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What Is a Proper Wedding Gift? How To Decide On What You Should Give

Stuck on deciding what would be considered a proper wedding gift for an upcoming wedding? Here are some ideas and suggestions to help make your decision a little bit easier.

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There is no right and wrong rule to this since every couple is different, as is every wedding guest's budget. What is well received and appreciated by one couple may horrify another. If you are having trouble deciding on what would be a proper wedding gift, here are some questions to consider to help guide you in your gift selection:

- <b>What are the bride and groom's personalities like?</b> Are they a fun-loving couple? Are they eccentric? Are they very conservative? By answering such questions you should be better able to search for gift ideas that will suit their personalities, and therefore be happily received.

- <b>What hobbies and interests do they have?</b> Choose gifts that will enhance the enjoyment of their interests. For example, some couples love bowling together. Search for a gift that's related to this sport such as matching personalized bowling hats.

- <b>What type of food do they both love?</b> If they love Italian food, then a gift certificate to a romantic Italian restaurant would be appropriate. Another idea is to put together or purchase an Italian food gift basket for a romantic picnic. If they're the type of couple that loves barbecued foods, a gift basket full of barbecue sauces, recipes and spices would be a welcomed wedding present.

- <b>How is their home decorated?</b> For those who know the couple well and have been in their home, you may want to look for something that will compliment their decor, such as a special figurine, a picture or a collectible.

- <b>Choose a gift based on the theme of their wedding.</b> This can become a collection of wedding memories that they could display in their home. As an example, our wedding featured hearts and swans as the theme. Based on that wedding theme, some of the gifts we've received for anniversaries have been a small table fountain featuring two swans "in the pond," and a musical swan snow globe.

- <b>Do they have a gift registry set up?</b> If so, you can choose something that you know they are guaranteed to like.

- <b>Gift a gift of money.</b> If you still can't decide, then send a check equal to what you would have spent on a wedding present. Make it out to Mr. and Mrs. Whatever (unless the bride is keeping her maiden name - in which case use both names on the check).


How to Find Unique Wedding Gifts

You know a bride-to-be and her groom. You desire to give a gift that is different from everyone else because you want to be totally unique! Visiting the wedding registry at the local Wal-Mart or Target to choose a gift would be Ok, but hardly the stand out and unique gift you desire. If this sounds like you, here are some tips to come up with awesome and ultimate unique wedding gift ideas

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Copyright 2006 Monique Hawkins

You know a bride-to-be and her groom. You desire to give a gift that is different from everyone else because you want to be totally unique!

Visiting the wedding registry at the local Wal-Mart or Target to choose a gift would be Ok, but hardly the stand out and unique gift you desire.

If this sounds like you, here are some tips to come up with awesome and ultimate unique wedding gift ideas.

Before you start off on your hunt, ask yourself the following questions:

-How well do you know the couple? -What kind of things do they like to do? -What kind of honeymoon will they have? -Are they outgoing? Reserved? Adventuresome? -What kind of lifestyle do they have?

These types of questions can give you ideas for a unique wedding gift that would be a perfect fit for the happy couple.

Here are additional wedding gift ideas to consider:

1. Gift Certificates. Giving a gift certificate for activities the bride and groom can enjoy prior to or after the wedding usually is a great wedding gift idea. For example, a spa coupon would be a much talked about and appreciated pre-wedding gift. Since weddings can be quite stressful, a relaxing day at the spa would be a huge stress releaser.

2. Give a home spa basket. In addition to giving the couple a coupon for the spa, you also could consider purchasing the products yourself and placing them in a special "home spa" basket. Special products to include in the basket can be monogrammed robes, towels, and a few other relaxing items, like candles, bath and body lotions, and of course, some romantic music. Make sure you use scents and music that are their favorites!

