Presents and Presence

The presence of family and friends in the life of a couple and a family can be a true blessing. Having a community of close people who uphold and support them through all the changes, without judgement or pressure is a great gift. The demonstration of family and community support is often an important aspect of wedding celebrations.

One of the traditions that is changing for many celebrations is the type of gift that people bring whether it be a birthday, an anniversary, a wedding or a naming ceremony.

The question of gifts is always a big consideration for most couples and families. Do they have a register (naming registers are available now) or just accept what comes? Or, they may wish to ask for no presents, just the guests presence is enough.

A dear friend and former awesome celebrant, Gayle McCosker shared the story of a young couple whose wedding reception was being held in the local community hall. For their wedding present the couple invited their guests to bring a favourite plate of food and also to write up the recipe. Knowing that everyone would bring their most delicious dish the couple created, after the wedding celebrations were over, a wonderful cookbook with all the printed recipes. This collection of recipes will become a treasured family heirloom.

Here are some lovely ways to ask for the present you want at your wedding celebration.

Just Your Presence

We are very happy that you can join us for this special day. Having you share our celebration is the best gift you could give. However, if you would like to bring a gift, feel free to surprise us in your own way. We know it will come from the heart and we will sincerely appreciate it.

Wishing Well, Money Tree or Treasure Chest

Nowadays, the classic ‘wishing well’, ‘money tree’ or ‘treasure chest’ is appearing at wedding ceremonies. The giving of money is popular in many cultures. For some recipients it will help to meet the cost of the wedding or enhance the honeymoon, for others it forms the beginning of their house deposit.

But how to ask? There are many rhymes and ditties that can be used. Here are some ideas:

Money Tree (Anonymous)

They have their dishes and towels for two,
They have pots and pans and oven mitts too.
So what do you get for the bride and groom
whose house is set up in every room?
Their house needs repairs and some upgrades too,
But you can not register for carpet and glue.
A tree that grows wishes is the way to go,
so lets make it easy for all that know.
An envelope will be provided for those who have room,
To give a monetary wish to the bride and groom.
A money tree will be on display at the reception hall
to attach your wishes, for the couple, with love from all.

Honeymoon Contribution (Anonymous)

Now what do you give
The bride and groom
Whose home is happily
Set up in every room?

We have bought pots and plates
Linen and bedding
And the usual gifts
You give at a wedding.

Although this may seem
Like a modern revolution
We’d prefer to receive
A honeymoon contribution.

It will save you the shopping
fancy wrapping and fuss
And on our travels
We will hold your gift dear to us.

For those who prefer
A cash gift in mind,
A treasure chest will be set up,
If you feel that way inclined.

Wishing Well for a Naming Day

Family and friends, Clare’s grandfather, Timothy has crafted a beautiful wishing well for Clare’s naming ceremony. We would love to receive your card and if you wish, your contribution towards Clare’s education fund. This will be a great way to support Clare’s future. However, please know that there is no obligation to contribute as your presence at Clare’s celebration is a great gift to us.

Wishing Well (Anonymous)

More than just kisses so far we’ve shared,
Our home has been made with love and care,
Most things we need we’ve already got,
And in our home we can’t fit a lot!
A wishing well we thought would be great,
(But only if you wish to participate),
A gift of money is placed in the well,
Then make a wish but shhh don’t tell!
Once we’ve replaced the old with the new,
We can look back and say it was thanks to you!

Green Wedding

We are having a ‘green wedding’. If you are wanting to give us a present we would like to request a donation towards our house deposit (any colour will truly do!) We will have a model of our dream house at the wedding that will have an open door to receive your gift. This would be greatly appreciated.

Donations to Charity

In light of the blessings that we share on our wedding day
Please consider making your gift a donation to the Cancer Council or charity of your choice. In honor of our marriage and in loving memory of our grandmothers.

Thank you.

A Present From the Heart – The Book of Gold

You may also want to create a ‘book of gold’ – a home made present with a difference for a celebration. Each of my children have received one of these books on their 18th birthday which was a real gem with everyone’s beautiful contributions. Click here to read the article, ‘honouring a teenager’ and for more details on creating the book. Many people have contacted me to say they have replicated this idea and created ‘a special book’ for their friend or family member of differing ages and were very enthusiastic about their success and how delighted the recipient was upon reading through their own personal ‘book of gold’.

or, if you really want to keep it straight to the point…

Absolutely, positively, no gifts please.