Wedding present disasters: the 10 worst gifts

Nappies - and other terrible wedding gifts

Wedding season always brings a present dilemma: what do you give the couple that already has everything? How much are you supposed to spend? Can you go 'off list'? Or do you really need to buy the last thing on the list if it's a £400 toaster?

SEE ALSO: Holding a divorce party? The bizarre products you can buy

See also: Pippa Middleton's wedding on a budget

Every year someone somewhere gets things spectacularly wrong, so we've tracked down some of the worst wedding present fails in recent history.

1. Re-gift
The Knot website asked its readers for the worst wedding presents they had received, and one said she had received a set of wine glasses. On the face of it, not the worst gift in the world, except it was from her cousin - and it was the same set of wine glasses that the she had given them for their wedding gift.

2. Multiple versions of the same thing
Clearly this is hard to guess in advance, but The Knot revealed that one reader had received six George Forman grills for their wedding.

3. The inexplicable
When Weddingbee asked its readers for the worst gifts they had received, one bride said she had received a set of personalised towels with the name Mary on them. Her name isn't Mary.

4. The unfortunate
The Weddingbee thread revealed the couple who received a cheque - which bounced.

5. The presumptive
Mumsnet also asked its readers about their worst wedding gifts, and one bride said she had received a packet of nappies. She wasn't pregnant and didn't have any plans to be.

6. The shock
One bride on Reddit received the most unexpected gift of all - her mother-in-law was left on her doorstep the day after the wedding, with the news that it was her turn to look after her. She ended up staying for six years.

7. The gothic
One Mumsnetter received a framed photo of a graveyard - and not even a graveyard that anyone in the family had any connection to.

8. The kitsch
Another Mumsnetter received a table lamp in the shape of the Vatican. When you turned the light on, it lit up, with the Pope waving from one of the windows, and it played Arrivederci Roma.

9. The pointless
When Reddit asked its readers for the worst gifts they had received, one said she had been given an ashtray as a wedding gift - despite the fact that neither her or her husband were smokers.

10. The rude
One Reddit user received a book on coping with divorce from his uncle. It was apparently a joke.

£20,983 wedding: where the money goes
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£20,983 wedding: where the money goes

This is the biggest expense, and accounts for 16% of everything couples spend on the wedding. There are endless dramatic places to splash the cash, and if you want to get married in a castle, on a beach, or in a major historic property, it’s all perfectly possible - for a price.

However, there will be those who wonder why the wedding can’t take place in a church or a smart registry office - and the reception in a village hall. These places certainly exist, and could cut the venue hire cost down to a couple of hundred pounds.

It’s not hard to see why couples fancy blowing a fortune on an incredible holiday, but it begs the question of whether it’s such a practical idea.

There’s no earthly reason why two such enormous costs have to be bunched together like this. Surely a wiser approach would be to get married, and then start saving for a great holiday. You don't have to be on a white beach in the sun for it to be romantic or memorable.

This is a huge sum for feeding a few people, and is often the result of the fact that when you are booking a venue, you will be tied into using their caterer.

It’s one reason why a fantastic way to cut costs is to find a venue that lets you do it yourself. That way you can choose between setting out a cold buffet in the morning on a shoestring, or hiring in a cut-price catering option, like a gourmet burger or pizza van.

This includes the cost of an engagement ring and two wedding rings. There will be couples who argue that this is something that you’ll wear every day for the rest of your life, so is worth investing in.

There will be others who highlight that by shopping around you can get the lot (including the obligatory diamond) for less than £400, and anything else is pure vanity.

This includes a heart-stopping £1,098 for the bride’s dress. Just to be clear, that’s a grand for a dress you wear once.

There are hundreds of second hand dresses on sale on sites like preloved if you’re after the big meringue, or you could get one made from scratch for a couple of hundred pounds. Then if you sell it on again afterwards, your dress could cost you less than 20% of this insane figure.

If you’re stuck buying the overpriced booze offered by a posh venue, you’ll easily bust the budget, and if you bring your own to a venue like this they’ll sting you for corkage instead.

A much better idea is to find somewhere that lets you bring your own - and after the first few drinks, ask a local pub to run a bar for you.

The argument in favour of spending a fortune on photos is that this is one aspect of the day that really will last, and if you skimp on the photographer, you won't have a beautiful album to linger over for decades to come.

That said, you'll probably have one hour of looking at your best during your wedding - from when you walk down the aisle, to the moment you have finished taking the obligatory formal photos. There’s nothing stopping you bringing in a professional for that hour, and then setting up a Facebook page for your friends to post all the photos they take throughout the rest of the day and night.

The live band feels vital for some couples, but ask yourself, when was the last time you were blown away by the live band at a wedding?

A far cheaper option is to make your own disco. It’s easy enough to hire some speakers and lights, switch it all on, plug an MP3 player in, and get your favourite music all night for next to nothing.


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