Gifting at Weddings – Guide for the Wedding Guests

Not surprisingly, my most popular post on this blog is the one about “No Boxed Gifts” and the other about “How to Ask for No Boxed Gifts” – guests are confused by our South Asian cultures.  I am so happy to help people figure out what this means and just hope that people come away from the idea that it’s wrong of us to request this.  I actually prefer to gift cash for gifts.

Let me explain this little South Asian girl’s response to her very first non-Indian/Pakistani wedding invitation.  

I’m still pretty was appalled that people think we are nasty/uncultured/rude/greedy (all those have been said in comments on my blog) for asking for no boxed gifts.  I am sorry, but it’s not rude.  I don’t find asking for fine china or crystal items rude, but it’s definitely strange to me.  Strange to me that I’m buying items that a couple scanned at a store specifically for their wedding and anticipate that their guests buy this stuff for them as gifts, yet people find the concept of requesting to bring cash or a gift card to a wedding “rude”.  (this couple is awesome so I’m not knocking them, we love them!)  It’s jut that in my mind, the concept is no different than asking for cash.  

It’s kind of funny because one of my husband’s groomsmen thought our “No Boxed Gifts” thing was odd – but to me the registry is equally as odd.  I’d prefer to gift them a gift card or cash (so much easier!!) but we will oblige with the custom and get a gift off the registry.

My next step is to find out proper gifting cultures – my husband probably won’t have the pointers I need for gift buying (and we know that I’ll be doing most of the buying!).

– I figured that people send gifts in advanced of the wedding, so I should order my gift now

-I was also invited to the bridal shower, do I bring another gift personally there?  I think so.

So it looks like my summer wedding couple’s registry is looking a bit sparse to me at the moment as all the cool items are taken.  We have to order a gift like ASAP!  

When do you start shopping for gifts off someone’s wedding registry?  

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Three Eco-Friendly Wedding Favor Ideas in Honor of Earth Day

Have you considered doing away from the traditional edible favors and instead offering your guests plantable eco-friendly favors?  While brides traditionally opt for truffles or satchels of candy at their wedding, why not give your guests an eco-friendly favor instead?  In honor of Earth Day, we are exploring ideas that brides can use for unique favors.

1) Bucket of Flowers Favors:  These come in options of 50 flowers or 100 flower seed buckets.  The papers are plantable seeds so guests can go home and plant these in a pot of soil or in their gardens.  Within weeks, they’ll have blooms of flowers.

2) Plantable Seed Cards:  TheKnot.com also offers great plantable seed favors.  These customized cards can showcase your wedding date, your names and a heartwarming note to your guests.  Super cute for your guests to take home and plant wildflowers with.

3)  Gift Trees in Tubes:  These are the ultimate wedding eco-chic favors.  These spruces come in tubes or bags for guests to take home and plant.  They will grow to become real-life pine trees.  You can purchase the trees based on your zone so they grow best in your guests’ homes.  Cool, huh?  They start at just $3.00 a tube, so you likely would only give one per family as opposed to one per guest.   Each tree comes in its own eco-system ready to be planted in a pot of soil.  You can even customize the labels to reflect any sentiments you want to share with your guests.

Would you do any of these eco-friendly gift ideas at your wedding?  What trends are you seeing at weddings?  Let us know, we’d love to hear ’em!

-Sidra

Three Sweet Wedding or Bridal Shower Trends to Try

When planning a wedding, the biggest challenge is usually how how to make your wedding more you and less typical.  What are some ideas you can try to make your wedding a little more personal and unique?

Here are some things you can do at your wedding to make it a little  more personal, fun and unique:

1) Dessert Table

Cupcakes are huge trend at weddings, but don’t just stop there!  Consider hiring a designer to make adorable signs for the dessert items, or scour Etsy for affordable printable card designs to label your desserts.  For dessert items, you can have cupcake pops, cupcakes, macarons (my fave) and others sweet items to make the table unique.  If you’re a Pakistani/Indian bride, consider having South Asian dessert like Kulfi, jalebi and ladoo.

Photo from lover.ly, vendor details: http://lover.ly/image/details/91271

2) Candy Bar

These can be done by professional companies, or if you’re really crafty and have great friends who are willing to setup, it can be done by yourself.  Just remember, the last thing you need is for you to be running around the day of the wedding setting up your candy bar instead of getting ready.  It’s a really cute idea that my guests truly enjoyed.  Candy can be bought in bulk on various websites, or, you can stock up at your local grocer when they have sales.   When placed in gorgeous apocathery jars (bought from Crate & Barrel, Michaels, or HomeGoods) the candy can look quite appealing and gorgeous.  You can create your own backdrop to give it a little edge (I bought paper lanterns from Martha Stewart and hung them behind my table).

Candy bar photo via lover.ly vendors here: http://lover.ly/image/details/85353

3) Cupcakes in lieu of a cake
Tiered cakes … but they can be expensive!  Not only that, but cupcakes can be far more exciting and delicious for your guests.  We did this at our wedding and instead just placed a 2-tiered cake that we cut and had served.  In addition to that, we ordered around 200 cupcakes.  Our guests really enjoyed this.  A word of caution: If you’re a baker, DO NOT try to bake cupcakes yourself, that’s just silly and a poor use of your time.  There was a rumor that I had baked the 200 cupcakes for my wedding… and I’m not that crazy!  Our baker was kind enough to make gorgeous cupcakes and a great cake in addition to putting on the display for us.  I’m glad I paid her to do that!  Cupcakes are a great way to play with different flavors and just have fun with the cupcakes at your wedding.

What are some sweet ideas you have for a wedding or bridal shower?  Feel free to share them in the comments section!