Gifts that keep on giv­ing

The Press - - Homed -

There’s talk that nup­tials as we knew them are dead, but 23,870 cou­ples mar­ried or had a civil union in New Zealand last year.

If the trends are any­thing to go by, we’re all bound to be wed­ding guests one day.

So in the spirit of good­will, giv­ing the right gift is worth get­ting right. We asked the ex­perts what’s good and what’s a no-go.

DON’T

Baby stuff: You might be itch­ing for your favourite peo­ple to have lit­tle peo­ple, but any­thing baby-re­lated is in­ap­pro­pri­ate. ‘‘Don’t as­sume a baby is in their fu­ture,’’ says Amanda Cookson of Be My Guest.

‘‘I get that mar­riage can mean ba­bies for some cou­ples, but for oth­ers chil­dren might be a few years away, or not on the cards at all. Let’s give this cou­ple a day to cel­e­brate them as a cou­ple, and cel­e­brate bubs when he or she ar­rives.’’

Sil­ver­ware: These days it doesn’t quite cut it.

‘‘I think there’s been a shift away from the tra­di­tional home­ware items that peo­ple used to buy. Things like sil­ver­ware,’’ says Milly Nolan, owner of on­line wed­ding gift registry, Mil­dred and Co.

‘‘We don’t see many cake and knife sets or salad server sets sold any more.’’

Toast­ers: If it’s a fun­da­men­tal do­mes­tic ap­pli­ance or uten­sil, they likely al­ready have one.

‘‘So many peo­ple are liv­ing to­gether be­fore they get mar­ried, they have all those house­hold items but are af­ter some­thing a lit­tle bit more spe­cial,’’ says Nolan.

Tow­els: The gift of a co­or­di­nated towel set was sub­stan­tial in the 1970s. The rise of co­hab­i­ta­tion and our re­laxed im­port tar­iffs mean that peo­ple now know what they want and they have their own.

‘‘Li­nen can seem like a re­ally help­ful wed­ding gift, but most cou­ples live to­gether be­fore they marry now, so don’t need help set­ting up a home,’’ says Cookson.

Du­pli­cates or any­thing of­freg­istry: The whole point of a gift registry is to avoid dou­ble­ups. So if the wed­ding you’re at­tend­ing has nom­i­nated a registry, do try to pur­chase your gift through there.

If your bud­get for a gift is mod­est, chip in with a group of friends to­wards a larger item.

‘‘If a cou­ple have a gift registry, buy­ing a sim­i­lar, cheaper item off-registry, from a dif­fer­ent shop is a pain, and in some cases waste­ful,’’ says Cookson. DO

Glasses: ‘‘We have more than 8000 items on­line but def­i­nitely every wed­ding registry, with­out fail, has some glasses of some sort,’’ says Nolan.

Qual­ity cook­ware: cook­ware, fry­ing pans, and sturdy cast iron casse­role dishes such as Le Creuset are pop­u­lar.

Ex­pe­ri­ences: ‘‘My favourite non-cash gifts are ex­pe­ri­ences – tick­ets to a show that they can at­tend to­gether, or a voucher for a meal out,’’ says Cookson.

‘‘I per­son­ally don’t like giv­ing things as gifts, be­cause my taste might be dif­fer­ent to theirs. If I do, I try to in­clude an ex­change card.’’

Art: Nolan opts for an art fund rather than wed­ding gifts. She rec­om­mends it as a way to avoid an in­flux of ma­te­rial things and still have a lovely re­minder of your big day.

‘‘We just asked peo­ple to con­trib­ute to­wards a piece of art. The idea is then that you have a beau­ti­ful piece of art that hangs on your wall from all your wed­ding guests.’’

Get­ting the present wrong could lead to a grumpy bride.

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