Almost from the minute you announce your intention to wed, the gifts will start arriving. From your engagement party to your hen's night and then the big day itself, you will likely be showered with presents from your nearest, dearest and everyone in between.


But how do you arrange it so you get the gifts you actually need (or really, really want)?


Nowadays it is not unusual for a couple to have been living together for a few years before getting hitched which means many things which would have traditionally formed the basis of a wedding list - such as linen, glassware and kitchenware -  you probably already own.

So it is up to you to steer your gift-givers in the right direction, by letting them know exactly what you need - whether it be cutlery, cash or whatever else your heart desires.



  •  If people bring gifts to your reception, thank them profusely and ask whether they would mind if you opened them after the party.
  •  Send a short thank you note that mentions the gift as soon as possible after the wedding day.
  •  Don't just be the receiver - give each of your parent's and the members of the bridal party a small gift as a token of thanks for all their help.




A wedding registry is the perfect way to tactfully suggest a variety of items in a range of prices. This will give you the opportunity to request items you really need and, as an added bonus, you are less likely to run risk of duplication (because who really needs seven sets of crystal wine glasses?).

A registry can be set up at most major department stores and shopping centres and there is a number of websites that offer online registries, which can prove handy especially if some of your guests are from out of town or a long-lost relative wants to post you a gift.

It is always important, however, to ensure your gift registry includes an extensive range of prices so no guest feels pressured into spending more money than he or she can afford.




If you would prefer to receive money instead of wedding gifts, 'in appreciation' cards are a tasteful way to allow your guest to give you cash. The can be included with your invitations or provided at the reception and they typically include a message of thanks and an envelope so that your guests can discreetly hand over their cheque or cash gift.

An alternative is a 'wishing well' at your reception, where guests drop gifts of money in the well. If you are comfortable disclosing your bank detail, you can also provide guests with your account information so they can transfer you money electronically before or after the big day.

For the sake of good manners, it is usually best to disclose what you are planning to spend the money on - whether it be to buy items for a new home or to donate to a particular charity.

If you are requesting gifts of money to spend on your post-wedding travel, setting up a honeymoon registry is a good idea. Usually organised through a travel agency, guests can contribute money to your plane tickets or nominate some activities during the holiday, such as a wine tour, extreme adventure activity (such as sky-diving or bungee jumping) or a romantic candle-lit dinner in a five-star restaurant.


© The West Australian

More wedding inspiration at The West Australian Wedding Guide.