If you’ve lived with your groom-to-be for years, you certainly don’t need a kettle and toaster set. What you really want, and need (weddings are expensive after all!), is some money. All of your friends are asking for cash for their honeymoons in the Maldives or the Seychelles with cutesy poems like this:
“We’ve just moved home and have filled it with stuff,
From books to sofas, we’ve certainly got enough!
Instead of more wine glasses, we’d really love some cash,
So that we can book a perfect honeymoon and head off in a dash.
A romantic beach break would really do the trick,
As soon as we can afford it, we’ll be on that plane quick!”
But your mum and dad have said that Auntie Maureen doesn’t want to give you money; she wants to give you something you can keep and treasure forever. You also understand that some people think it’s a bit cheeky to be asking for money. The etiquette around requesting wedding presents can be tricky.
1. Think hard
Is there anything you would actually quite like for your marital home? A new lamp, or some steak knives – or a funky piece of art perhaps? Maybe some posh luggage to take on your honeymoon? If you can think of something, no matter how small, then problem solved. Politely steer Auntie Maureen in the direction of the object, or selection of objects, you’re in need of.
2. Big budget spenders and frugal gifting
You’ve also got to bear in mind the different depths of people’s pockets. A couple of your guests might think little of dropping a few thousand pounds into an envelope for you, or spending that on a new sofa for your living room. However, that’s probably the minority of your guest list. There might also be a few people who will be desperately trying to find you the perfect keepsake for under £20. If you didn’t like antiques and vintage retro styling before, now is the time to start! You can pick up some amazing and truly unique gifts for people in car boot sales, charity shops and little local antique shops. Pieces like old mirrors, pictures and ornaments can be a steal at these places. Your friends will appreciate the advice.
3. What do you love most about Auntie Maureen / Uncle Paul / Great Grandad?
A lovely idea is to get your relatives to write down your favourite recipes into a cookery book. Of course, this is completely free! You’ll need to buy a nice book to paste the recipes into (maybe mum and dad could ask the first person to start the recipe writing chain to get you one?!), but that’s a very small outlay for the memories the recipes will conjure whenever you whip one up in years to come. Whether it’s a favourite crumble recipe, or a number one homemade soup, this very sweet idea is sure to please everyone. You could even get them to write a little story about the first time they made that particular dish for you!
4. The gift of time
Spending time together is the best gift that there is. Everyone loves making new memories with their nearest and dearest – so how about asking for something like National Trust, or English Heritage Membership? You could even bring Auntie Maureen with you and make a day of it with a cream tea in the coffee shop for lunch.
5. Add some luxury to your home
Look around you. If your bedsheets, whilst sturdy and easy to launder and iron, look fine, you could add some sparkle to your marital bed with a set of really high quality thread count bedding. You could pack off all of your old threadbare towels to the charity shop and then update your bathroom with some lovely new fluffy towels. Maybe you want a beautiful, wooden, conversation starter fruit bowl in your dining room rather than using an old plate? Take a quick walk around your home, is there any way you can make it more homely? If you spot three things, write them down!
Finally, how do you actually go about asking for these items? Do you just delegate this to your mum and dad praying that they know your likes and dislikes when it comes to home decor? Of course, in this modern age of the internet, you can register online with somewhere like John Lewis and pick each of the items you want (make sure you have something for everyone’s budget), but if you have elderly relatives who are internet averse this might not be so easy to do and then you run the risk of the porcelain cat scenario coming true!
You could write a list entitled ‘Gift Ideas’ and include it in your invitations. You’ll need some little paragraph to explain that these are just a few ideas for people who might not want to give money for your honeymoon, maybe something like this:
We’re so excited to see you on our big day. Whilst we want your presence rather than your presents, we know that you’d like to give us something to celebrate our marriage. Something which we can use for years to come and remember how much fun we had on 24/03/2018! So we’ve put together a few small ideas which we’ve had to help you as you choose something for us:
1. White towel set
2. White double bedding set
3. Wooden fruit bowl
4. National Trust Membership
5. Egg Cups
We hope this guide has helped you in navigating the complex arena of gift receiving.