By Rashim Nabanja
Usually when we hear that a friend, relative or someone we know is getting married. Most of us are eager to receive an invitation card and attend the wedding ceremony. The sad truth is that after all the effort a couple puts in to make sure that we have a great and comfortable day as their guest, many still turn up empty-handed.
Wedding gifts are not a must, this we all know but if you haven’t made a contribution during wedding meetings or helped organize the ceremony and you still have nothing to offer to the couple on the actual day, it wouldn’t be fair to attend the wedding in the first place.
If you can’t give it in on the actual day of the ceremony, you should at least offer a belated gift.
However, there are situations where someone may want to offer the couple a gift but fails due to the fact that they don’t actually know what is suitable and what is not. When thinking of wedding gifts, many questions tend to run through our minds. Is the gift am offering too big? Is it exaggerated? Is it too small? Is it suitable? All this may turn into a dilemma.
My wedding, therefore, brings you a few tips on what to keep in mind before making a final decision on what to gift your loved one at their wedding.
Household gifts are the real deal
Did you know that one of the best gifts you would ever offer to a couple on their big day is a household item? The first positive angle in these kinds of gifts is that they are limitless. They range from furniture, home appliances, kitchenware and so much more. The beauty about these gifts is the fact that come rain or shine, the couple will at some point make use of them in their home.
According to Alani Rachel of Gift Palace Uganda, due to the whole wedding concept of two people going to start a life together, friends and families tend to make things easy for them by offering start up points in a home, and these are the household items.
However, Alani adds that these items are usually suitable when they are being given to a young couple that is just starting to build up their home. But what if the couple has been cohabiting and they already have most of the things a home would need/ what if they are just renewing their vows? Alani explains that in such situations, someone can choose to contribute to the wedding itself, “Cater for the outfits, service providers, venue, cake, anything that is part of the wedding. This can act as your gift to them rather than giving something that they already have. It wouldn’t be bad but it still wouldn’t be the best of ideas.”
How much to spend on the gift
When it comes to the gifting concept, Alani says the first rule that you need to follow is; you need to buy what you can afford, then followed by choosing what to buy, “You should look at the status of your income and then choose what to buy basing on your affordability.” This is because we are all at different income levels and not all of us can afford the same things in life.
However, the amount of money you are to spend on a wedding gift also depends on the relationship you have with the bride and groom. When you consider how close you are to a couple, it usually helps you know what is appropriate and what is not.
According to Aron Damulira, a businessman around Kampala, it is better if someone rather takes his time and gives a belated gift if they are not able to come up with a suitable gift at the moment, “Prices to me don’t really matter, however, If you feel that the person you are offering a certain gift deserves better, you can at least talk to them and explain that you will give the gift much later on.”
If you do not have enough money to buy the perfect gift, hold it in, take your time and buy a better gift weeks or a month after the wedding, the couple will still gladly appreciate it, after all they will still be newlyweds.
Send belated gifts in the shortest time possible
A belated gift is still lovely but it is better if you don’t make it wait too long. Although the couple will still appreciate the gift no matter how late you deliver it, you still don’t want it to lose its meaning which is why you should send it at least a few weeks or a month after the wedding.
However, if all this isn’t possible, don’t hesitate to deliver the gift no matter how late you are. You may still have excuses like saving up enough money for buying the perfect gift. Always remember, it is better late than never.
Mr Damulira says sending a belated wedding gift shouldn’t have a deadline but to him, wedding gifts are meant to help the couple when starting their new life together, so what is the use of sending something a year later when the couple has already settled in.
Group gifts are always a glamorous idea
Group gifts are amazing. The moment you combine ideas and money, there is no way you can fail to get the perfect gift for a couple. Come together as friends of the bride or groom. You can then each contribute a specific sum of money and get the couple an extraordinary item.
Usually, gifts that come from group contributions are fully paid honeymoon trips, television sets, dining table sets and many others.
Come to think of it, these are actually the things the couple definitely needs. Other than buying a single handed gift that a couple may not like, come together and create something better.
Anita Naluwoza, a marketing agent says the best gift she got came from a group of her friends, “My bridesmaids came together and as bought us a dining set, it was the best and most expensive among all our gifts.”
Give something that the couple will keep at heart
The goal here is to gift a couple something that will make them always take a moment and think about you/ appreciate your efforts. Honeymoon trips for example. There is no way a couple will ever forget such a gift whether they had fun or not. The same goes for the household gift, be it an appliance, furniture, or kitchen item. How can someone ever forget the person that gifted them with something that they are using in their daily life?
Shoot for the heart. It doesn’t have to be that expensive as long as you are sure that it will leave a mark on the couple’s hearts.
Joan Tusiime, a boutique owner says her friend gifted her with a rice cooker but among all the gifts, she loved it most, “I have always had a problem with preparing rice the traditional way, so even thou there were more expensive gifts, the rice cooker hit the right spot because it saved me from a lot of burdens, how can I forget someone that saved me from a lot of embarrassment.”
However, Alani Racheal of Gift Palace Uganda says if you are if you feel you are in a dilemma and you have still failed to figure everything out, then give cash, “The couple will use the money to at least buy something they desire than you risking to buy something may not even like.” Stack up some notes of money in an envelope and offer it to the couple whenever possible.