2012, the year I got married, is also the year I became the model wedding guest. Knowing how much I appreciated an early RSVP, an up for it hen and a trouble free wedding guest has made me want to be all those things for my friends on their big days. Having been the lucky receiver of many a gorgeous wedding gift, I have also wanted to be a giver of such gorgeousness for many years to come.
Like many couples, we asked for contributions towards our honeymoon instead of a traditional gift list. This enbled us to go on the honeymoon of our dreams and we were amazed by how generous people were when they knew what their money would get us on our trip. We used Buy our Honeymoon to host our list. Although you do pay £55 for the site, I think it's a fab service and well worth the money. You can look at other people's sample lists for inspiration and then get adding all the things you'd like to do as part of your honeymoon. People can reserve the items to pay for later, or pay the money for the items directly into your paypal account. It's such a personal way to do it and makes your guests feel part of what you're trying to achieve and save for. It's also a great way to nail down exactly what you want to do on your honeymoon!
There are a choice of designs for your site, you can add in pictures of all the things you want to do and order personalised cards to send out with your invitations. You can also change the name of the website your guests will visit to something less money grabbing - we chose ourdreamhoneymoon.com but there are a few to choose from.
So many of our friends and family members contributed to our trip to Borneo and we were so grateful that their generosity enabled us to take the trip to the next level - upgrading our accommodation at a couple of places, buying us private beachside dinners, scuba diving trips, treks in the rainforest and lots of poolside cocktails!
A sample intro page on Buy our Honeymoon
Sample gift list items on Buy Our Honeymoon
Some of our other favourite gifts were from people who went 'off list'. We got some truly personal and unique presents that we will treasure forever, along with the memories of our magical honeymoon.
Here's a few ideas - some we were given to us and some I have given to my friends...
Personalised Wedding Date Picture
We have a lovely personalised date picture hanging in our hallway surrounded by our wedding photos - this super cute one is available at notonthehighstreet
My siblings clubbed together to give us a one off piece of art. It depicts the sound waves of 'Falling in love with you' - the song I walked down the aisle to. Such a unique and special gift. Bespoken Art offers this service with the added option of recording a message and having that made into a piece of art - a fab gift to give to your bride / groom on the big day.
Sound wave art available at Bespoken Art
Also on our 'wedding wall' is the quote we had on the back of our order of service made up into sign - "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be". My parents gave us this and we absolutely love it. Find lots of personalised signs at notonthehighstreet - they are also great additions to your wedding day decor.
Church / Venue Art
My sister is a great artist and she has produced paintings of the churches my friends have got married in on a couple of occasions for me to give them as a gift. Incorporating important words and the date of the wedding as well as the painting of the church, it's a beautiful and meaningful gift that is properly personal. Contact me if youd be interested in commissioning one yourself.
Trees and Flowers
If your chums are green fingered souls, a tree or bush to plant in their garden and grow along with their marriage could be a beautiful gift. You can get roses and trees with all sorts of names that could tie in with some aspect of their wedding day - what about this "tree of love", the Crab Apple, available from Tree2MyDoor? Or the "Wedding Cake Tree" from Giftaplant?
My bridesmaid made us a personalised honeymoon diary which we filled in as we travelled round Borneo. If you're not feeling up to making one, various stationers do gorgeous journals and travel diaries, like this one from Paperchase or these leather ones from the Museum Leather Company
At Homespun Honey, we create totally unique and personal gifts for weddings and other special occasions. If you're looking for more inspiration, have a look on our main site.
Have a great remainder of this sunny week!