Adventures in Generosity

The occasionally coherent ramblings of a Stewardship Advisor in the Church of England

On wedding lists …

It is very common among my peer group (middle class, university educated, professional types) for couples to get married in their late twenties or early thirties.  It seems to make sense,  to take time to get to know our own minds, develop a career and a network of friends and establish our own identities before we share them with another.  More often than not, when we do get married, we’ve been living with our intended for some time, getting to know each other and setting up home together with all that entails.

For all the advantages though, the cohabitation ‘try before you buy’ approach does rather leave ones family with a bit of a conundrum.  What do you buy the couple who have everything ?  The traditional wedding list was designed specifically to provide all those essentials that a newly wed couple would need in their new home.  But frankly, by the time most of us tied the knot we already had quite enough towels, pots, pans, cutlery, dinner plates, glasses (lots of those in our case !) etc.

There are alternatives – some I know went for the ‘we can’t afford a honeymoon’ wedding list – the extortion racket that is the modern wedding industry generally means that by the time you’ve paid for a half decent venue, a frock, some flowers and a bit of cake you’ve probably got enough left for a wet weekend in Bognor – so guests were encouraged to purchase holiday vouchers to ensure the newlyweds got away from it all for a suitably romantic start to married life.

But not everyone has this problem, and frankly, the whole ‘wedding gifts for the sake of it’ thing isn’t very in keeping with the current Zeitgeist now is it.

So I was thinking, and would like to suggest to any couples currently contemplating nuptials, why not buck the trend and set a new kind of example ?  I heard recently of a couple who asked their guests to make a donation to charity water.  Or perhaps in lieu of those dreadful sugared almonds go for Oxfam unwrapped gifts as table favours.

If the happy couple were lucky enough to have guests with the finanical wherewithall they could even suggest a modest contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – especially if they had a particular fondness for Africa.

Just a thought …

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