For the happy couple who are the star of the show, their wedding is one of the most important days in their lives, at least so far. However, it’s not just a special day for them, but for their wedding guests also. Proud to have been invited to share such a special day, everyone of them will be looking for significant and unique wedding gifts for couples or individual wedding gifts for the bride and the groom. Gifts at a wedding serve a number of different purposes:
- To help the newly-weds build their marital home
- To celebrate their loving relationship
- To mark the union of two people who love each other and want to spend their life together
- To give the couple a momento of their special day
- To say thank-you for being invited
Whatever the sentiment behind a wedding gift there’s plenty to choose from. All tastes, styles, ages and preferences can be catered for, whether shopping online or in a local High Street store.
Tips on choosing unique wedding presents for the happy couple
If you want some advice to help you choose personal, unique or unusual wedding gifts for the soon to be married couple, read on.
Go with the personal touch – This kind of gift doesn’t only refer to the picture frame with their wedding date on it, or matching mugs with the names of the bride and the groom. It can also be a gift that relates to an interest that the bride and the groom share, or a special memory you’ve shared with them. A creative wedding gift that ties in with these ideas will be very personal indeed.
Don’t stress over being different – Marriage is indeed a very traditional union, and there a lots of customs that can be followed. However there is nothing wrong with being unconventional. Try and look at unique wedding gift ideas that will make an impression on the couple. Nobody wants their gift to be the one they spot online being sold on eBay.
Why not give them something humourous? – Wedding days are full of laughter and lots of smiling faces. Giving the couple a humorous gift will ensure that the joy continues long after the last guest has said goodbye. It will also mean that your wedding gift stands out from the crowd.
Choose something practical – It would be great if your unique wedding presents had a practical use, rather than just serving to make a room look more attractive. We don’t mean it has to be a juicer, espresso or ice-cream maker, or anything else with a plug. On the contrary, it could be a shelf unit or display cabinet in which they can show off some of their wedding souvenirs.
Show you have put some thought into their gift by sticking with a theme – Personalised wedding gifts with a theme will set your gift apart from the crowd. It could be something associated with their wedding day, or connected with a theme running through the couples home.
Armed with these ideas it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and look at the kind of gifts that might fit the bill.
What wedding gifts are UK couples hoping for?
Many couples looking to tie the knot will have already been living together for a number of years. Some of them may even have children. The need for gifts relevant to setting up home is not as necessary as in previous decades. Modern couples aren’t looking for basic home making necessities. Gone are the days of giving tableware, cutlery sets, glassware, bed linen and towels. If you think that the couple would appreciate this kind of gift then think twice about their current living arrangements. You might also want to take heed from a recent newspaper article that states as many as two thirds of wedding gifts end up being sold online. Newlyweds get rid of two thirds of wedding presents. A very informative piece of research indeed, and certainly food for thought when considering your upcoming purchase of wedding gifts in the UK.
A relatively new idea to wedding gifts is the introduction of wedding gift registries, and an increasing number of couples are choosing to adopt this idea. The struggle of finding the perfect gift for the couple has now become considerably easier. Instead there is a helpful list of wedding presents the bride and groom would like to receive. All budgets can be catered for and a quick check in the box means no gifts are duplicated, and that includes personalised wedding gifts and unique wedding gift ideas.
If you’re wondering where the idea of wedding gifts came from it’s time for a quick history lesson.
The tradition of giving wedding gifts and where it came from
From the engagement to the honeymoon wedding celebrations are steeped in history and tradition. Religious beliefs, culture and ancestry have all played a part in giving us the wedding traditions we hold deep to our hearts today. As we’re mostly concerned with the giving of wedding gifts here, this is the aspect that we’ll be looking at in more detail. Let’s start with the traditional marriage rhyme of…
“ Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence for her shoe”
This was a popular rhyme in Victorian England and has some cultural significance. It is said that if the bride is given 5 specific wedding gifts to carry with her on her wedding day they will bring her good luck. But what does it mean?
Something old recognises of the continuation of the family line of the bride.
Something new is a look into the future and a celebration of the past.
Something borrowed relates to the borrowing of an item from a friend or family member and signifies the support that has been offered to the bride.
Something blue recognises the cultural significance of the colour blue. It is considered to be a colour that stands for consistency, purity and loyalty.
The sixpence in her shoe is a wish for prosperity and good fortune in the future.
