Paintballing as a Wedding Present (and 6 Other Unusual Gifts)
I’ve seen the aftermath of wedding gifting. It can be brutal – piles of homeware and nowhere to put it. Now I’m not saying that we should never give our friends physical gifts or even homeware. What I’m suggesting is that if we really want to give something that the couple will enjoy we should put some thought into it beyond the immediate aesthetic pleasure of it. Where will they store it? Will it be useful beyond the next few weeks? Will they already have one? Is it likely that someone else will give them the same thing? Is it in keeping with their lifestyle or just the lifestyle that is expected of a newly married couple but not who they really are?
Here are some ideas for non-physical presents that can make plenty of impact without any need for storage space!
I’m starting with the odd one out on this list – I know I said they’re not physical gifts, but I decided to put this one here because the books are just vehicles for the less tangible psychological and emotional benefits. Marriage is probably one of the biggest tests of self-awareness and emotional intelligence that any of us face in our lives. Help your friend start their marriage with the tools to reach a good understanding of themselves and their spouse.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
Two. Marriage courses
Similar to the books, marriage courses offer insight into relationships and how to improve them. The courses below are not ongoing so you’ll need to check the dates to make sure they are running when you want to buy them.
- 5 Pillars of Marriage – Haleh Banani
- What You Both Want – Megan Wyatt
- Like a Garment – Yasir Qadhi [this course is very explicit – you might want to consider how well you know the person you are giving it to and whether they would be comfortable with it]
Three. Gift vouchers
This might be a surprise, but I think it can be appropriate in the right circumstances. A wedding can be a strain on a couple’s finances and some support at this time, rather than a gift they don’t really need, can be the best present you can give.
How to make this thoughtful: choose somewhere with a lot of choice or somewhere very specific that you know they like.
The beginning of a marriage can be many things: exciting, romantic, awkward. What if you could help your friend get to know their spouse in a different environment? Give them an activity that the couple can do together, creating new memories and learning new things about each other through doing rather than talking.
- Outside obstacle courses
- Guided climbing or trekking expeditions
- Escape rooms
Marriage is hard. Help the couple take this step with maximum blessings and give a donation on their behalf to a charity you know they would support.
Six. Annual passes
Do you know about a place your friend likes to visit regularly. Give them a year’s membership for two so they can share the experience with their spouse and develop interests together!
- Art galleries
- Their city from above (e.g. The Shard in London, Burj Khalifa in Dubai)
- Cultural organisations (e.g. National Trust (UK))
- Natural organisations (e.g. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, local nature reserve, botanical gardens)
Do they have a common interest in a skill they’d like to learn?
- Languages (if there’s somewhere you know they are planning to visit or live, the language of that country would be a good idea)
- Islamic Studies
- First Aid
Bonus: Wedding card
You’re probably looking at the present suggestions and thinking “this isn’t going to look great when I hand it over”. Well, firstly, choose quality over appearances! To add that bit of sparkle, though, how about jazzing it up by putting it inside a nice greeting card? I’ve found some to get you started.
- Congratulations on your wedding, from Share the Mercy (yes, I made this card, but I think it’s rather special!)
- Love and Compassion, from Every Cloud Silver Lining
- Mubarak on finding each other, from WithaSpin
- Mabrouk, from inmystudio
You can even combine more than one of these for a nicely balanced gift. Do you have other ideas for wedding presents? Let me know in the comments!
Note: I have not used all of the products mentioned in this blog post and am not being paid to feature them.