Gift list giving you grief? Here are our Top Tips for the best ways to take the stress out of putting your wish list together
Asking your guests to buy something for you, or to make a financial contribution to your future, doesn’t sit well with every Bride and Groom. However, most guests will expect to do so – it is traditional after all – so having your gift list firmly in place before you send out those invites makes managing your guests a whole lot easier.
That said, with many options available, it can be tricky to know where to start. Thankfully, here on the WeddingHour blog, we have just to advice you need to get that pesky gift list together. Whatever type of list you chose, they’ll be something to suit you and your style.
A Traditional Store Gift List
If, like many couples, you’ve been living together for a while, and don’t need a brand new set of knives and forks, or new bath towels, you might think this option is a little outdated.
However, there are many way to adapt the traditional-style gift list to suit the contemporary couple that extend far beyond your aunt buying a ‘set of matching, floral crockery’. Think of a coffee maker; bed linen; new suitcases; a vase; photo frames; cookery books: there are plenty of options to suit all budgets that can update your home with a new gadget or new decorative item, however long you’ve been living there.
Of course, most of the traditional department stores can help you out with this, as most offer a personalised gift list service. Make an appointment with their specialist team and enjoy a ‘free’ shopping trip around the store as you select the things you’d like! You’ll also often find that the store offer you a discount on any items that remain on your list should you choose to purchase them after your wedding.
Don’t forget: you may have 100 guests, but they may comprise of 50 couples, so your gift list needs to be ‘per party’.
Becoming more and more the favoured option, the Honeymoon Fund allows your guests to provide a financial contribution whilst knowing exactly what you’ll be spending it on.
If you’re a little uncomfortable asking for money, perhaps ask guests to buy something specific for your first trip as a married couple. Compile a ‘Honeymoon Gift List’ and guests could purchase a specific excursion, buy dinner in a favourite restaurant, or upgrade your train tickets to first class.
A lovely way to thank guests for contributing to your honeymoon is letting them know exactly what their money was spent on, and allowing them to share in that. Send them a photo as a postcard, or include one in your ‘Thank You’ card, to say: ‘Here we are at dinner: your contribution to our honeymoon allowed us to enjoy this beautiful bottle of wine. Thank you.’
Don’t be offended if some of the more traditional of your guests opt to provide vouchers instead, or ask for your gift list; it might be wise to make small list of items you would like, so you can distribute it to guests who ask.
A Charity Donation
If you feel really uncomfortable asking for gifts or monetary contributions, or simply feel you’d like to give something back, asking guests for a charity donation is a lovely way to buck the gift list trend.
Most likely, they’ll be a particular charity close to your heart that strikes a chord with your guests, so they’ll be the cause that springs to mind. If not, and you’re not sure how to ask guests to contribute, take a look at charities such as Oxfam, who offer gift lists where guests can choose things such as education fees or farm animals for the poorest families. They’ll keep you updated with what your guests have purchased, so you know what a huge difference they’re making: more feel good factor than a new set of spoons!
In addition, charities often offer small favours: if you’ve seen Martin House Hospice at The Wedding Affair’s shows, you’ll be familiar with their gift certificates, pin badges and donation cards that sit perfectly in lieu of a favour at your guests’ tables.
You’ll struggle to find a guest who won’t value the thought of their contribution being donated to a good cause.
What type of guest list have you chosen? We’d love you to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.