Let’s be honest: wedding gift lists make perfect sense and, if you’re anything like me, gift lists would make even more sense if you could have it at asos.com or net-a-porter… Chances are, you’re probably already living in your own place and you have pretty much everything you need – bed linen, towels, cutlery and all those utensils that make you look like you know how to handle a house and a husband. But, again, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably bought most of your pretty accessories at Ikea, so now that you are about to become a proud ‘husband-owner‘, you will want to actually have pots and pans with solid handles, a couple of sets of bed linens that feel silky, and towels that actually dry.

Long gone are the days when parents used to set aside a dowry for your wedding; although, I must admit, both my brother and I, coming from a good old fashioned Italian family, do have one. Mine contained bed linens and tables cloths embroidered by my grandmother when I was just a little girl. With the years my mother kept adding more and more items, so that in the end I was able to bring into my marriage more towels, kitchen cloths and gadgets that you can possibly imagine. Most of them are still wrapped up waiting for the day I have a new kitchen; others are still in Italy waiting for the day I drive there, so that I can bring back to the UK the set of plates that I can’t possibly carry on the plane… unless I want to make a jigsaw with what remains of it when I land…

When I look back, however, I realise that as old fashioned as it might seem, having a wedding dowry has saved me quite a lot of money and has certainly given me a good head start. If, however, you do need a few essentials and you don’t have a dowry (admittedly I might be the only girl in the country who had one), then having a gift list may be the only way for you to be able to afford the wedding, without having to worry about spending even more money to buy items for your joint dwelling.

The problem is: whenever people open an invite, they all seem to cringe when they see the card directing them to the gift list. Most people seem to think that it is a bit cheeky to encourage guests not only to buy a gift, but also to decide how much they should be spending. And this has probably more due with the fact that some couples tend to go overboard when they select the items. I can just imagine ‘scan-happy’ couples picking the most expensive and at times most useless items in the store…

Please do not do the same mistake! It does annoy guests when gift lists contain such items. So here’s just a few basic tips to bear in mind:

  1. Think carefully about what you NEED, and not just what you fancy. There is no need to include a pasta maker that you will never use, or an electric Parmesan grater if you don’t know where to buy big chunks of Parmesan to grate.
  2. Think about good quality items that will last you for the years to come, like pillows and duvets, good quality pots and pans, or cutlery.
  3. If you are lucky enough to have family and friends who would spend quite a lot of money to buy you a gift, then think about appliances like a food mixer, a professional iron or a vacuum cleaner.
  4. Ensure that you include a range of prices. Your unemployed friend will probably only be able to afford a small gift to say thank you for allowing her to share your day with her, so there’s no point to start your gift list with items at £50. This will only leave your guests who can’t afford £50 feeling inadequate and embarrassed.
  5. If you truly don’t need essential items, but you want to use your gift list to decorate your house, then rules 2 and 4 still apply: choose good quality pieces within a wide range of prices (look at our previous post about notonthehighstreet.com – you will find a lot of inspiration)

Always remember: a poorly compiled gift list will turn into your enemy – your guests could get upset if they feel that there is nothing they can adequately buy you based on their budget. So be smart and not only you will have happy guests, but you will end up with a house filled with truly beautiful and long-lasting presents.

Mr & Mrs Hungup Hook

Alternative Wine Rack

Next Gift List: nextgiftlist.co.uk

John Lewis Gift List Service: johnlewisgiftlist.com

Heal’s: healsgiftlist.co.uk

House of Fraser: houseoffraserweddinglist.co.uk