Once upon a time…
…when a couple got married it was the first time either of them had left home. The gift list was a way that newly-weds could be fairly certain of obtaining a supply of crockery, cutlery and bed linen to their taste for their marital home.
Nowadays people will generally have had their own property and possessions prior to getting married and, unless they’ve lived together for some time before getting married, are far more likely to find that they have two of everything. The last thing they want is several more toasters.
The wedding gift list
A gift list is useful but make sure your guests are aware that it’s not mandatory. It’s great for listing specific items from a chosen supplier, but an individual present chosen with special care will be just as precious. And don’t be afraid to ask for some expensive things – people are (often mind-blowingly) generous and will often club together to purchase larger items.
Presents for the couple who have everything
If you’re a guest looking for that unusual present or a couple short of ideas, here are some suggestions:
For the environmentally aware couple
Plant some trees: a lasting reminder of the couple’s special day, which helps the environment too. There are organisations which will plant trees world-wide, or for one closer to home visit www.nationalforest.org.
Sponsor a child in a third-world country, or an animal: again there is a wide range of charities to choose from, both internationally and in the UK. A contribution towards Save the Children, UNICEF, WWF or a similar organisation might be a much-appreciated wedding gift.
For the big expenses
Weddings are an expensive business, so a gift such as vouchers towards the photographer, the cake or a wedding video is becoming popular: and guests can donate as much or as little as they wish or can afford. All of MamaCakes’ ‘friends’ will be happy to discuss this with you. Likewise one couple we know asked, by way of an insert in their invitation, only for contributions towards their honeymoon.
If you want to give something longer-lasting and more decorative, then what about vouchers towards having the dress framed (see our last blogpost, The wedding dress life after the big day.
Get really creative
Some of your guests may want to get really creative and give you something far more unusual. Here are just a few of the things we’ve come across:
- A wallpaper map of the world for a globe-trotting couple (it may be an idea to check first that they’ll like this – and also worth paying for it to be properly pasted up)
- Toilet seat covers
- For a mathematical couple, a framed rhyme about PI (yes, the number for calculating circles – 3.1415 etc. etc.)
- For lovers of history – a sword handmade on the Isle of Skye and inscribed with the wedding date
- A huge ladle – the person who gave it and the ladle itself are much cherished
- And finally, one we particularly loved. Ten friends clubbed together to buy a couple who had got married after fifteen years together…. matching toasters!