The very basic rule that governs all gift etiquette tells us that we should buy a present that reflects the recipient’s place in our affections, not one that reflects property prices or status. If the invite is from a couple you hold very dear, you have complete reign over how much you choose to spend but if for example you should receive an invite from a distant family member, you are not obliged to buy a gift at all.
The correct way to choose the right gift is simply to assess your feelings for the couple and look carefully at your budget; after all when you consider outfits, travel and possible lodgings weddings are expensive for all those involved. Of course, if you have strong ties to those getting married look at the wedding list, but remember your relationship to them is probably not best represented by a set of steak knives but by a gift that reflects your friendship no matter what the list dictates.
The huge choice of wedding gifts out there is immense and once you have an idea of your budget you'll be better placed to make an informed decision. Looking at the type of couple getting married is a good way to determine what to buy: if it's a young go-getting couple that can't afford a long honeymoon as they are looking to buy a house, why not buy them a shared experience?
With choices such as a hot air balloon flight for two offering a day they'll treasure forever around it sure does beat another toaster or serving plate. If however, your choice of gift leans more to the traditional memento, why not look at a lovebirds photographic package so the happy couple have souvenirs of their shared time together or give them the opportunity to create a fond memory by giving a gift like a wine and cheese impulse set?
Giving a gift that inspires them to share their happiness with friends and family in this way will set them up for a happy life together and with those they love the most.