wedding gift to Canada
June 24, 2010 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Help me send my friend a gift -- he lives in Canada and I live in the US.

I live in California. My friend from Toronto is getting married in August and I just recieved the invitation. I had considered going, but as it turns out, it is the same day as another wedding (family) that I have to attend.

I'd like to send a gift, but am having a hard time figuring out how to do this. They don't seem to be registered anywhere (which I find refreshing.. is that not the norm in Canada like it is here? And it just makes me want to give them a gift that much more). I've checked,, and

* Are there other places/sites they might be registered at that I am not thinking of?

* If I have to come up with something without registry help, what do you suggest that is easy to have shipped to them? I don't know the fiancee at all, but my friend likes cooking, grilling, fixing up their new house, his dog and wine (the logistics of sending wine to Canada might make this idea more trouble than it's worth).

(Apologies if I missed something obvious when I searched. Didn't see anything that exactly matched. Also hoping someone who has already navigated this will have some smart tips).
posted by mileena to Shopping (10 answers total)
How about checking the lists at Canadian Tire?
posted by scruss at 2:29 PM on June 24, 2010
posted by blue_beetle at 2:30 PM on June 24, 2010

You can do a search on Etsy for local sellers, just type in their area instead of yours.
posted by TooFewShoes at 2:42 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Gift registries definitely exist in Canada...Canadians are just as materialistic as Americans.

I would definitely suggest you buy from a Canadian source, because for foreign shipments the recipient has to pay duties, taxes and brokerage fees on delivery. These misc charges can add up to quite a lot.

E.g. I had to pay a total $72 (mostly tax) to DHL when my Google Nexus One was delivered, and this is despite the fact that DHL only charges $7 for brokerage. Some carriers (especially UPS...they are universally hated for this) charge upwards of $50 for brokerage.
posted by randomstriker at 2:45 PM on June 24, 2010

Is there any possibility that they don't want gifts, and would prefer cash? A cheque will be a lot easier to send, and I always assume that unless I'm explicitly told the couple is registered somewhere, they want cash (and even then I normally give a cheque anyhow).
posted by backwards guitar at 2:47 PM on June 24, 2010

Lots of Canadians do gift registries. HBC is probably the most common one, but they might also be registered at William Ashley, Flight Centre, or Pottery Barn.

As for gifts, you could do date night gift certificates to a few nice local restaurants (you may have a mutual Torontonian friend who'll also be going to the wedding who'd do you this favour, or post it on MeFi jobs and get someone on here to do it for you for a little fee or barter). Or doggy daycare vouchers for a kennel near them to cover their honeymoon? Or some kind of hotel voucher so they could take a weekend trip somewhere nice, like a B&B or NYC or something?

A hint: don't use UPS to ship anything from the States to Canada; they charge exhorbitant bullsh!t fees at the border. Regular mail is way better.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 2:53 PM on June 24, 2010

like pseudostabismus, my first thought for registries for Canadians is HBC.

Or if you know any of your friends' family members or any of the wedding entourage, you can ask them where they're registered.
posted by cheemee at 3:01 PM on June 24, 2010

Radical suggestion:


If you really don't want to ask him: See if you can't google up the phone number of the mother-of-the-bride and ask her if they're registered somewhere.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:00 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone. There are some great suggestions for registries I hadn't thought of. I didn't find a registry search for the strangely named Canadian Tire, but they seem to have lots of things that would be easy to send.

I especially appreciate the tips on shipping via UPS and DHL.

And I know I can ask if they are registered. I just thought it would be nice to surprise him. I don't think he actually thought I would attend so probably does not think I would send a gift.
posted by mileena at 11:38 PM on June 24, 2010

We registered at the Bay and Sears. Not because we WANTED to register, but because people kept asking us. When we sent out wedding invitations they thought we forgot to include registry information.

So we registered for gift cards.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:29 AM on June 25, 2010

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