It’s that time of the year again, wedding season. A time in which we’re forced to wear suits on hot days, sit through countless awkward speeches, drink slightly too much champagne and of course, watch the people we care about begin the rest of their lives together.
But how to find the perfect gift for the happy couple? Weddings are not an appropriate time to re-gift the porcelain clown you inherited from Aunt Muriel, nor can you simply whack $50 into a card wishing them “all the best.” So here are a few gift ideas that won’t break the bank but definitely show you care.
When it comes to traditional weddings gifts, linen, crockery sets and crystal wine glasses are the first things that come to mind. They we’re all great presents when it was 1962 and it was legal to drive without a seatbelt. In this day and age, most couples live together before getting hitched, so you can assume they already have sheets and towels (unless they’re squatters or nomads). So why not celebrate the energy of the big day with an equally as explosive present? Think of things like white water rafting and sky diving vouchers for adrenaline junkies, and cooking class seminars or a leisurely Harbour Bridge climb for those who prefer to keep both feet on the ground.
Maybe you have friends that have a taste for the finer things in life, or perhaps you’re living off two minute noodles and instant coffee. Either way, being part of group presents maximises the budget for the gift and adds more gift-able ideas into the mix. When it comes to group gifts, we suggest thinking about the group itself. Too many people can make things a little confusing, with some members butting heads over ideas. Keep groups to a maximum of five close friends so that you’re on the same page when it comes to gift ideas and the allocated budget. It’s also a great opportunity to use the specific skills and contacts of each group member. For example, knowing someone who can pull a few strings at the Hilton is a great way to secure the honeymoon suit for the newlyweds.
You’ve known the groom since he was a pudgy three-year-old, playing in the mud in your backyard, and now you’re watching your best mate say “I do” to the love of his life. It’s enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye and incite heart palpating panic. The pressure to find the perfect gift is extreme. Twenty-seven years of friendship can’t be summed up by a Breville milkshake maker, so opt for something more personal that is an extension of your friendship and connection to the couple. Were you at the Halloween party where they first met? Get them a Zombie run voucher. Do you know for a fact that their first dance will be to Fleetwood Mac? Then a signed vinyl or tickets to the concert would go down a treat. When it comes to gift giving, personalised presents have the most impact. It shows that you paid attention when they were slurring the words to “Think About Me” at 3 in the morning, and that you are personally invested in their happiness.
Gifts that keep on giving
Wine glasses crack, blenders break and linen tears. However, wedding gifts don’t have to have a limited lifespan. Given that the newlyweds are beginning their life together, you’ll want to gift them something a little more enduring. An ongoing membership or subscription is a great start. The happy couple will be reminded of their wedding day (and what a great friend you are) each time a magazine or fruit basket turns up on their doorstep. Imparting or lending skills to the big day allows you to contribute to a celebration of their happiness. If you’re handy with a camera, why not offer to photograph or film the ceremony? It will give them something show the grandkids in years to come.
If you can afford to throw a wedding with cake that will go uneaten and $5000 ice sculpture that will melt unnoticed, then you can generally afford your own linen and wine glass sets. Avoid adding to the deluge of unused wedding gifts by making a charitable donation on behalf of the newlyweds. Although these gifts can’t be wrapped and added to the gift table, they are an extension of a ritual that celebrates love for another. It’s also a great opportunity to personalise the donation. For example, sponsoring a Sumatran tiger is a fantastic idea for the happy couple who is honeymooning in Thailand.