Guide To Buying Luxury Sustainable Wedding Gifts
Choosing the best wedding gift can be quite tricky. Would you buy something traditional such as appliances, kitchenware, bedsheets, only to be left unopened, forgotten, and never used? Would you opt for something hip like scented candles, bath bombs, quirky home decors, that the couple would probably use only once or twice, then forget about? Why not choose a present that is not only useful and trendy but also rooted in sustainability?
Recent studies show that the shopping trend has shifted from retail therapy to conscious consumerism. Many about-to-be-married couples demonstrate their support for mindful consumption by selecting ‘green’ options in their wedding registries. Think of ethically sourced materials, all-natural ingredients, fair labour practices, and eco-friendly production processes. With conscious consumerism gaining prominence, any eco-savvy couple will appreciate your effort in going green. After all, your gift reveals how much consideration you put into helping them achieve the world they want to build together.
We came up with ideas to guide you in buying luxury wedding gifts that are not only sustainable but also meaningful and purpose-driven.
Contribution to the Honeymoon
Getting hitched is an expensive affair, so much so that many newlyweds are left penniless after their special day. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but the fact still holds that some couples would have spent all their money to pay for the wedding and have no more left for the honeymoon. And with all the stress, drama, and exhaustion that go into organizing a wedding, the newly married couple badly needs a holiday. However, international travel is costly, especially if you are visiting a famous honeymoon destination, such as Italy.
With the threat of the coronavirus, travelling has become even more expensive, as travellers should now include COVID-19 coverage in their insurance, as well as acquiring cancellation coverage. That is why many couples are switching gift registries for honeymoon funds toward their dream destination. You can contribute money to their fund, of course. But if you want to gift the newlyweds with something they will remember for the rest of their lives, consider booking an intimate tour for them.
If they choose Italy, for instance, arrange a romantic gondola ride through the canals of Venice, wine tasting, and dinner at a vineyard in Tuscany, a sightseeing tour of Romeo and Juliet’s Verona, or a private boat cruise at sunset in Amalfi Coast. That’s a much better gift than an item the couple may forget about or end up throwing away.
Giving furniture as a wedding gift is a longstanding tradition; however, this age-old custom is not in the least outdated. On the contrary, vintage furniture is now a popular trend in wedding registries. With a growing number of shops sourcing and selling period items, you have loads of options, from rustic wooden chairs and engraved bedside tables to oak trunk boxes and hanging iron lamps to repurposed lace curtains and boho decorative rugs. Vintage furniture and decors are often built more solidly and beautifully and own more character and charm than cheaply mass-produced items.
Yet, what makes vintage furniture sustainable? It’s quite simple. When you choose a vintage item, you are saving something that people might have thrown to the landfill, adding to piles of waste materials. Furthermore, when you buy vintage, you are helping preserve valuable resources, such as trees and metal.
To add a personal touch, you can ask a local artist to engrave the couple’s initials, wedding date, or favourite love quotes on the present.
Gone are the days when buying second-hand items is considered cheap and tacky. Giving pre-owned jewellery as a wedding gift does not mean you are forfeiting quality and luxury. With previously owned jewellery, you don’t have to worry about limited styles. Most pre-owned jewellery comes from different eras, so you have a wide selection of distinctive designs, from flapper necklaces and drop earrings of the 20s Great Gatsby to the lapel watches and rhinestone brooches of the 40s to the bold colour combinations and geometric shapes of the Space Age 60s.
Although jewellery may seem more fitting as a gift to the bride, there is also an extensive collection of pre-owned jewellery for men, including pendants, cufflinks, bracelets, and rings. However, what makes pre-owned jewellery unique from brand new ones is that each piece has a character and a story to tell.
How does sustainability fit in the picture? Buying pre-owned jewellery reduces the demand for new diamonds and other precious stones and metals, therefore, helping prevent further damage to massively mined areas. When you choose pre-owned luxury jewellery over brand new ones, you aid in preserving valuable resources and lowering carbon footprint. Also, buying high-end second-hand jewellery will make a good heirloom that the newlyweds can pass on as a wedding gift to the next generation.
Now, that’s sustainability.
Adopt a Penguin
If you are looking for a wedding gift that is not only eco-friendly and unique but also allows newlyweds to practice their parental skills (albeit symbolically), consider buying them an “adopt a penguin” package. The population of penguins is dwindling fast mainly because of climate change, pollution, destruction of their habitat, and accidental fishing. The Galapagos penguins, for instance, are greatly affected by global warming and are on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 600 breeding pairs left.
Adopting a penguin will aid in the conservation of the species and support injured, abandoned, or captive penguins that are unable to survive the wild. Additionally, your donation assists other environmental causes such as cleaning up oil spills that directly affect penguins, preserving not only their habitats and nesting colonies but also those of other seabirds.
Inclusion in the package varies, but it usually consists of a personalised adoption certificate, photos of the penguin, and other gifts such as stuffed animals, books, and movies. More expensive packages include the ability to name a penguin, a tour to the conservation site, and the chance to witness the release of a rehabilitated penguin back to the wild.
Which makes you smile more often, the latest smart TV in your living room or the romantic dinner you had with the love of your life? A study by Cornell University psychology professor, Dr Thomas Gilovich, shows that material possessions provide satisfaction only to a certain degree, while experiences create longer-lasting happiness. So rather than buying the couple a matching pair of fancy gin glasses, present them with a pass to the National Trust, enrol them for a couple’s cooking class, book them for a private wine tasting tour, or give them tickets to their favourite West End show.
To help the couple unwind from the anxiety of the wedding, treat them to a luxurious spa weekend complete with relaxing massage and treatments, or register them to a series of yoga classes for de-stressing and meditation. Remember that the experience does not have to be expensive to be memorable; they could be as practical as a Netflix subscription, coffee club membership, or pre-prepped meal deliveries. What matters most is that you are giving the newlyweds the gift of happy memories and not gifting an item which could go to waste.
Whether you are a couple looking for ideas for your gift list or a guest wanting to find the perfect present for the happy couple, we hope this provided you with some inspiration. For more sustainable and ethical wedding ideas, read our guide to having an eco-friendly wedding.
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