Wedding season is also regifting season

A few years ago we created as a fun way to break the ice on the subject of holiday overspending. A recent email from a group of students in Australia asking us to reveal Regifting Robin’s secret for reading minds (nope, I’m not spilling the beans!) made me realize that regifting is not just for Christmas anymore. Take wedding season for example. A quick search for the word “wedding” on reveals that there are more than 150 wedding related regifting stories on the site. Here is one of my favorites titled: "Cool" Wedding Gift.

When we were married one of my groomsman and best friends had not yet given us our wedding present. About 2 weeks after arriving home from our honeymoon, he and his girlfriend (now wife) came over for dinner and to drop off their gift. He was a teacher starting out, so I knew money was tight, so we weren't expecting anything. He was pretty excited about his gift and when he brought it in, it was a red cooler with a red water thermos inside.

The best part was that he "inferred" that he had picked it out special for us, and that it was a nice cooler and not "cheap".

We played along and thanked them, and as they left we looked at each other and started cracking up, for back in our storage closet was the same cooler and thermos that we had just received the day before as the special promotion for joining... a local bank in Maryland!

Since we are knee-deep in wedding season, I thought I would remind us all of the regifting rules:

Is the gift regiftable? Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items. Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits. Do you have to be told not to regift free promotional items?

How is the condition? Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting. Never give partially used gift cards. Don’t give items that you have owned for a long time. A general rule of thumb: if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.

Is this going to work? Successful regifters use common sense. If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver. Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.

Do you have good intentions? Don’t just give a gift to give a gift. Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item. Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too. If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.

How does it look? When it comes to gift-giving, go for show! While gift bags in good condition can be reused, wrapping paper is a one-time thing. Always spring for a new card or gift tag.

Have you considered your options? An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization. It is also an option to suck it up and keep an unwanted gift—after all, it was a gift.

If you have a good wedding regifting story, please share it!

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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