3. Give a wooden keepsake box. It is normal for memories to fade as the years go by. Therefore, why not consider a wooden keepsake box? In this special box could go marriage license, special photos, place cards, vows, and all those other special keepsakes that often get lost as time passes. Also, pictures of pre-wedding events such as the bridal shower, bachelor or bacherolette parties, honeymoon, rehearsal dinner, etc., could go in the special box.

4. Give a silver picture frame. Think about giving a silver-plated picture frames. The happy couple will love this gift idea! You can engrave the couple's names and the wedding date for a treasured memory on the picture frame.

5. Give a etched Glass Wedding Invitation - Have their wedding invitation, or other special verse engraved on a glass sculpture. This type of unique wedding gift will be treasured for years to come. Also, you can get the actual invitation, and mount it on a glass plate and finish it with matching colored paint.

6. Give a honeymoon photo album - this could be made out of wood, with a special message like something like "Our Special Honeymoon" engraved on the cover would be a great way to capture memories too!

Now, you are well equipped to give the ultimate unique wedding gift!


How to Give Wedding Toasts

What would a wedding reception be without the traditional wedding toast? It’s like having a wedding cake without the icing.

wedding toasts, best man toast,wedding speech

What would a wedding reception be without the traditional wedding toast? It’s like having a wedding cake without the icing. The wedding toast is a profoundly moving gesture, as it conveys to the bride and groom the heartfelt wishes of everyone who attended the wedding.

Sequence of the Toasts

The wedding toast is usually given first by the best man, then the father, the groom and the bride, and then followed by those who would like to give a toast. Versions may vary, however.

Other traditional sequences of wedding toasts also follow the best man as the first one to give the toast, followed by the groom who says a few words to his bride, parents, family, and members of the wedding party. After which, the groom is then followed by other people such as family members or friends who also want to give a toast, and then lastly, the father of the bride who thanks everyone for attending the wedding.

On the other hand, a nontraditional manner of the sequence of wedding toasts starts off with the emcee toasting the bride and groom. This is followed by the groom saying a few words to the guests and his bride, followed by the bride giving a little speech to her parents and in-laws, and finally, the father of the bride thanking everyone who shared this special day with them.

The Actual Toast

Ever since a monk named Dom Perignon invented champagne, it has since become the number one drink during wedding toasts. So before performing the wedding toast, make sure that your own glass as well as the glasses of other people (most especially the bride and groom’s) are also filled with drink.

Stand next to the bride and groom when giving your toast, and using a spoon, tap your own glass in order to get people’s attention. Raise your glass using your right hand held straight from your shoulder, and then you can begin the wedding toast.

Wedding Toast Tips

Preparing the Speech: Practice!
Giving a wedding toast, albeit a short one, in front of so many people can be quite a nerve-wracking experience. However, it doesn’t really have to be, not as long as you come prepared. Write your speech down so you would know exactly what to say. Let it come straight from your heart, so that you would be able to convey the sentiments you want to impart to the couple you are toasting. You can also try showing it to someone for comment so that you can get feedback in improving on your speech. Remember to keep on practicing until you feel confident and comfortable enough to deliver it in front of a crowd.

Keep your wedding toast brief and straight to the point, since you wouldn’t want to divert attention away from the happy couple. Nobody wants to listen to an extremely long speech, so remember this word—K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short and Simple). A good measurement of a wedding toast is around 3 minutes.

Giving the Speech
In giving the wedding toast, speak loudly and clearly especially if you don’t have a microphone, so that people would understand what you’re going to say. Talking loudly gives you a certain presence, and now that you have the audience’s undivided attention, it’s important to hold it by not mumbling your words. So remember to talk slowly, because this is not a race to get you to finish your speech as fast as you can. Remember, people actually want to hear what you have to say.

Make Eye Contact & Smile!
Having your speech or cue cards printed out is indeed a great help in giving a wedding toast, but remember not to read it straight out from beginning to end. Make eye contact with the audience, so that they would feel that you really are speaking to them. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the most important detail of all: Smile! This is a joyous event, and your smile should actually say so!


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