The answer to this question lies in how much you and the newlyweds accept the principles of superstition and folklore. If you were all willing to shrug it off without a second thought (as many would be happy to do), then a beautiful set of quality knives would make a great addition to their future kitchen.
An easy way to test the waters on this is to check the couple’s gift registry. If you selected this item from their list, you can feel secure in the idea that they won’t get the “willies” as a result. If you see that they registered for other kitchen items but neglected to request any knives, that may be a telling fact.
Knives, scissors and all other types of utensils that are used for cutting things are not traditionally considered a good gift idea. Basically the idea of cutting or slicing things is does not promote good luck, or good karma. In fact, to the Chinese or in Latin America the gift of a knife as a gift would be interpreted as "cutting off a friendship (or relationship)."
An extension to this idea is the use of cutting tools when opening gifts. So take care not to tie or wrap the gifts in such a way that cutting tools will be required.
The tables are turned. It’s your wedding. You’re opening your gifts and you notice that someone has given you a set of knives.
Let’s assume that you're positive the gift-giver didn't mean anything negative by giving you the knife as a gift, but you’re still feeling uneasy about the whole deal. On one hand, you may need a great knife set, but on the other hand who wants bad luck from their wedding day? Legend has it that you can help reverse any bad luck from receiving this gift by giving the gift giver a penny (at least) for the knife. This, in effect, makes the gift a purchase!
If you do find yourself feeling uneasy about receiving a knife as a gift, know that you’re not alone. These thoughts are shared among cultures and religions around the world. Many different cultures opt for the “payment option” if a gift is considered inappropriate or bad luck!
Something as simple as cutlery has developed quite a myriad of folklore surrounding it. Here’s a small sampling of what knives traditionally mean for their owners: