherfucker and want it to be known. No one needs a $200 toaster, but your magnanimity knows no bounds. All hail your glorious generosity.
Buying Something Off the Registry: You have been through this before and know better. They’ll use the Le Creuset once before resorting to takeout. That waffle iron will only gather dust in the cupboard. Those seven sets of Egyptian cotton sheets will stay in a trunk before going to Goodwill when they move to a starter home. What they really need is heavy-duty Tupperware. It isn’t flashy, but when they have to prep weekly meals and save leftovers, they’ll send you an appreciative thank you note. They won’t be happy with you at first. But after a few years, they’ll realize that they were wrong. That’s marriage for you.