A great deal of anxiety is experienced by some, when considering the issue of wedding gifts. The bride and groom will often be anxious not to appear greedy in what they ask for, and guests will often worry that they appear too mean with what they offer.
This is, of course, a fairly modern phenomenon. Not so many years ago the rules were clear. For the most part, guests offered what they could afford and the bride and groom accepted with gratitude and a full understanding of the limitations, or otherwise, of their guest’s resources.
Traditionally, wedding gifts were designed to give the new couple a helping hand in starting their new life together. Gifts were generally of a practical nature, providing them with the essentials of setting up a home.
In more recent times, this led to the “6 toasters” phenomenon, where several guests had the same gift idea. To try to avoid this, couples began to make lists of suitable items, which they then circulated to give guests an opportunity to mark off what they would buy. In this way, duplicates were kept to a minimum and newlyweds got all they needed to set up home.
Pretty soon, these lists were commercialised by businesses who saw an opportunity to maximise their chances of being the store of choice for wedding gifts. They began to offer first to hold, then to administer the lists, thereby relieving the couple of the burden and at the same time ensuring that most of the gifts for that particular wedding would be bought at their store.
These days, lists, or registers as they are sometimes known, can often be lodged with several stores and the range of items listed can vary widely, so everyone gets a chance to find something to fit their budget.
If you are getting married soon, and plan to set up a gift register, try to remember to provide as much choice as possible for your guests. That way you are much more likely to get what you want, rather than something more likely to gather dust in the attic.
Jessica Short is a full time writer, wife and mom. She lives with her husband, Jack and daughter Freya. She writes mainly about home life and issues facing the family in the world today.