Gift for Wedding Canceled Due to COVID-19?
September 20, 2020 7:08 PM   Subscribe

A friend was supposed to get married this spring, and they had to postpone due to COVID-19. They initially rescheduled for this fall and have since canceled their wedding. I'd still like to send them a gift, but I'm not sure what is the best approach. I know this is an "any option will be appreciated" situation, but how are others approaching this? Buying something off their registry? Sending something else around the date (e.g., gift certificate to a restaurant that does take-out/hobby that they both enjoy, flowers or a plant, etc.)?

I'd love to hear about people's experiences in general! But, in this specific case, the couple aren't sure what their plans are moving forward. They are already legally married, so there may choose not to do a full ceremony and reception in the future.
posted by verity kindle to Human Relations (7 answers total)
I’m not a huge registry fan, but in this case, if they have one, I’d go that route. If they drink, I’d also make arrangements to have a bottle of champagne delivered on their reschedule date. Gives you an excuse to buy a bottle for yourself and take a “cheers!” selfie!
posted by nathaole at 7:20 PM on September 20, 2020

I know it's not quite the same, but I bought off the registry for baby shower that'd been cancelled due to general pandemic concerns. I felt like the point was celebrating the occasion, rather than the party itself. If however there's a make-up party at some point in a happier future, I'll still bring a bottle of something nice to share because then we'll be celebrating being able to have parties again.
posted by teremala at 7:46 PM on September 20, 2020

Are they still getting married, despite the canceled wedding party? If so, then I think the registry gift/champagne idea is good. Otherwise, I think I'd go with a "thinking of you, here's something I thought you might enjoy" type thing.
posted by LadyOscar at 10:58 PM on September 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

The only reason I see not to buy something from the registry is if they *also* had to cancel plans to move or something; presumably they want the stuff on the registry, right? But also these uncertain times feel like the best possible time to give cash, which is always useful and always fits. Maybe with something small off the registry.
posted by mskyle at 3:49 AM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’d either send something from their registry, or just send a check. Probably I’d just go straight for the check (unless that’s unacceptable for cultural reasons). With COVID, everyone has had to shift their lifestyle to a greater or lesser extent, and what they put on a registry pre-COVID may or may not still be what they want or need now. (People are hosting a lot fewer dinner parties, for example.)

I wouldn’t send anything that requires going out, like gift cards for a restaurant or hobby. Everyone has different risk tolerances for going out, even for takeout or hobby supplies. Tough to guess what theirs will be.

Basically, yeah, I’d send a check with a nice handwritten note.
posted by snowmentality at 5:28 AM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one. A bouquet of gorgeous, bright colored flowers*, an enormous box of fancy chocolates, and/or champagne are always going to feel like a treat.

*unless they have really bad allergies!
posted by EllaEm at 10:50 AM on September 21, 2020

We were in a similar situation (had to move up official marriage date for legalistic reasons and make plans for a future celebration at some point TBD) and got nice liquor and flowers from a couple friends, both of which were very appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. Some other family and loved ones pressed us for ideas for a more traditional wedding gift. The thought was super kind but gifts had been pretty far from our minds and it honestly felt a bit stressful to come up with an answer, plus we're still hoping to be able to do something more formal later and would like that to serve as the "real" celebration. Your friend's mileage might vary, of course! But for us in a similar situation, simple/obvious/inexpensive was best and conveyed best wishes for the present moment while respecting that we'd still like to celebrate with everyone later.
posted by superfluousm at 11:08 AM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

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