Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving

Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving
Adding experiences to wedding gift lists is becoming increasingly popular. Image: Prezola

Compiling wedding gift lists is always tricky but, since so many of us have it all when it comes to toasters and cutlery, one solution is to choose experiences. Be they honeymoon add-ons or adventures on home shores, the memories they create are the gift that keeps on giving


Wedding gifts can be so much more creative if you think outside the box (of cutlery, china and glass). While most couples want some or a lot of the above, the experience side of gifting is becoming increasingly popular – not least because these are memory making adventures that last long after the wedding day. And you will find guests are very receptive to the idea of adding to your trip of a lifetime. Guests also appreciate the fact that many couples these days are not quite so desperate for possessions, but are keen to squeeze every last opportunity out of their hard-earned luxury trip.

Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving
Gift lists at The Wedding Shop also include experiences that can happen after the honeymoon. Drinks with a view at Eighteen Sky Bar, InterContinental London – The O2

Best of all for guests, gifting experiences is a great way to pool resources to buy something more substantial that they know you will never forget. While one person may be able to buy a fine piece of china, five or eight can each contribute towards a honeymoon side trip or a fun homecoming adventure – a spa day, getaway weekend, culinary or cultural event. Even one magical cocktail night at a rooftop bar with views over the city can be something truly memorable as a homecoming treat.

Another bonus of adding experiences to gift lists is that people can cherrypick the kind of adventure that matches their taste and personality as much as yours. This is why it’s a good idea to include a variety of options – even things you might never have tried, such as a night at the opera or a spot of glamping. You may surprise yourself and discover a new passion in life – and be equally surprised by the gifts some people pick for you!

Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving
'Just us' time side trips make your honeymoon even more special. Prezola lets you add in the side trips you want, such as gorgeous Le Vimarn spa at Koh Samed, Thailand

The honeymoon fund

The honeymoon cash fund is the surefire way to add luxury extras to your trip, knowing those who love you have still chosen something special for you. At Prezola, you can set up a cash honeymoon fund, either personalising it with your own images and ideas or choosing from areas where you’d like a gift – for instance, a blowout dinner at the top hotel or ‘just us’ time at a gorgeous tropical spa and wellness centre.

The Wedding Shop lets you specify funds and where they will be going – for instance, guests can choose to place their cash gift into a fund for your airfare (this could be the initial getaway or side trips), for flight upgrades or room upgrades on arrival. With contributions starting at £10, this is a great way for guests on more limited means or with a practical approach – surprisingly common among older relatives – to help with the expensive business of getting married in a small way that they know will still really count.

Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving
From fine dining to West End shows,'home turf' experiences are a brilliant addition to gift lists and The Wedding Shop offers a great selection of culinary and cultural treats

The post-honeymoon experience

Gifting experiences that happen on home turf is another excellent way for guests to contribute. And here the world is your oyster (oyster bars are definitely on the list). At The Wedding Shop they offer a great range of options to inspire you – everything from dinner at The Dorchester and cocktail masterclasses to spa days. And Prezola also lets you organise funds in such a way that you can design experiences for your honeymoon or on home turf, when of course you may be in most need of diversions to take your mind off the return to work and everyday routine.

Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving
At The Wedding Shop you can contribute to the honeymoon fund – for upgrades on everything from rooms to flights

Gift lists essentials: how to manage experiences

Speak to your gift-list provider to ensure you design the right experiences for you. They administer lists all the time, so are a mine of information about how other couples have done it, trends in cash and experience giving and also how to arrange the formalities properly, such as explaining to people how this works and where the money is going.

It is essential to thank people for these gifts, in just the same way you would if they gave you a dinner service or cutlery. They don’t want to think the money just got lost or forgotten – or paid your electricity bill.

Wedding gift lists: experiences are the gift that keeps on giving
Hosting your fund through a gift list provider means you know who donated each gift experience – just don't forget to send snapshots of you having the time of your life with your thank you letters. Image: Prezola

Of course, the benefit of placing your gift list with an official provider is that you have the funds – and the who-paid-what angles – sorted. The Wedding Shop and Prezola ensure you have a clear itemised list of every gift and gift giver, so it’s easy to deliver the appropriate write-up afterwards.

Clear record keeping makes writing those thank you letters that much easier. Just don’t forget to take lots of pictures of all the side trips, gourmet additions and upgrades so you can enclose  snapshots of the two of you having the time of your life.

* For more advice on compling wedding gift lists, contact Prezola;  & The Wedding Shop;


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