, Wedding Gifts, Layer Marney Tower Weddings

Wedding Gifts

We have noticed at weddings at Layer Marney Tower over the last few years, that fewer wedding guests are arriving with a beautifully wrapped wedding gift for the happy couple.

Gone are the days where following the wedding, couples would sigh upon opening a third toaster or yet another kettle.  Guests will want to give you a gift you will appreciate and it is acceptable to include details of the gift list with the invitations.

Traditional department store gift list services maybe becoming outdated however, as more and more couples set up home and live together prior to their wedding day and therefore it is very unlikely that they’ve been managing to cook without a set of saucepans or eat without cutlery.  Although who could resist the opportunity to upgrade to a new KitchenAid or state of the art coffee machine?

There are now various online gift lift registry services, which makes life far easier for not only the wedding couple when selecting your ideal gift list but for the wedding guests looking to buy a gift.

Although some couples will still opt for a department store online service like the one John Lewis offers, there are also the independent wedding gift sites such as Prezola that oversee multiple online retailers and offer up to 500 top brands.

They suggest that you shouldn’t be afraid of putting larger items that are more expensive on your list, as they offer group gifting.  Wedding guests are then able to chip-in any amount towards one gift, therefore making it easier for you to ask for those more expensive items.

Prezola also offer the option of “social gifting”; which will not cost your guests a penny, instead that they just offer to give up their time.  Maybe to help you with looking after a four legged friend while you are away on honeymoon for example!

Asking for money as your wedding gift is no longer seen as taboo, although after chatting to some brides to be, that may still cause a few raised eyebrows from the older generation who are more traditional in their views.

Some of your guests may be horrified to be asked for cold hard cash, worrying that it is a bit dull and there is no thought  involved, so wedding couples very often include a fun poem with their invite as a more subtle request.  The website Hitched has plenty of ideas that you could use or maybe take inspiration from, to write your own personal message.

Other couples opt to open a Honeymoon Fund or Wishlist.  For instance, the Trailfinders website lets you decide whether you wish to receive your contributions in the form of a Trailfinders gift card or as a payment towards your Trailfinders booking.

Some honeymoon funds are set up not just for the general costs of the plane tickets or flights but a specific experience such as a hot air balloon ride, romantic meal with cocktails on the beach or a couple’s massage during a spa day.

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One of our Layer Marney Tower wedding couples, Stephanie and Christopher Wilson (who married December 2017), decided on a very different approach and decided to support a local Colchester charity, Homestart, with donations rather than requesting gifts.

Steph told us:  “We requested our guests donate children’s toys to Home Start Colchester.  They are a local children’s charity and at Christmas they distribute gifts to local children aged between 2 and 14 who wouldn’t receive much, if anything, at Christmas and they are always keen to receive donations.

I enclosed a letter with our wedding invite explaining that we didn’t want gifts as we didn’t need anything but that they could buy a children’s toy instead if they wanted to. Homestart gave us a flyer to put in with the invite explaining what gifts would be popular and we asked everyone wrap everything in Christmas paper.

Homestart then came and picked the toys up from Layer Marney Tower later during the evening reception and the representative from the charity said a quick thank you to the guests.”

What a generous, kind-hearted donation!

It is apparent that the trend of asking for money is going to grow ever more popular but maybe you should consider a few items on a more traditional list, to satisfy the few guests that would prefer to give a physical gift?  Otherwise there is the risk of potentially receiving unwanted toasters and kettles!

by Karen Brand – Wedding Coordinator