Even though many wedding guests (and even those who cannot attend) will want to buy the happy couple a gift, it can be tricky knowing how to go about asking your guests for items that you’d actually like. Traditionally, a couple getting wed would be very young with very little money and only just setting up home together. Times have changed; we’re marrying later, living together before marriage, and saving up before getting married. But, it can just seem rude to ask guests outright for gifts of items that you haven’t already got, or items that you’d like to receive. So what do you do? Wedding gift lists are commonplace now, and in this blog post we will take a look at the options available to you that won’t mean your guests are offended or feel pressured into buying something they can’t afford. We will look at wedding gift lists, charitable donations, ways of politely asking for money, and ways to make it clear that you don’t expect a gift at all from your wedding guests.
Wedding Gift Lists
Many department stores now offer wedding gift lists as do a number of online companies. To some, it can seem crude to enclose a list of desired gifts with an invitation, but everyone understands that a couple is getting married because they love each other, not because they want a bundle of presents. It’s become the norm to make some sort of request, and actually it takes the pressure off those who do wish to buy a gift – there’s no need to think about what to buy and most wedding gift lists offer some sort of online purchasing. It’s quite unlikely that anyone would take offence, but if you still feel uncomfortable, make it clear that a gift isn’t a requirement – more on that below.
So what can you ask for on wedding gift lists? Start by being practical – what do you actually need as a couple? If you’re in need of some cereal bowls, add cereal bowls to the list! And when your wedding guests come to visit, it’s nice for them to see their gift in use. This thought process can be put into practice further by thinking about items that you’d like (but don’t necessarily need) – a barbecue, outdoor fairy lights, a bluetooth speaker. It’s recommended that you have a good range of prices within your wedding gift list to suit everyone’s budget.
What wedding gift lists are available? There’s LOADS… and most wedding gift lists keep track of whose purchased what for you (important for those thank you notes). Our favourites are…
John Lewis – The Gift List : With John Lewis’ service, you can add honeymoon or charity contributions to your list and Gift Vouchers are an option too. There’s free home delivery – all your items will be collated and delivered at a time convenient to you. And, as a treat, the happy couple will receive tea and cake for two to enjoy while shopping!
Not On The High Street Wedding List Service : Add bespoke and hand crafted items to your wedding list (and support small, independent businesses too). Not on the High Street also allow your gusts to make a contribution towards a more expensive gift on your list too.
Do a little research and find the right wedding gift list service for you – there’s lots to choose from, offering different types of gifts and different services too, from home delivery of your chosen items to experiences and days out.
Asking for money – politely!
Many people find cash a hard subject to discuss, for all sorts of reasons. For wedding guests, it might be that they don’t with the happy couple to know how much they’ve spent on a gift, which is difficult to do when cash is involved. Our advice isn’t to not ask for cash, however, if that’s what you’d prefer. There are ways of asking which mean your guests won’t be offended.
Firstly, let your guests know where the money will be going – it’ll please your guests to know that their cash will be contributing to something specific (something special). If the cash is going towards a honeymoon, there are online services (much like the wedding gift lists above) and guests can even choose to buy a specific element of your honeymoon too, such as a spa treatment.
A popular way of breaking the stuffiness associated with cash is to get creative with a limerick or rhyme that politely requests cash. A few examples follow…
We haven’t got a gift list for all of you to see,
because as you all know, we never can agree!
But if you’d like to help us start our married life,
cash or high street vouchers would save a lot of strife!
Your presence without presents
is enough to make our day,
We haven’t made a wedding list
of gifts in any way,
Should you wish to give us cash,
we surely won’t say no,
So we can buy the things we like
to help us create our home.
We’ve been together quite a while and have a lovely home,
There are not too many items that we don’t already own.
So if your thoughts were on a gift, your presence will suffice
But if you really feel the need then vouchers would be nice.
The choice is really up to you and we would like to say
We hope you come, enjoy yourselves and have a lovely day.
While many couples who have already set up home together are choosing wedding gift lists or cash as a wedding gift option, some are opting for a charitable donation. This is exactly what Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge chose to do on their wedding day, and if you’re a couple who already has everything you need then this could be for you… you could use your wedding day to do something truly wonderful for your favourite charity. Some charities (such as Oxfam) have embraced this, and even offer gift lists on their websites where your guests can buy goats for families in poverty, education for children, and more! Like this idea, but stuck for charity choices? Our favourite local charities are The Benjamin Foundation, The Norfolk Hospice, and PACT Animal Sanctuary.
Gift giving at weddings has certainly changed. Whether you choose to use wedding gift lists, rhymes, or request a charitable donation, remember there might be some guests who can’t afford to give you a present (as much as they’d like to) and those who will want to buy you a present regardless of your requests… either way, it’s got to be better than ending up with three toasters, right?