The origin of wedding gifts actually goes back much further. Many, many moons ago there would be a price on a bride’s head. A dowry is a much nicer way of saying it. It could have been land, money, animals or other forms of wealth. The first recorded evidence of a dowry being given dates back to 3000 BC.
We’ll take a big leap to the Renaissance period, when a wife would bring with her to the marriage an ornate marriage chest. Inside would be everything she needed for her new status in life. Later in history there emerged the idea of a hope chest. An unmarried women would collect all the things she might need, such as linen and tableware, ready for when she was finally wed.
Moving 400 years forward there emerged the tradition of giving a leather key basket. This mostly took place in South America. Inside would be the keys to unlock all the doors in the marital home, and stood for her future role as housekeeper.
An American store, Macy’s, unveiled the very first wedding gift registry in 1924. Needless to say it wasn’t long before other stores jumped on board, and the idea migrated across the water, and is now popular here in the UK.
The kind of gifts you might find on a wedding gifts registry
A gift registry is designed to make wedding gift choosing a piece of cake. It should include the sort of items needed to make a marital home comfortable and well equipped. To be as helpful as possible we’re going to look at creating a gift registry from the point of view of the bride and groom to be. This means we’ll also be able to cover the options for any guests looking for potential wedding gifts for the couple.
When should a registry be created?
You should start thinking about your gift list as soon as the question is popped. Once your friends and family learn of the engagement, thoughts of suitable gifts are going to start running through their minds. The list doesn’t have to be complete just yet, but it’ll be useful for any potential wedding guests to have something to look at.
Compile the list together
The gifts that could potentially end up in the list need to be decided upon by both partners in the impending union. You’re going to be setting up home together so you need to discuss and decide upon the items you need. To gain an understanding of the items you need it might help to list the items you already have, and then try and fill the gaps.
A gift registry should include the items you want as well as those you need
You don’t need to just have the basic necessities such as tableware, cutlery and linens. It can include electronics, appliances and even camping gear – anything really that will make your house a home.
Make sure you’re going to use the gifts
There is absolutely no point in including items you’re never going to use. These gifts are destined to be left in their boxes at the back of a cupboard gathering dust, or end up on one of the online auction sites.
Have options for all budgets
You might want all of your wedding gifts to be large items, but you should allow for a range of budgets. Not everyone will be able to afford the more expensive items, and on the flip side you don’t want guests who want to be generous being forced to buy lots of smaller gifts.
You don’t have to feel obligated to choose a gift from the couples registry, but it will certainly make things a lot easier. You’ll also be certain that your unique wedding gifts for couples aren’t going to be given by someone else.
We’ve only really touched the surface of the whole wedding gift problem, but don’t worry because we’ll also be covering wedding gifts for parents, wedding gifts for friends, as well as gifts the couple will be able to enjoy together, on some of our other pages. We’ll also be taking a look at wedding anniversary gifts, because somewhere down the line this is going to be another issue that friends and relatives of the couple will have to contend with.
To finish up let’s take a look at some of the weird and wonderful gifts that get given around the world.
Unusual wedding gifts from across the globe
Gift giving is a tradition that plays an important part in the wedding ceremony, but some countries have their own take on the this part of the proceedings. Some might be considered just unusual, while others would be considered kind of weird.
In Germany the groom is given the gift of the bride. However, there are certain things he has to do in order to receive his prize. A mock kidnapping is performed and the bride is usually taken to a bar, where the groom is waiting and will have to prove his worth before the bride is handed over. He might have to sing, dance or at the very least buy a round of drinks in order to prove his love for the lady in question.
In China, crying plays a planned part in the proceedings. A Chinese bride is expected to cry for one hour every day for a month, leading up to the big day. Other female family members also join in with the odd tradition.
In South Asia, a groom can expect to have his shoes stolen by the bridesmaids, leaving him bare foot for the reception. Negotiations then place in order for the groom to get his shoes back.
In some parts of Malaysia, the bride and the groom aren’t supposed to use the washroom for three days and nights after their wedding ceremony. It is thought that if this tradition is broken it will bring bad luck, and to ensure it is followed family members guard the washroom.
Whatever country you live in, give the best gifts you can afford to the groom and bride and help make their day special. Not forgetting all those wedding anniversary gifts in the future, that will recognise the long lasting commitment and love for each other.