You’re at that stage of wedding planning… choosing a room full of presents for just the two of you! Yup it’s pretty much our favourite bit – who doesn’t love presents?! You’ve spent months choosing what your lovely guests are going to eat, drink and dance to and now it’s time for them to say thank you. For some couples the gift list can be a breeze, especially if they know where they want to register and exactly what they want. Understandably, other couples take a little longer to decide – what if you want everything?! So let’s help you pull together the ultimate gift list.
1. What do you need?
Traditionally, wedding gifts made up a couple’s first home, so anything from comfy pillows to frying pans, to vacuum cleaners. Now, as lots of couples live together before they tie the knot, you may just be topping up things you have AND choosing things you love but definitely don’t need – why not?! As well as considering your needs, you should think about your style as a couple; if you are not into fancy dinner parties, but love camping, then choose an epic tent, not the punch bowl you will never use! Remember, as your guests browse your gift list, their reaction should be “wow, this is so them!”.
2. What are your options?
The beauty of a gift list is that it can be set up in a number of stores and you can choose plenty of different pressies – yay! Stores like John Lewis and online gift lists like The Wedding Shop are absolutely perfect, as they stock a variety of brands and lots of goodies, like household items, clothes and anything else you can think of! Tip: always choose twice as many gifts as wedding invitations that you send! This will give your guests plenty of choice and make sure you do this for price options too. In our experience cheaper gifts will range from £20-40, £40-100 is fairly standard, £100-200 is more on the expensive side and £200+ are the luxury items.
This option is perfect for a couple who have all the home comforts they need and would prefer going on an amazing and unforgettable honeymoon. There are two ways in which you can do this: one is to collect cash and spend it on your honeymoon of choice. Or you can personalise the experience for your guests – give them the option of contributing to a candlelit dinner, first class travel, or VIP accommodation, all of which will make their cash donations more special, both to them and to you.
If you are a philanthropist couple, charity donations are another great alternative, especially if you have a cause that is close to your heart. Whether your guests donate to a specific project, or to the charity as a whole, you can let them know what their donations have achieved in your Thank You notes, which will make them feel pretty good about themselves – good deed for the day and wedding present sorted!
This option can be a bit tricky for a lot of couples, especially as they don’t necessarily know how to ask for cash. But don’t worry, cash gifts are perfectly acceptable and even traditional in a lot of cultures. Just make sure to spread the word to your family and bridal party, who will in turn notify the guests.
If you aren’t keen on any of the above options and really don’t want to ask for cash, you can ask your family and friends to get you personalised gifts, which can become awesome family heirlooms in years to come! One of our favourite ideas is a beautifully drawn map, where you can pin the destinations you’ve been to, destinations you want to go to and display it all in your living room, as a gorgeous piece of art. If collecting art and creating your own travel diary isn’t your bag, you can always go for collecting wine and filling up your wine cellar, with a special bottle set aside for your first anniversary and the christening of your firstborn.
We hear a lot of couples say that they have decided on their registry/charity/fund, but they don’t know how to let their guests know, especially as etiquette says that you shouldn’t put gift information on your invitations. You don’t need to worry, as there are plenty of ways around this. The first and most traditional is to ask your parents and Maid of Honour/Best Man to gently spread the word amongst your guests about your decision regarding gifts. The second, is to include it on your information sheet or on a subtle card (John Lewis provide these) with the gift list information on, so that you can slip one into your invitation envelope. Another option is to direct your guests to your wedding website and let them know the gift options there. Problem solved!
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