As wedding season rolls around, most people are confused by the thought of what to buy for the happy couple. Confusion reigns supreme, and people usually end up buying a mirror from Object or a silver frame from Taneez at the last minute. But if one isn’t old enough to hand over envelopes of cash and can’t figure out what the couple would like, what is there for you to buy?
Many countries have the concept of a gift registry where a bride and groom compile a list of presents they want and register the gifts they want at a retailer who maintains the list for the registrant. He or she will ensure that items are removed from the gift as they are purchased and will make the list public to whoever asks for it.
The advantages in this concept is that the bride and groom get what they need, guests don’t have to rack their brains trying to come up with a present and generally the bride and groom will register gifts of varying prices so that their friends and family can choose a present according to their individual budget.
Unfortunately this concept has not yet caught on in Pakistan, so there is the definite possibility that you will end up buying your near and dear something that he or she doesn’t need or doesn’t want. “The best gifts that I got were small jewellery pieces but along with this I also received a number of household items like lamps, vases and decorations that weren’t my style so they’re just kept in the store room,” said Anam, who got married in June.
“The best thing to do is to ask the couple what they need because everyone has something different in mind. My friends and I have that comfort level so I told them but I ended up receiving a lot of random presents from others,” said Madiha, who has been married for two years.
Another point to remember is to make sure the gift is for both the bride and groom. “I felt that the majority of the presents like jewellery and perfume sets were for my wife, it would’ve been nicer if we could have shared them,” said Omar, who got married recently.
Rising costs of living means that people have limited money to spend on wedding gifts. A popular option is to split the cost a gift amongst friends. “My wife and I really wanted a television set so all my friends pitched in and got us one!” said Imran. “My friends and I had a limited budget so six of us got together and bought a small emerald and zircon jewellery set for our friend, she can wear it on a daily basis and it’ll last forever,” said Kamila.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2010.
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