Attending a Dubai Wedding is so much different than attending a wedding in your native city. If the couple are expats and living in the UAE or having a destination wedding, they have a much different lifestyle than just your relative living in the next street. When there is no wedding registry, it becomes a challenge to think of a special gift the couple will appreciate.
All gifts given with thoughtfulness and love will be appreciated but what gifts are not ideal so your money will not be wasted, and what gift will the bride or couple love? Read on!
Here are my “What NOT to give” and alternative Dubai Wedding Gift Ideas!
What not to give: Kitchen and Home Appliances
Kitchen and home appliances like oven toasters, flat irons and electric kettles are some of the most common wedding gifts received by couples. These are probably appreciated and considered as grand gifts in the 1980’s when these gadgets were first invented. However, in 2018, these are very common and chances are, the family of the bride or groom already bought these for them. Also for destination weddings, these are very heavy to carry in the luggage.
What to give instead: Travel Accessories
Dubai couples travel at least once or twice a year. Travel is part of their lifestyle already. This is why travel gadgets and accessories will be very practical and useful for the bride who usually does the packing! Instead of going through the usual wedding home section, check the travel section of your department store and find cool gift ideas like travel accessories, luggage accessories, RFID items, packing organizers, universal adapters and more!
What not to give: Bulky Home Decors
Home decorations are another favorite item given by guests to the couple. The old tradition is “the bigger the better!”. However, for Dubai weddings or couples based abroad in particular, please avoid giving these bulky items such as huge crystal flower vases, heavy wooden carvings or massive art pieces. The reality is that most couple living in Dubai usually rent houses and see themselves moving after a few years. This means that these bulky house items may be inconvenient for them.
What to give instead: Consumable favors like candles and soaps
Small consumable wedding favors like great looking candles, scented hand soaps , or essential oils will be appreciated because they are very useful in new homes. They are also not very expensive and a good option for people on a budget.
What not to give: Clothes and Shoes
Giving apparel can also be problematic as it might not suit the style and the size of the recipient. It is also a matter of personal taste.
What to give instead: Precious jewelry
I have never received a gold jewelry I did not like. That means that whatever the size, the weight or the design… gold and silver jewelry will always be welcome gift. If you are unsure of the design, gold coins will also be a sophisticated choice.
What not to give: Food
Food items like chocolates, gourmet products or bottles of wine may be an ideal housewarming gift, but for Dubai weddings, it is better to stay away from these. Because wedding events can be too busy, it takes days or even weeks for couples to open their gifts. Food items have the tendency to expire or go bad especially with the challenging Dubai weather. Even with items that have long expiration dates like biscuits or preserves in bottle jars, you would still have to worry if they are transported well so when the couple receives it, they are still intact and not broken or crushed.
What to give instead: Dinner Reservations or Grocery gift cards
Instead of giving them expensive gourmet food baskets, why not book them a pre-paid dinner or brunch for two? Because of the stressful work schedules in UAE, I’m pretty sure the couple will enjoy a date out together. Make sure the validity is one year and you have prepaid the amount so there are no embarrassing confusions. Also, please avoid 2 for 1 vouchers as they are not very tasteful to gift, instead, try to book in a concierge service or directly from the hotel.
If your budget is not that high and you are not very close to the couple, giving a grocery or mall gift card will be appreciated.
What not to give: Beddings and bath towels
Bed linens are very tricky because there’s always the question if they are the correct size or if they fit the style of the bedroom. While bath towels are also bulky and not very exciting. Most of all, these are very generic and impersonal.
What to give instead: Personalized Experiences
Instead of giving generic gifts, why not exert an extra effort and find out the likes and dislikes of the bride and her groom. If she likes to pamper herself, treat her to a special treatment in a nice nail salon or spa. If they love the outdoors, how about desert adventures they can enjoy, or if they are movie buffs, then book them an ultra-luxe platinum movie experience. Make sure that there is a one year validity for these bookings.
What not to give: Perfume and Cosmetics
Ladies especially bridesmaids love to gift the bride with perfume and cosmetics. I have been guilty of doing this myself in some occasions, but I discovered that most women end up not using these types of gift given to them because of many reasons like the perfume has a scent they do not like, and the makeup choice do not suit their coloring. It then becomes such a waste because these products are not cheap at all and what you might think is the perfect gift for the bride ends up not being used!
What to give instead: One-on-One Makeup Workshop for the Bride
After doing a lot of bridal makeup, I usually have my brides telling me that how they wish they can look so beautiful every day and that they know how to apply correct makeup techniques. This is the reason why I started offering One-on-One Self-Makeup Workshops. This comprehensive course that I personally teach instructs ladies how to correctly apply makeup and the best products that will suit them.
This is a great idea for bridesmaids to give this gift to brides because they are giving them the gift of learning. Message me here to know more about this amazing gift option!
What not to give: Weight loss items
However creative you think it is, it is definitely not a good idea to give weight loss items like exercise devices or weight loss tea. It is like telling the bride that she needs to lose weight! This is an absolute no-no and should never be considered at all!
What to give instead: Cash
If all else fails, and you did not have the time to buy a gift, CASH will be very much appreciated! Don’t worry, we are in 2018 and CASH IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE.