Last spring, my cousin announced his engagement. I have met his fiancée once, and am friends with them both on Facebook, so I am aware of their tastes and interests, although we are not super close. Shortly after their announcement, I stumbled on a very very nice crystal bar set at an incredible deal and purchased it for them in anticipation of the wedding. We received the wedding invitation today, and being unfamiliar with the traditions of the church in which they are being married, I looked up information concerning dress codes, rituals, etc. My research led me to discover that in her culture, physical gifts are frowned upon and cash gifts of a certain dollar amount are expected.
I know from knowing the couple that the gift I've purchased is very much something they would like to have. I also know that we cannot easily afford the customary cash gift. Yet, it seems wrong to knowingly go counter to her cultural norms. Am I right that I need to view the already purchased gift as a sunk cost, and go with the cash?