Thinking about getting something quirky or original as a gift? With a bit of thought and a personal touch, you can come up with a gift that stands out…
Thinking about getting something quirky or original as a gift? With a bit of thought and a personal touch, you can come up with a gift that stands out from the rest.
But there’s always the risk of producing the happy couple’s idea of present hell in a box. So to give you some inspiration, and warn you off present pit‐‐falls, have a browse of these true stories of Wedding Present Heaven and Hell.
"The most incredible wedding present we received was a boxer puppy! My best friend Jane knew that when we moved to the country, we wanted a dog, so she took us along to see a litter. When we came back from our honeymoon, we went to pick him up and I brought him back with me sitting on the back seat, holding him in my arms like a baby. In fact, our elderly neighbour actually though I’d had a baby and rushed out to congratulate us! Jane was pretty sensible ‐‐ she didn’t just present us with a dog wrapped in a package on the day, but let us choose him ourselves. He still gives us pleasure every day!" Jane and Adrian Alexander, Somerset
"My daughter gave us a fabulous water‐‐colour painting of Brighton Pier ‐‐ the place where Allan and I first met. She had had it painted by an artist friend of hers whose work we’ve always admired. So much thought went into it and it’s a totally unique present ‐‐ we love it!" Helen and Allan Faulkner, Sussex
"My two brothers bought Paul and me a beautiful magnolia tree, which we planted in our garden. Eight years on, it’s grown to a huge size. It’s a constant reminder of our special day and our ever‐‐growing love for each other." Mary and Paul Raikes, Falkirk
"A friend bought us a lifetime’s subscription to a glossy interiors’ magazine. It was an inspired choice as we’d just moved into a new house which needed renovating from top to bottom. It gives us loads of great ideas on a monthly basis." Tim and Kate Callaghan
"My sister got all the guests at our wedding to add poems, photos, letters etc to a time capsule that she made specially for us and then buried in our garden. We dug it up and opened it on our first wedding anniversary. It was a fantastically thoughtful gift and one which made us laugh and cry at the same time." Harriet and Matthew, Surrey
Extravagant and excessive
"When we were doing our wedding list, we spied this amazing television in John Lewis which cost nearly £1000! We put it our list as a joke really and never dreamt we’d get it. However, to our delight a rather well‐‐off aunt of mine bought it for us. It’s fantastic ‐‐ when we watched the wedding video on it, it was like being in the cinema!" Luke and Julia Piper
Duke and Duchess of York Andrew bought Fergie flying lessons so she could get her pilot’s licence. Doubtless, it inspired her ‘Budgie the Helicopter’ books. And think how romantic it would be to fly into the sunset with your partner in a tiny plane. Very ‘Out of Africa’…
Victoria and David Beckham Posh and Becks had what was undoubtedly the most ostentatious wedding of 1999. The king and queen of tabloid gossip displayed their love for each other with gifts of his and hers diamond‐‐encrusted jewellery. If your budget doesn’t stretch to Tiffany’s, don’t worry. Having a piece of silver jewellery specially commissioned by a local jeweller is surprisingly inexpensive, yet makes a very special gift.
"My aunt bought us some beautiful teak garden furniture from the Conran shop. It’s terribly stylish and grown up ‐‐ and so much classier than the plastic Woolworth’s chairs we had before!" Annabel and Adam Clarke, London
"My parents bought us two cases of vintage red wine to lay down ready to drink on our 25th wedding anniversary. Let’s hope we manage to save it for that long!" Lara and Raj Nyak, Brighton
"Phil and I are both real fitness freaks. A group of our friends pooled together and bought us joint membership with an exclusive gym we’d longed to join for ages. It’s a great present because it’s one we use nearly every day, as well as something we do together." Sarah and Phil Hoult, Hertfordshire
What’s the point of that?
"We didn’t do a list which, in hindsight, was a mistake. We ended up with four kettles ‐‐ none of which were really needed as we’d already lived together for five years!" Iain and Rachel Wakefield, Banbury
"A work colleague gave us a set of rather naff Buckingham palace mugs. We’re not strong royalists so we’re still trying to work out if they were a joke or not!" Sophie and Ben Walker, Oxford
"Andy’s boss gave us tickets for the London Eye. It was a great idea, but as I have a well‐known terror of heights, Andy had to take his brother instead." Claire and Andy Ryan, Crawley
"Jack’s granny gave us an enormous stone bird table. I don’t think she realised we don’t have a garden…" Jo and Jack Walker, London
Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson These two each had rings tattooed onto their ring fingers. Now they are firmly separated with new partners, it probably doesn’t seem like such a good idea.
"Tim’s godfather gave him membership to an exclusive golf course as our wedding present. It made me feel like I was invisible!" Tina and Tim Brennan, Hampshire
"A group of our male friends thought it would be hilarious to get us a year’s subscription to a porn magazine. My mother didn’t see the funny side of it when she came to stay and was confronted by the April issue on the doormat first thing in the morning!" Lara and Raj Nyak, Brighton
"An ex‐‐work colleague gave us a rather dubious, supposedly arty framed photo of a naked woman. It now lives in our cellar." Jane and Rupert Macdonald, London
"James’ best mate gave us two tickets to see England play at Euro 2000. Funnily enough, he’s well aware I hate football, so he’s knows he’ll be going instead of me!" Rosanna and James Simmons, Birmingham
Come to the capital's largest and most exciting wedding event of the year. It's a full day out with an amazing catwalk show, enlightening wedding theatre and a glamorous champagne bar too. Here's what…