WEDDING ETIQUETTE - YOUR GUIDE TO GIFT LIST ETIQUETTE

Couple building wedding shop gift list

You haven’t written a gift list since you last penned a letter to Father Christmas. Now you’re engaged, and you’re expected to come up with a directory of household demands for anything from a photo frame to a cordless drill. This is a fun part of wedding planning, but if you are new to gift lists it is likely you have a lot of questions surrounding etiquette. Especially when the current climate opens up a whole host of new questions, let us explain.

Wedding lists exist for a reason, to guide your friends and family to give you something to help you celebrate and to prevent triplicate toasters and four sets of face towels – so how best to navigate the etiquette of them? We have answered your most common wedding etiquette gift list questions:

WEDDING ETIQUETTE - YOUR GUIDE TO GIFT LIST ETIQUETTE

SHOULD WE STILL HAVE A GIFT LIST NOW OUR WEDDING IS SMALLER?

Yes having a wedding gift list is still a great idea. The guests that are attending will absolutely want to buy you a gift. Our survey shows that 99% of all wedding guests want to buy the happy couple something to mark their special day.  Also, having a gift list for those not attending is wise. Giving your friends and family the ability to choose something that you will both love, accompanied by a personal message, will help them to feel part of your celebrations. You can send your list details along with a zoom link or you may decide you only want to share the details with those who ask. Perhaps some guests can’t attend because of travel restrictions, having a gift list takes the stress away from friends and family having to worry about delivery. 

Read how real 2020 couple Alexandra and Edward used their wedding gift list although their celebration was smaller than expected. 

Alexandra and Edward’s 2020 Wedding

SHOULD WE USE OUR GIFT LIST FOR BOTH CELEBRATIONS?

If you have decided to have two celebrations, it is likely that you will find some guests want to give you something for your smaller, more intimate celebration, whereas others will want to wait until your larger celebration. Maybe some will even choose to gift you on both occasions. All options are perfectly easy to accommodate using The Wedding Shop. We recommend that you update your wedding date within your settings to the date further away, if you don’t know this date yet you can just add a placeholder date for 2021. Learn more about Covid-19 and your wedding gift list with our FAQs

UPDATE YOUR WEDDING DATE

WE’RE HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING, AND OUR GUESTS ARE ALREADY HAVING TO PAY. CAN WE REALLY EXPECT THEM TO BUY US A GIFT TOO?

“It’s a lovely idea to include a note with your invitations to explain that you are not expecting wedding gifts, because you know that guests are incurring extra expense to attend. However, some guests, especially close friends and family, may still want to give you something to mark your special day. In this case it’s still best to prepare a list of timeless gifts such as photo frames or champagne glasses and direct those people to the list separately.”

WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED ALREADY – DO WE REALLY NEED A WEDDING LIST?

In short, yes. Even if you specifically ask guests not to give you anything, the majority will feel uncomfortable with the idea – it’s your wedding day, and your guests will want to recognise it by giving you something that you will treasure and keep as a couple.

On the other hand, leaving the issue unmentioned and expecting your guests to use their own initiative incurs the risk that you’ll receive gifts you neither want nor need – or multiple versions of the same item.

If you and your partner have already lived together for a while, you might have accumulated most of the essentials that make up a home, but a wedding list can be an opportunity to upgrade and replace. Always hankered after a matching set of fluffy, white bath towels? Now’s the time to replace the threadbare, mismatched set with which you’ve been making do for years.

If you love a particular range of crockery or silverware, but would never buy it for yourself, add it to your list: not only will those special-occasion dinner plates last forever, they will also remind you of the person who gave them to you whenever you use them.

WE’VE BEEN REALLY CAREFUL ABOUT CHOOSING THE THINGS WE NEED – HOW CAN WE ENSURE THAT GUESTS DON’T JUST GO ‘OFF LIST’?

Unfortunately, you can’t stipulate that your guests stick to the list – some people might prefer to give you a treasured family possession or something they feel you will particularly love but haven’t thought of. You can, however, encourage guests to stay ‘on list’ by choosing a wide range of items, both practical and fun, and at various price points, so that your guest shave plenty to choose from.

newly married couple outdoors

WE’VE REALLY FALLEN FOR A PARTICULAR ITEM, BUT IT’S VERY EXPENSIVE – IS THERE A MAXIMUM PRICE TO EXPECT GUESTS TO PAY?

We always advise to choose items at a range of price points to accommodate guests with varying budgets. However, with The Wedding Shop’s great group gifting function you can add high ticket items to your list, and your guests can contribute as much as they wish towards it. This means that you can add that new sofa you really want, or the piece of original artwork that would look great in your sitting room.

CAN WE ASK FOR CASH?

Some of your guests may feel uneasy giving you a cash donation because it can seem impersonal. However, on your Wedding Shop list, you can personalise your cash funds with your own images and descriptions to let your guests know exactly what you would like the contribution for. This takes the cold, hard money out of the equation and lets your guests know that you will be using their gift for something specific.

WHAT WE’D REALLY LIKE IS A CONTRIBUTION TO OUR HONEYMOON – CAN WE ASK GUESTS TO DONATE TO THAT INSTEAD?

Asking for honeymoon contributions is becoming increasingly popular, and The Wedding Shop work with some incredible travel partners so that you can add your own personal travel itinerary to your list. Your guests can either contribute to a particular honeymoon activity that they know you are going to enjoy, or you can add a generic honeymoon fund to your list. For those of your guests who may prefer to give you a physical gift, we recommend adding items that will enhance your honeymoon experience, such as a new set of suitcases, a camera, or other travel accessories, to make your trip even more memorable.

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