Stuck on the wedding presents? Here’s what the wedding gift list experts say other couples are choosing right now – and from bikes to barbecues, you are spoiled for choice
Words by Libby Norman
While wedding trends may come and go, most of us – whatever ‘stuff’ we’ve accumulated as singletons or partners – do like to start married life with some brand new objects we’ve chosen together. So it’s little wonder that the wedding gift list remains such a popular fixture of planning for a wedding.
Prezola says that newlyweds are still keen to entertain guests, so dinnerware and bar items remain top items on the wishlist, along with those perennial favourite kitchen gadgets. But despite the vast choice it offers from leading brands such as Habitat, Heal’s, Sophie Conran and Jamie Oliver, the most popular dinnerware range at Prezola is a timeless white stoneware dinner set from The White Company – perfect for everyday and smart enough for special occasions.
The Wedding Shop says that traditional products on its impressive list of brands – the Le Creuset casserole, KitchenAid mixer, designer decanter or new towels and bedlinen – remain firm favourites. These are classics that not only stand the test of time but also give you the chance to refresh the look of your home, so it’s hardly surprising they remain so popular. Smart luggage is also popular – perfect for the honeymoon and beyond.
As you will have guests with different budgets – or some who may have travelled at some expense to your wedding – it’s always a good idea to include as wide a mix of price points as possible. Both The Wedding Shop and Prezola can offer lots of advice on ensuring a well-balanced list, both on price points and themes – with advice on new season’s colours and trends so you don’t choose a white elephant (dark green accessories are Prezola’s hot tip for homes right now). And don’t neglect the pleasure of timeless everyday items that will remind you of the giver and your wedding – the perfectly proportioned vase or summer-evening stalwart barbecue (The Wedding Shop has a fabulous Big Green Egg design that every home should have).
It does appear couples are becoming increasingly bold in their choices – not afraid to go ‘off piste’ if there’s something they really want. At The Wedding Shop – which has both an online service and showrooms across the UK, including Selfridges stores – there’s the option to choose an item not on its current list and it will be added on a bespoke basis. There’s no limit to this option, so it’s your opportunity to introduce your favourite niche brands to your wedding guests.
Both our wedding gift list experts also report the increasing popularity of alternatives to domestic objects. At Prezola, more and more couples have been adding experiences to the list – everything from Red Letter Days to Virgin Balloon Flights. These can be a great add-on for the honeymoon, or something to look forward to on your return and the memories last forever. Meanwhile, The Wedding Shop lets you create a personalised fund so that you can continue to indulge your passion – be it a kitty for cinema tickets or for festival going – perfect for couples who don’t want to give up Glastonbury or Friday night horror movies just because they got hitched. They also report a trend for objects not traditionally on the gift list – bikes, Polaroid cameras and state-of-the-art headphones among them.
The message is – don’t be afraid to do different. Guests will enjoy buying something that matches your personality and theirs. And even if you are convinced that Archers aficionado Uncle George is bound to opt for a Roberts Revival DAB radio, he may yet surprise you with that wildly bold Kosta Boda Hot Pink Lips ornament you added to the list in a moment of pre-wedding indulgence. Gifts are fun to give but enchanting to receive – this is one of the few opportunities we get in life to choose what we really, really want.