Words of wedding wisdom: WEDDING GIFTS – what do you really need?

Welcome to this series of articles based on my popular book, “The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom” … a few juicy extracts that you might like, to give you a taster of what the book can do to help make your wedding (or a friend or relative’s wedding) superbly successful.

This time, we look at…

Wedding gifts

The idea of wedding gifts in the past was a good one, when most couples were starting out in a home of their own for the first time and needed to have it equipped with everything from bed linen to furniture. Nowadays, however, many couples have already been living together for some time and have established their home. Even if they have been living as “singles,” in the run-up to moving in together they are probably wondering how on earth to fit both “his” and “her” belongings into the one place.

These days there is no obligation to expect traditional wedding gifts and instead you can ask guests to contribute to the cost of, say, your honeymoon, or a conservatory for your house, or even a new car. Don’t be shy; wedding guests are only too pleased to be guided as to what you need. There are companies that will organize this for you and all you need to do is provide the address so guests can participate. To find these, key “wedding lists” into Google or other search engine, or look up the “Wedding Guide” in your local Yellow Pages.

Second and subsequent marriages

Some people consider it slightly “bad form” for people getting married for the second time to expect anything other than token gifts. Whether this is justifiable or not rather depends on the circumstances. If a significant number of your guests will have attended your first wedding, or your partner’s, it does seem a bit much to expect them to come up with another substantial gift – especially if you and your intended have been living comfortably together for some time in an established home.

However some second wedding circumstances are not like that at all. You may have a completely different circle of friends from that which surrounded you at your first wedding. You, or the groom, may have emerged from a divorce with very little other than the clothes you were standing up in. You may be about to move into a much bigger house to accommodate the entire new step-family and need a number of traditional wedding gift items to equip it.

As for the best way to handle wedding gifts for second and subsequent marriages, let common sense prevail. If you need things, don’t feel inhibited about saying so to your guests. But if you are comfortably established, don’t be greedy. In fact if you’re very comfortably off you could even ask guests to make a contribution to a charity in lieu of buying a gift, rather as people do with funerals.

For all 174 pages of helpful tips and advice, grab your copy of “The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom” from Amazon (USA), Amazon (Canada), Amazon (UK) and all other Amazons.