Department stores have been the most popular source of wedding lists, but several other options are gaining in popularity, offering an even wider choice. Several online companies allow you to list anything from kettles to cruises and website like www.whatidlove.co.uk even offer part payment for a gift if, say, you wanted something large that would be too expensive for just one person.
Alternative, Charity and Eco-friendly Gifts
If you love gardening, why not have your list at a garden centre where you can include plants and garden-related products? Wine connoisseurs could set up a similar wine wish-list and link it to a vineyard or wine retailer, for example.
And for those who’d like their day to be a gift to others, how about setting up a charity gift list? Many of the main charities like Oxfam or Cornwall’s own Shelterbox offer ideas which you could link to if you felt you had everything!
Here’s how Oxfam do it:
1 Go to www.oxfamunwrapped.com and create or log in to your personal account
2 When you select your first gift and click “Add to wish list”, you’ll be taken to a page where you can name your wish list
3 Continue to choose gifts by browsing and clicking on the ‘Add to wish list’ button for the gifts you want
4 When you’re ready to email your list to friends and family, go to your wish list through ‘My Account’ and click on ‘Email wish list.
Cash or Honeymoon Vouchers
40% of UK couples ask for money towards their honeymoon in place of gifts. A honeymoon wedding list would be a perfect alternative. You could divide up your honeymoon itinerary into affordable portions so that your guests can buy you things like a night in a hotel, a romantic meal, or a train or plane journey. This avoids you having to awkwardly ask people for money and your guests feel that they are actually putting something towards a memorable holiday for you. A travel agent may be willing to open a special account and supply personalised inserts to go in with your invitations, so why not have a chat with them?
The final option may be cash or gift vouchers; something you could use in future once you know what you’d really like, or once you’ve moved in together and have decided on your true needs and wishes.
Gift-List Etiquette (how/when to ask guests)
The bride’s mother would traditionally hold details of the gift list and your guests would phone and discreetly ask for details or inspiration, or it was normal for guests to choose something for you themselves that may not be on your list. These days, though, guests assume a gift-list will be provided within the invitations and you can do this in the form of a web address or shop contact details!
So don’t feel you’re being rude or greedy by doing this. On the contrary, the majority of your guests will be thankful to have some guidance and be happy in the knowledge that they are buying you something that you actually want. But do include a variety for all pockets and age groups so you don’t leave anyone out.
Thank-You Gifts are a lovely way of showing your appreciating for all the hard work your friends and/or family have put into your special day. The bridesmaids, best man and ushers would, traditionally receive gifts and would the mothers of the bride and groom; usually in the form of a bouquet of flowers. And if Dads or another member of the ‘bridal team’ have made a special contribution, such as staying up all night doing last minute alterations, or pre-wedding changes, it’s a nice tribute to reward them with something small but special.
What Should You Give?
Engraved jewellery for your girls might be an option, or silver tankards or pocket watches for the boys. Other gifts might be a spa day for the girls or a night out with the boys for your ushers. Cufflinks are traditionally given to the best man.
Guests, especially those who’ve gone to the expense of buying you a gift, will expect a personal thanks. A generic letter, especially a computer created one, isn’t considered appropriate. One idea is to ask your photographer to make postcards of your favourite wedding photo and send these with a special handwritten note!
Remember to make a list of who gave you what (the beauty of online shopping is that it’s automatic!) and remember: if your guests bought from a gift list, don’t compliment them of the perfection of the item: it was you who chose it in the first place!
Wedding favours are small gifts given as a token of appreciation from the bride and groom to their guests, they are typically included as part of the table setting at the reception.
The classic wedding favour has always been a net of white or pastel sugared almonds. However there are now many variations on this theme. Couples choose to give small decorated boxes of chocolates, candles, scented soaps or Cornish fudge!
The item could be a CD with the favourite music of the bride and groom, or silver picture frames with a photo of the couple. These may be personalised with the couple’s names, initials or wedding venue and date. Whatever you choose consideration should be given to whether the recipient is a woman/man/teenager or younger, one favour might not suit all.
Fudge & Moore – 01326 270126
The Harbour Gallery – 01872 580807