When it comes to wedding gifts it’s the thought that counts, even if that thought is totally bonkers. Here are some of the strangest wedding gifts we've come across!
George Broun of Colstoun received a very unusual item as part of his wife’s dowry in 1543, when Marion Hay brought a magical pear with her to the marriage. The pear was believed to have been given magical powers by a necromancer in the 13th century, and it was kept in a silver box to bring prosperity to the family. The pear allegedly remained as perfectly preserved as the day it was picked, until a hungry relative in the 17th century took a bite and it turned as hard as stone.
In the 1300s BC Tutankhamun’s wife, Ankhesenamun, gave him the ultimate in personalised wedding gifts, ‘The Little Golden Shrine’. It is a gold-plated box covered with panels that show the couple in various scenes together, including Ankhesenamun offering him lotus flowers (a symbol of love) and giving him arrows as he shoots at ducks. Touchingly, the shrine was recovered from Tutankhamun’s tomb, along with other artefacts featuring images of Ankhesenamun.
There’s no doubt that nobody does wedding gifts like royalty. Charles II married Catherine of Braganza in 1661, and her dowry was probably the most expensive collection of wedding gifts to feature on our list. Catherine’s dowry included the right to trade with Brazil and the East Indies, jewels worth around 400,000 crowns, and the towns of Tangiers and Bombay (modern day Mumbai). As wedding presents go, this is certainly priceless!
Jewels are still fantastic as wedding presents, and most extravagant of all are diamonds. Evalyn Walsh McLean, famous for owning the 45-carat Hope Diamond, was married to Edward Beale MacLean in 1908. As a wedding present he gave her the ‘Star of the East’, a 94-carat diamond that was part of a necklace, accompanied by a 34-carat emerald and a 32 grain pearl. Evalyn saw the necklace in Paris and had to convince her new husband to buy it for her, which he eventually did, for $120,000.
When Sheikh Mohammed married Princess Salama in 1981, his father’s wedding gift was a venue for the ceremony. As the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh’s father didn’t just provide any venue - he had a 20,000 seat stadium built for his son for $22 million. The nuptial celebrations lasted for a week, and the wedding has gone down in history as one of the most expensive ever.
Another 1981 wedding was the royal union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Almost 1,000 gifts were recorded in the wedding present catalogue, including Herend porcelain birds, bandages for horses’ legs and a box of Highland toffee. One of the most expensive gifts was from the Emir of Bahrain: a jewel-encrusted model of a boat. It was famously stolen after Diana’s death, and is worth around £500,000.
You’re probably not considering splashing out this much on a wedding gift, so for beautiful (and affordable) present ideas visit DotComGiftShop!