By Harriet Okot
Amidst all the decisions that go along with planning a wedding, you may have forgotten one of the most important ones. What gift should you give your future spouse?
Gifts are one of the languages of love, or so they say, and of all days your wedding day is a day to show your beloved how much you adore him or her. Yes, we know that your days right now are swamped with wedding preparations – do we really think you have time to find that perfect wedding gift too? But exchanging gifts with your spouse-to-be is more than a loving gesture – it’s a reminder to both of you what this is really all about.
Your guests, of course, will come bearing gifts – some of which you will doubtless wish they had skipped. Dennis Bukenya a lawyer, recalls at his wedding reception receiving all sorts of lovely gifts from his guests. But all he could think of was the look on his wife’s face when he gave her his gift;
“She had always wanted to work from home but didn’t have a computer, so I got her a laptop fully connected with Internet,” he said. “She still boasts about it to all her friends, saying that is the most thoughtful thing that anyone had ever done for her. It showed her that I listened.”
There are basically three kinds of gifts to pick from when choosing what to get for your beloved. There’s the just needed gift (like Bukenya’s connected laptop for his wife); the personal gift – it can either be handmade, like a special photo album or music selection mix, or an item that holds sentimental significance for the two of you; or the lavish gift, which draws its power and poignancy mostly by its monetary value (like the Land Rover Abbey Mukiibi gave his bride at their wedding.)
There are two elements to the gift decision: What to get and how to give it. Unlike an “ordinary” gift, the presentation of this one makes all the difference.
How to present the gift
You can present your gift during a quiet moment between the two of you the night before the wedding, have a courier deliver it just before-or after-the ceremony, present it yourself at the reception in front of all your guests or give it when the two of you are finally alone together on your wedding night. It is, of course, entirely up to you, but the appropriate moment and method of presenting it depends on what it is and who your beloved is. Some people are very private and prefer to share all intimate moments behind closed doors while others revel in public declarations and can’t wait to show off their tokens of affection.
Naturally, if your gift is of an intimate nature, such as lingerie or jewellery, doing it in private is certainly the way to go. The last thing you want is for your beloved to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed when he or she receives your gift – that will make both of you feel awful and could potentially ruin one of the happiest days of your lives.
But back to the key question, what to give.
At this point, we would hope that you are quite aware of your partner’s passions and interests, whether it be sports, fashion, music or gadgets. Whatever it is, go the extra mile and add a personal and loving touch or make it an extra special gift. If he’s a football nut, surf the Internet and try to get your hands on a piece of memorabilia, maybe a ball or a jersey signed by the players of his favourite team. I know what you’re thinking: Now is not the ideal time to have to fund a really expensive gift, on top of all the other expenses you’re dealing with. Some of the loveliest gifts can cost very little-though they will of course take extra creativity and effort.
You could make a selection of love poems chosen especially with him or her in mind, or a photo album with special memories of the two of you and space to put more in the future. Many people would be happier with something that comes from the heart compared to something very expensive especially if it has no sentimental value attached.
You are both going to be busy with wedding preparations for months before the wedding, not to mention stressed out. It is not uncommon – or unacceptable – for couples to agree not to give each other wedding gifts, or at least not right away. On the other hand, you can look at your gift to your groom or bride as a “thank you” for going through all of this together – and as a reminder that what it’s really all about isn’t the gown or the cake or the DJ – it’s about the two of you. Whatever it is, it’s something your future spouse will surely treasure for years to come. It will be a reminder of the day the two of you committed yourselves to one another.