Gifts

(Part of The Smart Bride’s 201 Smart Tips for Saving on Your Wedding)

Register with a large department store rather than a boutique. You will get more useful long-term gifts, even if you really love the stuff in a boutique.

In 20 years time that funky vase won’t be as useful as a good quality stainless steel pot.

When choosing a department store pick one that has a large range, frequent sales and a favourable returns policy.

Don’t register with a particular store at all, instead create your own registry. A friend or family member can manage this for you, or you can set up one online. My favourite is www.wishfish.com. It is easy for you to set up and manage and easy for your guests to navigate. You can rate your gifts by your preference for them, and include photos. But best of all, it doesn’t contain any advertising like some other gift registry sites do. The benefits of setting up your own gift list is the flexibility to choose multiple stores across the country, and it will save you time. You don’t need to make a specific visit to a store to set up your registry, you just add to it as you see things that appeal to you.

If you don’t need anything in particular, you can always ask for cash from your guests. Cash can be a touchy subject, and while some people are fine with it, others can be offended at giving cash as a gift. If it is your preferred option mention it in a creative way in your invitations, such as in a poem. Alternatively, mention an item that you are saving for (a new bedroom setting, couch, car?) and say that contributions would be greatly appreciated towards this item. You can get creative with your thankyou’s here too and include a photo of the item you bought with your guest’s cash.

Honeymoon

Make sure you buy your tickets in your maiden name. This will save future costs when you need to change the name on your ticket in order to travel – when checking in you need to show proof of ID, and your ID will still be in your maiden name. Find out how to change your name here.

Set up a “honeymoon registry” where your guests contribute to the cost of your honeymoon instead of giving you gifts. Flight Centre run these registries and there are also some online companies who do the same. This can be nicer than placing money in an envelope.

Go somewhere local to save on transportation costs. The purpose of your honeymoon is to spend time with your new spouse, so does it really matter if it’s 100, 1000 or 10,000 kilometres away?

Weddings are so expensive already, so choosing to have a short break and then saving for a more extravagant holiday a year or so later will enable you to save more.

Go somewhere where there isn’t a lot to do. You will be so tired after your wedding (and the build up to the wedding) that they last thing you will feel like doing is sight seeing. Going somewhere where there are limited attractions that you have to pay entry fees for will also save you a dollar or two.

Whenever booking your accommodation manage to slip into the conversation that it’s your honeymoon. You are guaranteed to get free chocolates, wine, or even dinner thrown in!

Actually, mention it all throughout your honeymoon as well. When flying you will get free drinks from the air stewards, when dining you will get free champagne from the restaurant manager, when going on a tour you will get discounted rates or an upgrade … use it where ever you can!

International flights are normally discounted the most in January and February for travel until the 31 March. If you are getting married in this timeframe, waiting until the new year to book your tickets might save you.

More:

The Wedding Dress
The Bridesmaid Dresses, The Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire
Hair, Makeup & Jewellery, Shoes
The Ceremony & Music
The Reception Venue, Catering & Drinks
The Flowers, Cake & Bonbonniere (Favors)
The Photos
The Transport
Invitations, The Bridal Shower, Hen’s Night & Buck’s Night
The Gifts & The Honeymoon