What to give as a wedding present

What to give as a wedding present

Great ideas for a wedding present

Hello, wedding season! April is generally the start of the wedding season in the Western world and invitations keep flowing in. In fact, this weekend, one of our friends tied the know and she looked stunning. The couple were so looking forward to spending their special day with friends and family. What a beautiful day it had been!

With every wedding invitation also comes a bunch of other questions. What to wear? Will we stay longer and make it a (mini) break? Or what shall we give as a present? The last one has become either with couples creating wedding registries from which you can choose a present. Still, looking at some of the option shown, how many towels will they need? Here are our tips for you choosing a present for them.

Let them decide wedding present


This is probably one of the easiest and yet trickiest gifts of all. The couple can use the money to pay for part of the wedding. They could use it as a contribution to their honeymoon or as a down payment for a house. This is the appealing part, now comes the challenge.

What’s the right amount? We’ve been to a wedding many years ago where the bride later complained she didn’t get enough to cover the wedding costs. It was quite upsetting to hear this. The average wedding in the US costs nowadays north of $30,000! That’s an awful lot. Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone next such an expensive wedding but just think if you’re flying guests in or are providing them with hotel accommodation (thanks again, TR!). That all adds to it!

At the same time, trouble starts with expectations. We’re walking on very thin ice. Can you expect guests to cover a lavish meal if they are financially not as well of as the hosts? Or if they didn’t take out (or want to take out) a loan for a wedding? Different folks may have different expectations of what’s appropriate to give and it can all change by your culture, relationship to the couple, financial means, etc.

How long will they actually remember it? This is other reason why I’m personally not a big fan of cash as a present. While written down on their thank you list, will couples really recall who gave what and, more importantly, what they did with it?

Gift vouchers may be a similar present without the negative connotation that many have attached to cashed.

Take them shopping wedding present

Practical items

These are ideal for couples who are just starting out together. Over the years, registries would include items which they’d need or liked to have. This year, slow cookers seemed to be a top wish! I can definitely see the appeal in these as they can make your cooking so much easier.

Here are some other practical gifts which may not be on a wedding registry:

  • A fridge filled with food
  • The Kitchen Aid mixer for the baking enthusiast
  • Dyson vacuum cleaner
  • A freezer filled with meats
  • Plants for the entire home or garden
  • Cleaning services for a specific period

Give an experience as a wedding present


That brings me to experiences. More and more studies are being conducted that show how much more we value experiences over presents that just sit there. Here are some suggestions for special experiences:

  • Special trip on their honeymoon
  • Financial education course to lay their financial future
  • Dinner at a restaurant they wouldn’t go to otherwise
  • Staycation at one of the hotels in their town or nearby
  • Cooking class
  • Tickets for a special sporting event
  • Special interest course
  • An activity that both expressed an interest in but never tried out
  • Spa weekend
  • Photo shoot 6 months or a year after the weekend

The idea behind an experience is to give them something they can do together, something that helps them bond and potentially even create a joint interest in.

For the latest wedding, I refused to be known as the one who gave them a toaster. Though torn between two experiences, I was led by the bride’s mother and opted for the cooking class. Little did I know what a picky eater the groom was and it turned out a number of guests choose gifts to educate his palate. It was too funny to watch all these cooking related gifts to be unwrapped.

Until next time,

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