To avoid ending up with 24 toasters, it’s a great idea to provide your wedding guests with information about what type of present you’d like. The majority of guests will expect to purchase a gift and will appreciate you letting them know what you’d actually like, so don’t feel embarrassed about asking for wedding gifts.
It’s a good idea to send information about wedding gifts out with your wedding invitations; this will mean guests don’t need to contact you to ask about what to get and gives them plenty of time to arrange your present.
Wedding gift ideas
Wedding gifts usually fall into one of the following categories:
- A wedding gift list – administered by a high street store or a wedding/honeymoon specialist company. You will need to provide guests with information about how to make a purchase.
- Money or vouchers – to use to help fund a honeymoon, holiday or specific project e.g. a summerhouse for the garden.
- Charity donations – if you’re lucky enough to already have everything or feel passionately about a specific cause.
- A gift chosen or made by the guest.
Asking for money
It is completely acceptable to ask for money, donations via a website or vouchers, but you’re likely to get a better response if you describe what your guests are contributing money towards. Be clear about what you’d like to buy/do and what it will mean to you. If guests think they’re contributing towards the Groom’s Friday nights out for the next two years, they may not be as generous!
Wording for wedding gifts
Whatever type of wedding gift you are asking for, it’s polite to emphasise that purchasing a gift is optional and the most important thing is that guests share your day with you (even if you don’t mean it!!). Examples of wording which expresses this sentiment (but then goes on to ask for a gift!) are:
The biggest gift to us is your attendance and celebration of our marriage. However, if you would like to purchase a gift, we have a list at …..
We don’t expect gifts, just a great day with our family and friends. However if you would like to get us anything …..
If you would like to give us a gift, we would be grateful for …..
Poems for requesting wedding gifts are increasingly popular and can often be customised to mention what gift you would like:
We have lived together for quite a while
we have our pots and pans.
If you were thinking of giving a gift
we hope you understand.
We do not wish to be rude
but would just like to say,
some money towards our honeymoon
would help us on our way.
Then while we’re relaxing on the beach
with a drink or two,
we will raise our glass
knowing it was all down to you!
We’ve been together for a few years now!
We have pots and pans and linen and towels;
We have glasses and toasters, really quite a few;
So instead of gifts, we suggest this to you;
If it doesn’t offend and it won’t send you running;
What we would really appreciate is simply money;
We know choosing gifts can be such a pain;
And this way there is no chance of bringing the same!
Your presence at our wedding
is present enough,
So don’t worry about what to buy,
as we have plenty of stuff!!
However, if you were thinking of giving us a gift
to help us on our way,
a gift of a voucher for B&Q
would really make our day.
If you are asking for cash, a nice idea is to set up a ‘wishing well’ at your wedding. Guests can use this to deposit their cash gift as well as wedding wishes, wedding cards etc. Wishing wells or post boxes can be purchased from wedding stores or online e.g. Ebay. There are an abundance of poems about wishing wells. Here are a couple of examples:
The tradition of the wishing well
used on the wedding day,
is here both for your money gifts
and for what you would like to say.
So please drop in a token of love
for this special Bride & Groom,
as they start their life united
to live forever side by side.
Overseas we will travel
once the wedding bells have rung,
we will have a wishing well
if you would like to contribute to the fun.
If you would like to get a present
we will love it just as much or if you just
want to come and celebrate,
well then that sounds good to us!
This one is great for couples who live overseas to request money for a wedding gift:
As we’re living overseas, and there we’ve set up home –
it would be hard to carry with us presents all alone.
Please help us if you’re ‘wishing to’ by giving paper light …
and when we’re there, we’ll spend it ‘well’ with love from you in sight.
No gifts please!
There will be some guests who don’t feel comfortable not buying a gift, so if you don’t want any gifts consider asking for charity donations or give your guests another option. A recent customer of The Leaf Press said to guests that gifts were really not necessary and instead they would like guests to take photos at the wedding and send them a CD/DVD of photos afterwards. Most guests complied and they have a BIG photo album (and no toasters!).