first direct

May 28, 2012 11:47 ET

Cash Is Still King When it Comes to Wedding Gifts

The traditional wedding registry slips down the list of preferred wedding presents

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 28, 2012) - A year on from Will and Kate's special day and as the wedding season hots up, first direct has taken its yearly look in to the gifts couples would like to receive on their big day.

According to the research from first direct, there's no change at the top of the list with most prospective newlyweds (31%) still preferring to ask for money or vouchers as a their wedding gift. However, couples are now giving their guests more choice and would rather they gave a gift of their own choosing (20%) or nothing (19%).

In the survey of 2,015 people, the biggest changes were the number of couples no longer having a gift list or registry service (down 9%) and those who didn't know what they wanted (up 11%). This may be a reflection of the numbers of people living together before they walked up the aisle, 57% of couples surveyed in 2011.

Wedding gifts couples would ask for 2012 versus 2011:

2012 2011
1. Cash / vouchers (31%) 1. Cash / vouchers (35%)
2. Gift of guest's own choosing (20%) 2. Gift list / wedding registry (22%)
3. Nothing (19%) 3. Nothing (19%)
4. Gift list / wedding registry (13%) 4. Gift of guest's own choosing (19%)
5. Don't know (13%) 5. Charity Donation (3%)
6. Charity Donation (4%) 6. Don't know (2%)

It seems that the last year has brought about change in the perception of giving cash as a gift. In 2011, whilst most couples would prefer to receive cash, guests were less keen on giving it (21%). However in 2012 cash is top of the list of gifts people would prefer to give (33%).

Wedding gifts people would rather give 2012 versus 2011:

2012 2011
1. Cash / vouchers (33%) 1. Whatever the couple requests (35%)
2. A gift of my choosing (27%) 2. Cash / vouchers (21%)
3. Gift list / wedding registry (25%) 3. Gift list / wedding registry (17%)
4. Don't know (8%) 4. A gift of my choosing (17%)
5. Charity Donation (4%) 5. Nothing (5%)
6. Nothing (3%) 6. Charity Donation (4%)
7. Whatever the couple requests (option removed) 7. Don't know (1%)

People still feel embarrassed about the size of their gift and would rather the couple didn't know how much they'd spent (34% in both 2011 and 2012). And, whilst twenty two per cent of guests in 2011 disliked being told what to give as a gift, in 2012 28% found it positively rude. Interestingly, and maybe a reflection of the difficulties young couples face in getting on the housing ladder, the number who think that giving money towards a mortgage is a good idea as a wedding gift has risen from 18% to 21%.

Richard Tolchard, Senior Mortgage Product Manager commented:

"It seems that cash is King these days and a great way to create a nest egg at the start of your married life.

"It's also interesting to see that a fifth of guests now consider giving money towards a mortgage as a good idea. By offsetting their wedding cash against their mortgage newlywed homeowners could save money, knock years off their mortgage term and have access to vital funds if they need them."

Regional Findings

  • In 2011 London was the most prescriptive region with the highest proportion of people using a gift service (27%) and the lowest proportion of people asking for a gift of the guests choosing (19%). Now they are much more likely to ask guests for cash (28%) than something from a gift service (13%)

  • The South West has the highest percentage of people who think that asking for money to pay off the mortgage is a great idea (27%) compared with the Eastern region which has the lowest approval for this (15%).

  • The Eastern region has the highest percentage of people who think that money is an impersonal gift and they would rather give something more traditional (43%).

  • Scottish people are most likely to feel that being told what gift to give is rude (42%).

  • 2011 research: The online survey was carried out by Opinion Matters between 25th February and 11th March 2011 among 1924 UK individuals over the age of 16

  • 2012 research: Carried out by Populus on behalf of first direct between 25th and 27th April 2012 among 2,015 UK individuals aged over the age of 18.

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