Changing face of wedding gifts

Presents fall out of favour as newlyweds request money from guests

Invited to a wedding this year? Need to splash out on a new outfit? Hotel for the night? At some point you’ll also have to decide what to give the newlyweds as a wedding gift, and how much to spend.

If you’re lucky the bride and groom will have provided a wedding gift list to pick from. But in recent years there’s been a move away from traditional gifts, such as kitchen equipment or crockery, towards donations to a specific fund or even just cold hard cash.

We asked 2,000 people about their wedding present experiences and found the most common gift these days is indeed money.

More than a third (36%) said this is what they most commonly give, 29% said they usually give a present chosen from a weddding list, while 23% give a gift of their own choosing.

So how much should you spend or give for a wedding gift?

Our respondents said it depends whose wedding it is and whether they’re a day guest or only there for the evening party. The average spend for a day guest on a wedding gift is £89, with immediate family members deserving the biggest spend of £137. For evening guests the average spend was still a generous £70, with a work colleague receiving £57.

And wedding gifts can actually be a source of trouble. One in five (21%) said they’ve been upset over a wedding gift, and 18% saying they’ve even fallen out with someone over one. Maybe that’s not a surprise when you consider some of the more unusual wedding gifts people told us they’ve given or received:

Garden spade

Ironing board

Bottles of cider

Box of electrical fuses

Porcelain camel

Lump of amethyst

Bag of hay

Adopted reindeer

Cat food

Compost

Dart board

Doorbell

Dustbin

Emulsion paint

Dictionary

Pickle fork

Stepladder

Socks

Sex video

Condoms

What were the popular wedding gifts in previous decades

We take a trip down memory lane to look at what our parents and grandparents had on their wedding lists. Choose a decade to learn more.

  • 1950s
  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s

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