The biggest gift to us is your presence at our wedding

Thursday 27th October, 2022

This is the biggest lie.

I've seen it so many times, phrased slight di erently, I'm guilty of it myself, when writing my wedding invites I searched 'how to politely say your presence is enough'.

For some reason we feel the need to say this statement, even though we absolutely don't mean it.

Don't kid yourself, if your wedding guests really didn't buy you a single thing, not even a bottle of wine, you'd be shocked. I bet there are also several people on your guest list who's presence certainly isn't a gift, but you have been forced to invite them!

People clearly expect gifts at their wedding despite what their invite says, why else would they have a fancy white post box and a table for gifts set out?

When I was planning our wedding invites I was told by relatives that gift traditions have changed a lot over time. We still have my grandparent's wedding album, lovingly handmade with confetti on the pages. At the back was a handwritten list of gifts they received, such as hand towels and other things they'd need for their new marital home.

This was the quite often the case, getting married coincided with living together for the first time.

When you got married you therefore received household gifts. To be honest I love this idea, when my partner (now husband) and I moved in together people buying us towels would have been absolutely perfect. Honestly a pack of cutlery would have been a great gift.

Nowadays, often people have lived together before they get married so you don't desperately need a pack of cutlery on your wedding day. When I got married we'd loved together a few years but we needed a new tv and a wardrobe. Now how on earth was I going to say that on an invite.

We'd have sounded so rude, but it was the truth. We opted for a gift list of gift vouchers, which then meant we grouped them all together and got both the tv and wardrobe.

As a wedding guest, I don't like just putting cash in an envelope as a gift and there's two reasons for this. One is that very rarely can you be sure the recipients will use your hard earned cash the way they say they will for example "towards our dream honeymoon". What may actually happen is that they put your money into the same pot for food shopping and before you know your gift is their weekly food shop at Tesco. Secondly, it shows no thought and I like people to think I'm thoughtful. There's every chance people open the gifts I've bought and just think this is ugly why couldn't she just give us cash, but a recent bride cried with joy when she opened the painting
of her wedding venue I gave her. I'm fairly sure she didn't cry when someone gave her a £20 note.

If someone's invite tells me that my presence is enough but any contribution towards their honeymoon would be greatly appreciated (or whatever wording they've stolen from the internet's guide of how to sound polite) then I give them currency for whichever country they're going to.

This way I know that they are actually spending my gift on it's intended purpose, and not on their weekly shop.

If you're planning your wedding please just ask for gifts that you want. You don't need to pretend that the presence of your annoying 'great uncle once removed' is enough, make sure he gets you a gift that you want or you'll end up a bottle of something cheap and nasty!

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