Wedding Gifts

The Honest Gift Guide for Weddings

What do you really want to give the young newlyweds?

Does it pain you to part with an envelope full of money? Do you think the various blenders, cooking appliances, something-blues and something-news are tiresome and boring for both parties? Or, you know, just plain old-fashioned? Weddings, much like many other events, follow a certain set of rules, protocols and customs.

But have you ever caught yourself wishing, sitting there in the pew and listening to the ever-repeating wedding march as the happy couple strolls down the aisle, that you could just do away with all the tomfoolery and charades, the facades and the happily unhappy faces – and tell them exactly what they’d signed up for?

If you have, great – we’ve prepared an honest, satiric gift-giving guide for the newly-weds, something you’d often (sub)consciously much rather give them than the usual recycled presents of old.

There is no point in keeping this under the table:

Relationships are hard.

Marriages are, according to those who are married, even harder. It takes hours and hours of heartbreaking, backbreaking work to make a marriage, well… work. It is the compromise after compromise, doing things when you don’t feel like doing them, learning how to deal with a vast array of new emotions, learning how to make and keep your partner happy, that keep people happy and together. And if it sounds scary and daunting – that’s because it is – but it is well worth it.

… People have just finished eating the cake, and are now standing in the long, snaky line, happily clutching their envelopes in their hands – overjoyed with how good their contribution is going to make them look in the young couple’s eyes. And the happy couple is smiling back, shaking everyone’s hands and thanking them profusely, all the while secretly drooling over how luxurious their 5* Maldives vacation is going to be.

Then it’s your turn. You silently sidle to the happy couple, a sombre spectre in the midst of the raging crowds, and hand them your envelope. A few days later, they open it.

No money.

Just a voucher.


“Dear Friends,

You’re embarking on a journey as rewarding as it is torturous. Knowing you two, there is no way you’ll be able to do this alone. The relationship part was a breeze so far: you lived two separate lives in two separate apartments, only joining your bodies and souls when the heart called. But the tight, cramped space of the apartment is coming.

It is looming over you.

All your charming, so-so charming and not-at-all charming idiosyncrasies, peculiarities and annoying traits are suddenly going to bleed to the surface… The socks, the clothes over chairs, the dishes, the dust, the dog hair, the not-enough-attention, the too-much-attention, the headaches, the “I’m tired-s”, everything. It’s going to hit you like the volcano hit the Krakatoans. Don’t get me wrong; the closeness, the true partnership and the warmth of a beautiful home are all priceless and invaluable.

But you’re not keeping the boat stable on your own. Dr. XXX is great, use him.

Yours truly,


A couple of months later, you are invited to another wedding.

Same deal and ordeal; the long line, the happy faces, the presents. However, you are now holding a box. It’s not big, about the size of a shoe box. Now, this couple got a word in right before the wedding – pay attention to that little man/woman – they give unusual and, frankly, offensive gifts! So, come your turn, they tense up. Their smiles become a bit more forced and their movements slower and less erratic, almost as if they are trying to keep from angering you. You hand them your gift.

You smile.

A few days later, they open it with mounting apprehension.

Inside are two Ray Ban sunglasses, the latest model. Only, once they put them on, they realized they can’t see anything. The glass was solid and completely black. They also noticed a pair of peculiar attachments to the side of the glasses. And soon they realized you’ve given them sound isolation earbuds. They put on their glasses and stuffed the buds in their ears.

Pitch black, complete isolation of the senses.

They couldn’t see or hear each other. They smiled and thanked you, out loud.

“Thank you, Friend!”

For it was now that they knew, more than ever before, that their marriage was going to be long, fruitful and happy.

Once you’ve given the (un)lucky couples the first two presents, there is still time for one more.

Naturally, everyone is free to spend their money as they see fit. Even if you personally think that spending tens of thousands of pounds on a wedding is ridiculous, extravagant, and could be used for a better cause – it is their choice, and a perfectly viable one.

Nevertheless, in order to make them aware of their reckless spending, stuff a UNICEF card (with a picture of a starving child on it) in the envelope alongside their money instead of the usual “Best Wishes” one. Upon merrily opening their envelope, they will be confronted by the brutal reality of the world around them, the ever-pervasive and perverse horrible living conditions of our fellow human beings, as well as the reminder that there are many people in the world who are far worse off than they are.

Or, you know, experiment. It is highly likely that you too can think of something even more satirical and inappropriate than everything mentioned in this article. However, keep these a fantasy – even if you feel strongly inclined to give someone a UNICEF card as part of their wedding present.

Stay happy, married and classy!

Sarah Marsalle

Author: Sarah Marsalle

Sarah Marsalle is a dedicated gifting expert since 2016. She helps people to do, say and give in more gracious and loving way. She is a guru in gift traditions and has thousands of ideas for any and all important events in life.

Sarah Marsalle
Sarah Marsalle is a dedicated gifting expert since 2016. She helps people to do, say and give in more gracious and loving way. She is a guru in gift traditions and has thousands of ideas for any and all important events in life.
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