Posted by on September 20, 2010
It’s the summer and your mailbox lately has at least one or two wedding invitations in it a week – if not more. You are flattered that you seemingly are so popular and that your friends, colleagues, even acquaintances are not only thinking of you as they make their wedding list, but actually inviting you. Apparently they think highly enough of you that they want your presence as they celebrate their big day.
While you are delighted to lend your presence at the great occasion, you aren’t so delighted when you think of the cost of all those “presents” that you will have to give to all the newlyweds, and this is in addition to the engagement or shower gifts that you already gave to the future bride. You actually are looking forward to joining in the wedding festivities – but wedding gifts are an extra expense that you really can’t afford these days. It is times like this that you wish that you were a hermit living in a log cabin somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no phone or internet. But you are not and somehow, you have to deal with the fact that a present goes hand in hand with your presence at the wedding ceremony and reception.
But who says a gift has to be something you need to buy, something that needs to be wrapped in paper and tied with a pretty bow – or ripped out of a checkbook? The truth is if you have a particular talent or have the ability to provide a professional service that people pay for, you can offer these instead of going shopping and parting with money that you could use for other important purposes, like paying a bill.
If you are a lawyer, perhaps you can review a legal document, or give a complimentary root canal if you are a dentist (or a free teeth whitening of the young couple’s teeth if they are both cavity free). Perhaps you play the violin beautifully, or have a lovely singing voice. You can offer to perform during the ceremony or reception. That “gift” would surely be more meaningful to the wedding party than another blender or coffeemaker.
If you feel that you have nothing to offer in terms of talent or professional services, think again. There is so much you can do to make life more pleasant for them. Your gift to them can involve spending your time rather than your money – which may even be more valuable to them. To that end you can write a “contract” in which you commit yourself to clean their house top to bottom after a holiday party they host. Or you promise to watch their dog during their week-long vacation. Mowing their lawn an entire month, or shoveling their driveway after three major blizzards is another “gift” you can offer. Looking to the maybe not so distant future, you can promise to babysit for 10 nights – over a period of time of course, not in a row. So don’t be afraid to look in your mailbox. Enjoy the weddings and don’t take out your wallet.
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