If we were gathered a group of happily married couples and ask them to regale the 3 best things about getting hitched, we can guarantee their answers would read like this:
Point No.1: You get to spend the rest of your life with the one, enjoying an adventure so intricate, romantic and unique that no amount of poems, novels or photographs could ever do it justice because this kind of love story can only be captured by one thing: your heart.
Point No.2: You get to throw the wedding of your dreams. You get to walk down the aisle in an ethereal gown as a chorus of whoops and cheers fill the nave all around, the euphoria refusing to fade as you head to your gorgeous reception venue to clink champagne, laugh with friends old and new, stuff your mouth with delicious canapes, dance until your soles ache and kiss your soulmate under a sky of fireworks.
Point No.3: You get loads of presents.
Everyone loves number three. Of all the wedding traditions to be picked up between Adam n’ Eve’s big day and now, creating a wedding list has got to be the best. It’s your chance to ask for some bits that will help you settle into this new chapter of your love story. And the best bit is, the days of asking for cookware, crockery, cutlery, towels, depp-filled duvets, Lazy Susan’s and all those traditional tidbits are gone, meaning you can switch it up a bit. That’s not to say a new set of pots and pans won’t come in handy when you throw your first dinner do as a married couple. It just means there might be some more interesting things that tickle your fancy.
So, without further ado, if you’re stuck for gift ideas, here are some incredible options to pop on the list; things your guests will want to buy (because, let’s be honest, nothing is worse than spending money on a boring prezzie):
1. Create A Travel Fund
Have a home full of new goodies is going to make you feel great, but nothing beats sharing another adventure together. It’s that chance to grab each other’s hand and jump into the unknown, adding another dozen polaroids to your memory wall and enjoying every moment together. How you do this is totally up to you. If you’re desperate to go on a honeymoon, you could create a honeymoon piggy bank on the Wedding Shop or, if you’ve already booked a honeymoon but would love to plan your next trip the second you get back, try asking for Airbnb vouchers or hotel gift cards. Anything to make the post-honeymoon blues easier to escape.
2. Enjoy A Museum Membership
Nothing is more beautiful cliched than slowly strolling through a museum with your soulmate, pinky fingers locked together as you stare at different portraits and sculptures, before you both look at each other and catch a glimpse of the person you’re madly in love with; eyes twinkling. It’s the sort of romantic scene you’ve scene in a hundred Hollywood films and yet each one makes you bite your lip. So why not embrace the cliche and start your married life with a year of culture by asking for a national art pass - a membership that will give you free entry to over 225 museums, galleries, castles and historic houses, and unbelievable discounts to some of the most astonishing exhibitions you’ll have ever seen in the National Gallery, the Tate and the V&A. Holding hands as you walk through another art gallery - that’s what love looks like.
3. A Map Of Your Love
If you’re going to ask for something tangible - something you can touch and hold and cuddle and live with - nothing is going to make you happier than a personalised present. Of course, that’s a Pandora’s Box of endless ideas, so if you you want to ask for some impossibly memorable, you need to put Atlas & I on your guests’ radar. They do all the normal tidbits, from personalised photo albums to unique stationery, but their most magical present is a framed vintage map of your wedding’s location with a silhouette of your venue layered over it. It’s absolutely stunning - one of those rare gifts that you’ll treasure for eternity. There’s no doubt about that.
4. The Gift That Keeps On Giving
There are million and one companies offering amazing items on a subscription basis, meaning you can get all the monthly surprises you couldn’t possibly want based on what you and your significant lover are into. If you’re into music, for example, you should ask for a subscription to either Flying Vinyl or The Retro and enjoy having a record shop come to you as a selection of vinyl get delivered to your post box each month. If, however, it’s a cheeky tipple at the end of the day that you’re into, then ask a subscription to Tipple Box and enjoy having premium craft spirits and cocktail-making ingredients land on your doorstep each month. Or if you’re into wider surprises, ask for a subscription to Not Another Bill, who will deliver you monthly prezzies based on your love of life. Trust us: their collaborations are always amazing, meaning you have the chance to discover up-and-coming artists, new designers and whispered-about-brands. One month you might receive nostalgic knick-knacks, the next it could be a apothecary set, and the one after that could be a set of copper Moscow Mule mugs. And if something doesn’t quite steal your heart, you can swap it. It the stuff of wedding present dreams.
5. For The Love Of Art
What could be a better keepsake of your big day than a sketch of you and your soulmate, leaving the church to a monsoon of confetti and a sea of smiling faces, you in your gorgeous gown and the man of your dreams dressed in the most fitted suit his ever slipped into. It’s a moment that should be remembered forever, but to have this captured in an artist’s impression will make you smile like nothing else. Who you choose to capture this moment all depends on the style you love the most. You might have a friend that can capture every emotion with the tip of a brush or you might have stumbled across an artist’s work that you can’t get enough of. Or, if you’re looking for inspiration, you might want to discover Jane Hartley. She will sketch all the different moments of your big day - from your first dress fitting to first dance - and turn these into a silk-bound book you can cherish forever.
6. Date Night Decisions
When it comes to traditions, one of our favourites is having each of your guest sign the guest book, and one of our favourite contemporary tweaks on this is having your guests suggest different date nights you should go on in your first year as a madly in love, married couple. So why not take this idea three steps further and ask your guests for date night gift vouchers. It could be an experience you share together - hot air ballooning, a day racing supercars, a cooking course, learning to sculpt with clay, anything - or it could be the chance to indulge at a delicious restaurant, your tastebuds tripping the light fantastic in exchange for a prepaid voucher. Food will never have tasted so good.
7. Relax. Refresh. Repeat.
After all the stress of planning your dream wedding, making sure every detail dazzled and every moment of your big day went more perfectly then you could have ever imagined, there’s nothing you and your hubby deserve more than a dollop of rest, recuperation and total relaxation, which is why you need to pop a trip to the spa on your gift list. Not only will it help you loosen up after months of planning, it will help you adjust to reality when you get back from your honeymoon too. Just think about it for a moment: you and your soulmate enjoying a weekend at a five-star spa, for free, couple’s massage et al. Mmmmm. That’s how to sign off on your wedding and kick start married life.