- 2018 could see a resurgence in gift giving over money and vouchers
- Recent bizarre wedding gifts include a Papal blessing, a fire extinguisher, anti-wrinkle cream and a personalised toilet brush
- Formal thanks remain popular with annual growth in sales of thank you cards
With wedding season approaching many people are starting to think about what gifts to buy newlywed couples on the big day. According to a survey from occasions experts Clintons, many guests are swapping financial donations and money for an increasingly wide range of gifts – from the unusual to the bizarre.
Particularly noteworthy gifts have ranged from cars, chickens, cigars, waterslides, shampoo and a year’s supply of loo roll. One of the most popular gifts is the classic toaster with one individual receiving seven toasters on their wedding day.
Currently, around 20% of people who give a gift choose to give money. Donations to a couple’s honeymoon kept its place on the list with 6.1% of gift givers opting for the honeymoon fund.
Personalised wedding gifts have soared with the captions “Mr and Mrs”, “His and His”, “Husband and Wife” and “Mrs and Mrs” donning all manner of house hold items. Mugs, salt and pepper shakers, pillows, cushions, cutlery and plates are some of the classic items. Clintons’ survey also identified some more bizarre personalised gifts such as a toilet brush labelled ‘think of me whilst you use this’, underpants, herb boxes, wedding hangers, hessian sacks and pyjamas.
Research shows that there are particularly stringent rules when writing thank you cards for the big day. For notes to guests, “the sooner the better” is a general rule, but busy schedules and tight timelines mean it is acceptable to send a thank you note up to three months after the big day.
Aside from the timing surrounding thank you notes, the method of showing thanks is also important. Texts and emails are deemed insufficient when showing gratitude for a wedding gift. A 2017 survey of adults revealed that the clear majority (96.5%) believe a handwritten note is the best way of thanking someone for a wedding gift, with 93% thinking that writing thank you notes were necessary.
As well as thank yous for gifts, couples need to thank members of the wedding party and individuals who have been involved in the day, for example best men and bridesmaids.
Nicola Miller, Head of Cards at Clintons, said: “For many people, the time and effort reflected in a Thank You note is very important. In other words, no matter how bizarre the wedding gift, a handwritten card or note is key to show your appreciation. There’s no sign that formal thanks are in decline as we’re seeing an improvement in sales of thank you cards year on year, especially in categories such as ‘thank you best man’.”
Clintons sells a diverse range of Wedding cards, from ‘Mother of the Bride’ and ‘thank you usher’ to ‘Mr & Mrs’. Cards for same sex marriages are increasingly popular with sales rising 16% in the past 4 weeks alone.