Are you finding it difficult to choose a special wedding gift for the happy couple? Well, you're not alone as the traditional wedding present list of toasters and tasteful homeware becomes increasingly less relevant. With many couples preferring to live together before tying the knot, who needs yet more household stuff?
As well as getting married later in the UK (with the average age of women being 35 and men being nearly 38), there's also a growing trend for older people to remarry. In the decade up to 2014, the number of 65+ couples getting married increased by nearly 50%. And our congratulations go to American couple John and Phyllis Cook who've just got married aged 100 and 103!
So what do couples who appear to have everything actually want? Some specifically ask for donations to their favourite charity or contributions to their honeymoon or other special event. But there's so many options for choosing a more personalised present, whatever your budget - and here we look at a few fun, quirky and special gift solutions and ideas to help you decide.
1. Wedding memory box
After all the planning, the big day can come and go in a flash - so it's lovely to have reminders to look back at later, as well as the wedding album. A personalised wedding memory box like this one below makes a thoughtful wedding gift and keepsake to be treasured. And it's a practical choice as well as a stylish one!
2. Unique artwork
Whether it's a piece of stained glass, a painting or sculpture, a unique handcrafted artwork provides that special touch. You can also enjoy a great day out while doing your wedding shopping! Check out your local area for arts events and festivals like this summer's Leamington's Art in the Park. Visit Birmingham lists local arts events and Warwickshire Open Studios showcase local artists. Or if you're suitably creative, why not craft your own work of art?
3. Personalised book
If the bride and groom are both footie fans, a Personalised Football Club Newspaper Book is a quirky and unusual gift! Or if they've got different tastes, why not also choose a personalised copy of Purple Ronnie's Little Poems for Friends, and give each one their own book to celebrate the big day? They're guaranteed to make them smile and make memorable keepsakes, too.
4. Memorable experience
Here's your chance to tailor make something special as a wedding gift. What are the couple's special interests? If they love being out and about and visiting places, consider getting National Trust or English Heritage membership … or RSC gift membership if they love the theatre. Tennis or sailing, cookery or gardening courses, can also be great choices. The only limit is your imagination - and budget (and you could always suggest sharing the cost with other close friends).
5. Wedding windchime
If music is the food of love, as Shakespeare said, a traditional Woodstock Irish Blessing wind chime like the one above is a tuneful choice for a wedding gift. The ash wood windcatcher can be removed for you to add your own personalised message, making it an unusual and quite magical present. Take a minute to listen to its lovely chime!
What's your favourite wedding gift you've ever given - or received? Is it on our list of suggestions?
And if you're still seeking inspiration, you'll find lots more lovely gift ideas in our Weddings Collection. We hope you enjoy the big day!