Wedding gift lists: the expert guide

Wedding gift lists should be a pleasure – not a chore. After all, this is one of the few opportunities you get in  life to be very specific about what you do and don’t want. Here are tips from the experts for getting it right

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While some of us can feel a bit awkward about creating a wedding gift list, it makes life much easier for guests, who will know they have given you something you will love. Kate Spade dinner service from The Wedding Shop


Get over the shame

Many of us are just a tad embarrassed about the whole business of wedding gift lists, but in fact the whole point is to make life easier for your guests. Most of them want to give you something and it’s far easier if they are steered in the right direction rather than left floundering in the dark. As Ali Beaven of Prezola says: “Have a list. It’s actually a pain for guests when you don’t because they’ll almost certainly buy a gift anyway”. Jemma Phillimore of The Wedding Shop also believes it makes things much less stressful, especially as a list means guests can choose options that suit their personality and yours: “A gift list is the perfect way to make it easy for them as they can purchase something they love that they know matches your taste in just a few clicks”.


Be Organised

Get started early on selecting the items you might like so that your guests don’t view it as an afterthought. This means registering early for your gift list and compiling it over days or weeks (this should be a treat, not a chore), so that it’s ready to go by the time your invitations are sent out. A discreet card – or a link to your list via your wedding website – are all that’s then required. Ensure you keep the list open after your wedding day – both The Wedding Shop and Prezola recommend a couple of weeks at least: Jemma Phillimore adds that it’s surprising how many guests log on to buy after the wedding day.

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Register early for your gift list, compile it over days or weeks and include a wide range of items. Heart shaped dish available from Prezola

Think different

While you may crave that über toaster-cum-sandwich maker or a mixer that transforms you into Mary Berry, a wedding list is also an opportunity to think different. “If you want flamingo coffee cups, go for it”, says Jemma Phillimore of The Wedding Shop. Ali Beaven of Prezola suggests you think of heirloom items – for instance, Christmas dinnerware or really good cutlery are objects you might not prioritise yourself, but if they are given as a gift you’ll use and treasure them over years. And they will always be a reminder of your wedding day and the gift givers.

Wedding gift lists are a great way to choose objects you would never buy yourself but will always treasure. Tableware  available from Prezola

Cover all price points

The under £20 end covers off younger and more cash-strapped guests or those who prefer a small token because they’ve flown in for your wedding from Australia, while the higher end may become joint gifts or presents from someone who wants to spoil you both. So do include as wide a range of price points as possible – this shows the world it’s not about the money, but giving you objects that you can use and enjoy.

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Choose objects for your wedding gift list that you will use and enjoy, be it daily or on special occasions. Coffee pot available from The Wedding Shop

You can ask for cash

Increasingly, people see giving cash as a viable alternative – especially if there is the opportunity to make your honeymoon extra special or provide cash towards something that you really want. It’s not a good idea to have cash left around the venue, so if this is an option you’re choosing look at options such as establishing a separate bank account for the purpose or, more convenient still, a combined gift and honeymoon list – where cash can be deposited safely before your wedding.


Don’t forget the thank you card

Your wedding list company should keep a record of who bought what, so all you have to do is hand write a note that is personal, appreciative and specific about the gift. You could even get the cards designed at the same time as your wedding invitations are made up.


You can get more inspiration for compiling your wedding gift list – plus expert advice on etiquette, price points and alternative gifts – from both The Wedding Shop and Prezola.