Small really is beautiful: that's the message we've taken away from the changing face of weddings in lockdown. By March this year, the average cost of weddings had soared from anywhere between £18,000 to a jaw dropping £32,000, according to Money Saving Expert. Our hearts go out to all those couples whose dreams for their big day have been disrupted and who've been placed under additional stress by the costs of rearranging their wedding plans.
However, with the brakes having abruptly been put on wedding expenditure, industry experts are predicting that smaller, more personalised events - like the recent Royal wedding of Beatrice and Edoardo - will become a longer term trend. And with the focus on celebrating with core family and friends, rather than scores of distant relatives and acquaintances, thoughtful details become more important than grand gestures.
As part of this trend, we also anticipate less pressure on wedding guests to bring expensive gifts from a preselected list. Thoughtful, unusual or personalised tokens, or a donation to charity, are likely to be more appropriate for intimate events than expensive or traditional wedding presents - especially when the happy couple already appear to have everything they need!
So if you're looking for wedding gift ideas, here's six inspiring, unusual and fun suggestions to help you choose a perfect present the bride and groom will love.
Wedding memory box
After all the planning, the wedding day itself 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. This Personalised Wedding Memory Box is a beautiful wedding gift and classic keepsake. A practical choice as well as a stylish one!
Handmade wedding sampler
This is a lovely way to make a special momento they'll treasure forever. Buy the cross-stitch kit and create this lovely Wedding Sampler (or the "Love Laughter Happily Ever After" design above). Thoughtful, hand made and with the personal touch - one of our favourite gift ideas!
Stained glass ornament
Each quirky little Dove of Peach is lovingly hand made in the UK, and will catch the sunlight when hung by a window. A simple, appealing gift which beautifully encapsulates the spirit of the wedding ceremony.
Time for fun! If the bride and groom are both footie fans, a Personalised Football Club Newspaper Book could be the perfect choice. Or if they've got different tastes, why not choose a personalised copy of Purple Ronnie's Little Poems for Friends, and give each their own book? Guaranteed gifts to make them smile and remember their special day.
Wedding wind chime
If music is the food of love, as Shakespeare said, this traditional Woodstock Irish Blessing wind chime is an ideal choice for a wedding gift. The ash wood windcatcher can be removed to add your own message, making it an unusual and quite magical present. Take a minute to listen to its lovely chime!
Love hearts champagne flutes
Our sixth, and final, suggestion is this classic pair of Champagne Flutes etched with delicate love hearts - a romantic and elegant reminder of a very special wedding day. A perfect way to cheer the happy couple!
We hope you've been inspired by our selection of thoughtful wedding presents. And you'll find lots more beautiful and unusual gift ideas waiting for you in our Wedding Gifts Collection.