Wedding Gifts: A Modern or Traditional Approach?

Abby and her fiance think about the type of wedding gifts they want to recieve.

by Abby Phillips

I have found the decision regarding wedding gifts to be an interesting issue to navigate.  In order to finish our wedding invitations, my fiancé and I had to decide if we were going to organise a registry, have a wishing well, or just leave it up to our guests to decide for themselves.

I think the rules of wedding gifts have changed quite a lot in the last 20 years.  Gift registries were the norm back then and couples would spend time choosing what they needed to set up their new life together.  Nowadays, most couples are already living together and they already have what they need for their home so traditional registries have become almost redundant.  My fiancé always quotes comedian, Ed Byrne, when we discuss the registry idea: “We are spoilt little children and this is what we want,” Ed Byrne joked.  This played on my mind a little bit, but I must say as a wedding guest I would much rather give the couple something that they need or want than something I think they need or want. So, I am totally not against gift registries but it just wasn’t practical for us as we already have most of what we need.

The modern gift registry has developed to include honeymoons, home deposits, renovations and many other aspects of a modern couple’s life beyond household appliances. There are a myriad of websites where you can register for your guests to contribute towards the total cost of your honeymoon for example, or you can choose specific parts of your trip like the accommodation or a special excursion for people to purchase for you. I think this is a great idea; I would get great joy out of buying an experience that the couple may not have been able to give themselves.

You can register with a travel agent and your guests can put money into the account for you to spend how you wish. However, we did learn that travel agents like Flight Centre are all franchises so your guests will have to contact the store you register with to contribute – not very practical for our overseas guests. So the honeymoon registry specific websites might be a better option for this.

Bride Abby: Gifts. Bird Cage Wishing Well

Pictured: Alexis found this wooden birdcage to display at the welcome table. Guests dropped cards inside. photo by: Jake Holt Photography

The fact that many of our guests will be travelling from New Zealand to attend our wedding is an amazing gift in itself – to be able to share our special day and have them here to celebrate with us.  So, we did not want people to think they had to give us something.

We finally decided to have a wishing well and any gift of money we receive will go towards our honeymoon or a deposit on our first home.  I even wrote a little poem to go in our invitations to explain all this; I think it makes it a more fun and personal.  Some people may think this is a little presumptuous but it is a reflection of where we are in life as a couple and I’m sure that our friends and family will recognise this.

Are you organising a traditional gift registry or having a wishing well or is there another idea that I haven’t covered here? Do you think it is OK to ask for gifts at all?


> Your Wedding Registry Questions Answered
> Real Couples, Real Registries

by Abby Phillips


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