Gifts that keep on giving
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.
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.