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With the wedding season fast approaching, we thought we’d offer some help and guidance with the age old problem of what to buy the bride and groom.
Most couples will put together a wedding gift list, which may be registered with their favourite home ware or department store. Most guests prefer this approach as they know exactly what the happy couple is looking for.
But what happens if the gift list is out of your price range completely – remember the antique shop scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral? Or perhaps you’ve delayed buying the gift until just before the wedding and now all that’s left on the list is a saucer or a pastry cutter!
As more and more couples live together before tying the knot, requests for cash or honeymoon vouchers are becoming increasingly popular.
While it’s a practical solution for the happy couple, not all guests like to give cash or voucher gifts. Knowing how much is appropriate to give and the transparency of how much has been spent can make some guests feel uncomfortable.
Then there are the couples who say, ‘we don’t want anything but your company’. Great, but would you really turn up to a wedding without a gift?
If the bride and groom have registered a gift list, as soon as you know that you are going to the wedding, buy the gift. The earlier you do this, the more choice you will have.
Most wedding gift services allow you to purchase the gifts online, so you don’t even have to make a trip to the store. So log on as soon as the invitation drops through the letterbox and you’re likely to have the pick of the wedding gifts. Which means you can choose an impressive looking present that doesn’t break the bank.
It’s also possible to overcome the ‘they’ll know how much I’ve spent’ problem with vouchers and cash. If the wedding gift is for someone you work with, why not club together with other colleagues?
If it’s a friend, agree a set amount with the rest of your group of friends and give them one big cheque from all of you. This way, you know you’ve all given the same and you’ll be presenting the couple with a much larger and impressive looking gift cheque than if you’d all given separately.
If the above solutions aren’t feasible or the couple ‘doesn’t want anything’, then it’s time to be a bit more creative.
At this point, we’d advise against buying an ornament or picture that you think they’d like. People’s tastes are very different and unless you know the couple intimately, your well-intentioned gift – while no doubt gratefully received – may well end up gathering dust in a cupboard.
If money is no object, then an experience gift is something different. A sunset and champagne hot air balloon trip could be incredibly romantic. Or if they prefer to keep their feet on the ground, book them a meal at their favourite restaurant and arrange to pick up the bill.
If you need to keep an eye on the cost however, then something more personal might be an option.
For couples you’ve known for a while, put together a photo album charting your friendship and their developing relationship. While the cost will mainly be your time, photo developing and an album, the end result will prove priceless for the bride and groom.
On the theme of photos; if you have a particularly good photograph of the happy couple, have it enlarged and framed or a canvass print made from it – just make sure it’s a photo you know that they like.
A bottle – or case, if your budget allows - of their favourite wine, will always go down well. But if they insist on a no gift policy, why not make a donation to charity in their name. Some charities, including Oxfam, have a list of ‘gifts’ you can buy – including school books for children in developing countries.
Meanwhile our wedding balloons, delivered to the address of your choice, always make an unusual and memorable gift. They’re also a great way to send your congratulations if you live too far away to attend the wedding in person. You can always add a wedding teddy bear or some chocolates to make the wedding gift extra special.
Make buying a gift enjoyable with the Big Fat Balloons Online School of Gift Buying and learn about:
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