With more and more couples setting up home together before marrying, wedding gift lists nowadays fulfill a rather different function than in the past. Whilst your grandmother would have welcomed a set of towels or bedlinen as presents, you might find a contribution towards your honeymoon welcome. In addition, you have the convenience of using an online bridal registry, where you can pick out ideas and suggestions for guest gifts.
We contacted House of Fraser who run a popular wedding gift list service and Jillian Aslet, the Wedding List manager, gave us the following ideas and etiquette for brides. Use it as a useful checklist in your planning.
- It's never too early to make an appointment to see a wedding concierge. Evening and weekend appointments tend to get booked up quickly so once this date is made it's something you can cross off your ever-expanding to-do list.
- It's important to have a discussion with your bridegroom about the type of wedding gifts you want to receive before you go into the store; you may have very different ideas about what you want. (Men are quite keen on enormous widescreen televisions.) Make sure you have thought about this as a couple and can agree on at least some of the things you want!
- Make sure you tell people about your gift list and present ideas! Many companies will provide you with notification cards to include with your invitations - very useful as guests tend to file all the info away and bring it out when they need it - if you send details separately they may be too late or get lost.
- Personalise your wedding list. Some guests believe that retailers create them to make more sales, so the more personal you can make your choices by including photos and messages the happier the guest will be to buy for you.
- Think outside the box and go for unusual offerings from your invitees - it doesn't have to be all pots and pans. It's nice to have some treats in place for after the wedding - experiences, hotel breaks etc.
- Get your partner excited about the list with the addition of some home technology items! He's likely to lose interest if it's all bedlinen and kitchenware so think about including TV and audio equipment to ensure he's as excited as you are!
- Don't restrict the number of desired contributions you add as people may not be able to find anything to buy! Couples often make the mistake of putting too little on their list as they don't want to appear greedy but you need to keep something there for the last minute wedding guests. We have had people call to make a purchase on the way to the church!
- Have a good range of prices and types of gifts to suit all pockets, both inexpensive and generous. A gift card is always a good idea. If there is nothing guests want to buy they can give a contribution to something larger.
- Think of the future. This is a great chance to receive things for your stylish marital home together. You may only ever have four people round for dinner now but think of the first time you host a family Christmas - eight of everything may be a good idea and also allows for breakages.
- Also, think about requesting items that will last a lifetime. Parents often have the same cutlery or dinnerware that they were given as a wedding present so choose some quality goods that will last years and look as good in 30 years as they do now.
- Don't feel pressured to finish your form in one session. You can always add items online on the bridal registry website or go back in store at a later date. You can also remove items if you change your mind.
- Remember that many of your wedding guests will buy their gifts online so there's no need to worry about the location of stores.
Thanks to House of Fraser for this useful checklist!