Any business failure is bad news, but when it is linked to what should be a cause for celebration like a wedding then the impact can appear to hit even harder for those involved.

The collapse of wedding gift list company Wrapit, which had one of its major stores in Birmingham, will therefore have a massive effect on thousands.

The firm handled up to 3,500 wedding lists a year, but fell into financial difficulty at the end of 2007 for a variety of reasons.

An estimated 2,000 couples (and upwards of 100,000 of their wedding guests) have been hit by the collapse.

There are numerous reports about the impact and hopefully the mess will get resolved.

But one thing that struck me were some of the figures being talked about regarding losses by particular couples.

Typically the gift lists included upwards of £1,000-worth of presents. However, some are quoting lists with £3,500-worth of gifts and I heard one report of a couple waiting for £7,000-worth of presents.

I find it incredible simply because their wedding gift lists cost more than our entire wedding did a couple of years ago. The so-called credit crunch is partly being blamed for the demise of Wrapit, but the value of such lists suggests there isn’t too much belt-tightening going on out there.

Little wonder that the average cost of a wedding these days has topped £20,000.

In recent years it appears the biggest symbol of true love has become this: £.

There are other ways of doing it. And there are some who are calling for a big rethink of the way we do weddings, particularly gift lists.

When organising our wedding we didn’t consciously set a small budget and work hard to keep to it, but we did find someone willing to listen to what we wanted and provide it at a reasonable price.

I lost count of the number of firms and people who promised to give us the “wedding of our dreams”, but the plan they came up with would bear little (if any) relation to what we wanted and the figures they quoted were ridiculous. The stuff of nightmares, rather than dreams.

My sympathy lies with everyone affected by Wrapit’s demise.

But the money-making machine that the average wedding has now become is akin to the Grimmest of fairy-tales.


One response »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, I like your turn of phrase “the Grimmest of fairy tales”. It’s inspired.

    Yeah, well, weddings. It’s that time in a woman’s life when the meringue wants out.

    What you relate must be in the air because we had a similar “disaster” story down here, something to do with brides being left naked at the altar because the local wedding dress shop had folded; spare the vicar’s blushes. Call me unsympathetic but who – in their right mind – would entrust themselves to a company called “Wrapit”? Stuff it more like.

    Anyone who gives out ‘lists’ on occasion of celebrating their union deserves to get nothing. Be happy if you have friends and family who’ll hand you an acorn, a pebble, a poem, anything you won’t find at John Lewis or Harrods. However, unfortunately, most people want to observe convention and – as you know – I am holier than thou: I actually bought something so my poorest friend who felt she couldn’t come empty handed could give it to me and the groom, purely because she did not want to be shown up in front of the others guests. Sad isn’t it? Brings to mind that awful “Material Girl”.


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