Wedding gift lists. Fifty years ago, this was a tradition designed to help newlyweds deck out their new homes in the basics they need.

Fast forward a few decades, and the majority of newlyweds already have their own rented home, or have bought one. Kitting out a home isn’t quite as essential as it has been in the past. But the tradition has changed. Now, people ask for iPods, flat screen TVs and KitchenAid mixers (I kid you not, I’ve seen ALL of these on gift lists in the last couple of years).

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I feel kind of weird about the whole wedding list thing. Weddings cost enough for guests as it is (wedding outfit + bar bill + hotel bill = ouch), so requesting gifts too feels a bit….odd. That said, some guests expect to or even want to offer a gift.

So what’s the solution?

Firstly, I think it’s important to make it clear to guests that they don’t have to buy you a gift. There are dozens of corny poems around that state that the attendance of the guest(s) is more important than a gift.

Secondly – the gift list. You’ve got plenty of choices:

  • The traditional gift list. Grab a scanner or hop online and create a list of things that you want for the house. If you’re going to do this, go for a wide range of prices but nothing too extravagant. Unless your friends are all very, very rich, it’s a little tacky to add things like an iPad to your list.
  • The voucher gift list. Quite a simple, easy one – state your favourite store and people can just buy you vouchers. John Lewis and Debenhams are good bets. The only downside is that elderly relatives generally don’t like buying vouchers.
  • Honeymoon gift list. This is the one we’ve gone for, as neither of us have been on a proper holiday for over five years. To be honest, we’re fully expecting to pay the bulk of the cost ourselves. Again, this works with vouchers so you can choose what to spend it on.
  • Charity. This is becoming an increasingly popular option, and a really sweet one. If you have a charity close to your heart, you can ask for people to donate to it.

There are a few unusual options too:

  • Ask guests to bring a dish instead of gift, for the day or evening. It’s a lovely way to have a real mixture of food, plus it’ll save you a little money…
  • Request that people make gifts rather than buy them. A cute way to add personal touches to your home, and a fun project for your guests.
  • Ask people to help with the wedding. For instance, if people want to bring a gift, they could make the bunting, the wedding cake or something old, new, borrowed or blue.

What are your thoughts on wedding gift lists?

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