The best wedding gifts are the gifts that the Bride and Groom want. The Bride and Groom that live a formal lifestyle will probably receive more formal gifts than the couple to be living a casual lifestyle. However, it is always best to work off a list composed by the wedding couple since they may want some things that they would not ordinarily purchase for themselves.
For Your Wedding or For Your Married Life
Depending on your resources, you may want your guests to contribute items for use at your wedding ceremony or wedding reception. In some cultures, this is expected of certain relations of the wedding couple or families. Some couples may prefer to purchase these wedding day items themselves and request that their guests give them traditional wedding day gift items for use in their married life. Some Brides and Grooms who have already established households may prefer to receive non-traditional gifts or donations to charity in their name.
Making Your List
For a Bride and Groom to get what they want, they would do well to spend the time to make a list. Guests will want to give you something that will last, so keep that in mind as you add to your list. Be sure to list items in differing price ranges, since not all your wedding guests will want to spend the same amount. Categorize the list into groupings of items likely to be purchased at a single location.
Let Your Guests Know What You Want
It is not appropriate to include this information in your wedding invitation. Share your wish list… with parents, siblings, the Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor, Bridesmaids, Best Man, Groomsmen, and Ushers. It is their job to spread the word as to what you might like and where your guests can find your preferred gifts. Traditionally, this would be a department store featuring items such as china, silverware, etc., but today it may also include hardware and garden supply stores, electronics or music stores, travel agencies, mortgage brokers, favorite restaurants, or even online gift stores such as ours.
Guests Take Their Clues From the Bride and Groom
This includes your choice of locations for your reception and the “Invitation” (which sets the stage for the event). Better invitations get better gifts. The small extra cost of upgrading this item is not where you should economize if you want the best gifts. But only upgrade your invitation in proportion to the event itself to obtain the desired result.
Can We Ask for Money?
Maybe. If you need money, discuss the appropriateness of this with the people involved in planning your wedding. Consider a “Money Dance” if this is part of your tradition, or create a new tradition in a tasteful way. Do not insult your parents or culture if this is not your tradition. No one wants to remember you as the “bratty kids” who were not gracious about accepting gifts.
Give your guests choices by make your preferences known without being demanding. Allow your guests to purchase what they wish within their own budget. Be thankful at the wedding reception and send written personalized thanks after the wedding.