Summer is wedding season and with the new Concierge Wedding Registry at Bishopsgate, we are working with hundreds of guests to find the best gift for their respective ceremonies. It has come to my attention that, for many people, selecting a wedding gift can become an arduous task when coupled with the stress of finding an amazing present. Well, fret no more my friends! After 3 months as a Gift Coordinator and 13 years as a clinical psychologist, I have compiled an aggregate of the most important factors to consider when choosing the perfect wedding gift for your loved ones.
Wedding Registry Reigns Supreme
Brides, and dare I include grooms, spend a great deal of time selecting the gifts they place on a registry. Wedding registries represent a compilation of the couple’s wants, needs, taste, and collective preference; however, it is not mandatory to select a gift from the list.
When customers come to Bishopsgate to purchase a wedding gift for a bride or groom who is not registered with us, I often consult the couple’s registry at other stores (such as Macy’s or Bed, Bath, & Beyond) online for use as a guideline. This gives me a great indication of desired types, colors, and styles, as well as, what gift will compliment other gifts purchased from the registry. For example, if the couple has selected a china pattern with deep purple flowers, I may steer our customer towards purchasing lavender-hued Depression glass goblets, instead of the red champagne glasses in contention.
Registry rule of thumb: regardless to how well you know a couple, you can never go wrong mixing a gift from their registry with a smaller one of personal sentiment.
About the Couple : Life Factors & Lifestyle
It is imperative to consider the life stage of a couple before selecting your gift for them. A bride in her early 20s, who is furnishing her first small apartment, may not appreciate an antique silver and pearl inlay caviar spoon as much as a classic set of kitchen knives or dinnerware. On the other hand, a bride in her 40s, who is ending her first career and has furnished 5 large homes, probably already has kitchen knives and would more likely cherish an antique or one-of-a-kind accessory she can prominently place in her home. Both wants and needs change as we progress in life. Knowing basic personal, occupational, and social information will allow you to choose a gift that is equally functional and fabulous.
Lifestyle gifts are often the most favorite among grooms and quests. If you know the couple enjoys boating, hiking, traveling, or even cooking, you can purchase a gift that will allow them to both enhance time together and remember you when in use. Lifestyle gifts can also be given to couples who intend to start a certain hobby and are always greatly appreciated!
The 3 Ps: Price, Place, & Permanence
Know your budget and don’t go much higher than what you plan to spend. Weddings, especially when they are out-of-town or destination, can become exceedingly expensive to attend. Your friends would much prefer your presence to your present, and if they don’t, you shouldn't go into debt for them anyway!
Do consider the theme of the wedding and how far you will have to travel. A long plane ride with several layovers may dictate a gift smaller in stature than sentiment. Many stores offer shipping options and, at Bishopsgate, we even offer free local delivery. When I work with out-of-town guests coming into Hampton Roads for a wedding, I always assure them it is easier to purchase a gift from us, which we will deliver to the ceremony, than drag a similar gift to the post office or airport. Even if you are attending a wedding close to where you live, it is never a bad idea to have the gift delivered before the wedding. This allows the bride or her wedding coordinator to prearrange the gifts at the reception and allows you to wear your fierce flowing evening gown without fear of juggling a handbag, pashmina, and big box with a fancy bow.
Giving cash as a wedding gift is not considered tacky and, in some situations, may be the best gift you can give! However, money is not always permanent. If the couple uses it to pay bills, instead of purchasing an object or saving it for a vacation or the down payment on their dream home, they will really only have the memory of how you helped them out. If you are going to give cash as a wedding present, tuck it in a small gift from the couple’s registry or in a meaningful container they will have long past their honeymoon.
Shared Memories: One to Grow On
Although weddings focus on the future, do not forget the past. Some of the most thoughtful wedding gifts reminisce happy memoires you have shared with the couple and offer wishes for a lifetime of memories just as happy. Perhaps if you grew up playing tennis with the bride, you could gift the couple a pair of tennis rackets and hope to see them on the courts; or, if you were having dinner with the groom the night he met his bride, you could give them a painting of the restaurant where they met with a gift certificate to make sparks fly all over again.
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