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Should I Have A Wedding Gift List? – 9 Myths Busted

You lot are so good at telling us exactly what you need to make your wedding planning life easier. When we asked you if you’re considering a gift list, we had great feedback from not only those who were in the ‘hell yeah’ camp, but also from those who were on the fence. We are and have always been of the opinion that wedding gift lists are a fantastic tool for couples. If you asked anyone in our office if they’d have a gift list, you’d get a resounding YES! In fact, some of us (me then) who get to compile these features spend far too long looking at products wishing they could add them to a gift list (Le Creuset Calm Collection I’m looking at you). 
 
But as you’ll find out from the myths we’ve busted below, there are a lot of misconceptions about gift lists. No, it’s not rude to point your guests to things you would actually like. And no, you don’t have to just choose crockery. But we’ll deep dive below to give you all the clarity you need to make your own decision. 
 
Make sure you read to the bottom. We’ve tackled every single wedding gift list myth we’ve come across so chances are, your question is answered below. 
 

Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to have a wedding gift list?

As soon as your guests receive a beautifully penned invitation, you can bet your bottom dollar that once they get past the delight at being invited, they will move onto the following four thoughts… Accommodation, travel plans, outfits and a gift. Most couples are happy to offer advice on accommodation or travel. But one sure-fire way to reduce guest’s stress is to give them gifts to choose from. If you’ve ever been faced with shopping for a wedding present without knowing what the couple actually wants, you’ll understand that it can be daunting, to say the very least. By having a gift list, your guests can breathe a sigh of relief, choose something they know you genuinely want and then get on with the next most difficult task… Their outfit. 
 

We already live together and have everything we need.

If you’ve lived together for a while, you may have a home full of all of the necessities. That shouldn’t stop you from having a wedding gift list. Quite often, when starting out you buy things that are great to start off with, but time wears away at them. This is a chance to refresh and upgrade your current belongings. Or potentially buy that countertop trophy of a Kitchenaid you’ve always wanted.

It’s not just about what you ‘need’ but also what you’d ‘love’. Interests and hobbies can help shape your wedding gift list too. Your list can be a collection of all the things that reflect you as a couple. You may want to add some new bedsheets. But are you also a foodie or fancy starting your own wine collection? Did you know you can add gourmet food and wines to your gift list too? No judgment here (just jealousy). Or if you’ve made lifestyle changes and want your belongings to reflect your new focus on long-lasting, sustainable homeware, now’s your chance. 

Would you want your guests to contribute towards a gift that would spark memories of your day? Like a beautiful piece of art or a life experience you’ve always wanted.
 

It’s not very environmentally responsible to ask for more stuff. 

Consumerism does have a part to play in the concerns we’re all facing for our planet. But a wedding gift list can be your chance to choose more sustainable and ethically made products. Which are often more pricey than their cheaper, lower quality counterparts.

That’s not to say that you should throw out all of your current possessions to make way for new, but if you’ve recently made lifestyle changes to reduce your waste, some products that can help you do that can be quite an expense. Beeswax food wraps, for instance, are around £25, much more expensive than a Tupperware container. But at the perfect price point for any guest to gift you. Whilst helping you make the switch from plastics to more natural alternatives. If you’re trying to ensure your home supports a vegan or cruelty-free lifestyle, your wedding gift-list can also be a good opportunity to upgrade. If the items you’re replacing still have life in them, be sure to donate them appropriately. 
 

I don’t want my guests to buy me a bunch of things I don’t want.

We’ve recently encountered the misconception that wedding gift lists mean that your guests can choose any old item from that gift list service or department store for you. Ie. You could end up with 12 photo frames. Not the case (thankfully). Having a gift list allows you to effectively have a shopping spree (without the painful checkout part at the end) by compiling a list of exactly what and how many of each thing you would like. Then the list of things and experiences you’ve chosen is given to your guests to choose from. They can’t double up (unless you want them to).

And most modern gift list services will allow you to fill your list with a mixture of anything you want. Some products, some charity, some honeymoon and some cash contributions. Then your guests have the freedom to choose from those things you’ve specified. This ensures you only receive the things you truly would like but also gives you a hybrid list with an option for every guest.

 

We just want our guests to come and have a good time, we don’t want them to give us anything.

Many couples will say that they don’t want any gifts and that the presence of their guests is enough. But most couples would also agree that they would never dream of attending a wedding without bringing a gift. It’s a dichotomy. And one that often results in the couple who didn’t want any gifts being faced with clearing a table on their wedding day for guests turning up with beautifully wrapped parcels or nervously handing over precious envelopes to members of the wedding party in the hope they won’t be lost amidst the celebrations.

If you don’t plan for, and allow for your guests to bring kind gifts, you will have to deal with it on the day anyway. Take the pressure off yourselves and your guests by having a gift list. You can load your list with anything you want, products for your garden project, cash contributions towards home improvements, wine (yes, we’ve mentioned that already, but wine), charity contributions or a mix of all of the above. It saves your guests from wondering how they’ll get your gift from the car to the reception after dinner. And it saves your maid of honour from feeling as though her clutch bag should be chained to her body somehow, lest she has a few proseccos and forget where it was placed.
 

I don’t know how much my guests would want to give. So I have no idea which items I could put on a list that would fit all budgets.

Gift lists have evolved fast past wandering around a department store with a barcode scanner. You can literally create your list from your phone in most cases. And many now also have a feature called group gifting. This means you can literally put a sofa on your gift list and your guests can choose to contribute a small amount towards it. Often used for fancy pants gifts like home speaker systems. You can add tons of smaller ticket items you might like also. This allows your guests to literally help you buy anything you want. Whilst also taking the pressure off them to hurry onto your list before all of the affordable options are taken. Everyone can relax knowing that there is an option available for any budget. 

It’s also worth mentioning that not everything on your list needs to be purchased. But if you’ve added something to your list and guests miss it out, some gift list services offer a discount to the couple to treat themselves to that product anyway. 
 

Wedding planning is already hectic. I don’t want another thing to do. 

Which would you rather do? Sit down and go over how to make the guest list fit again or go on a virtual shopping spree with your other half, filling up a wish list full of things you would absolutely love? Creating a gift list is quite possibly the most fun and enjoyable piece of wedmin there is. Consider it a break from the to do’s, whilst actually doing something productive together. You’re also avoiding the onslaught of responding to texts asking “I’d love to get you something you really need, any ideas?”.
 

I’m afraid we’ll change our mind and be stuck with things we don’t want at the end.

Lucky for you then that some wedding gift list services will allow you to swap and switch about your products before confirming your order. So you needn’t be shy when creating your list. It’s very flexible. If being able to make swaps is a concern, just make sure you choose one of the gift list services from this post that allow that.
 

So gift lists are free? What’s the catch?

Most gift list options are free for the couple. You can find out more about the ins and outs of each gift list service in this post. But basically the gift list companies received a commission directly from product suppliers. The cost isn’t passed on to you and the prices for the products remain the same. Usually, a fee applies for either the couple or the guests when contributing cash, but it’s generally no higher than 2%, meaning if a guest gifts you £50, they will pay £51 to cover the 2% charge. For some gift lists, this charge is taken from the couple’s total balance of cash or honeymoon contributions before the funds are released, so choose your wedding gift list wisely. 
 

Which Wedding Gift List Should We Choose?

And on that note, we’ve done the legwork for you there too. We’ve compared the top 5 wedding gift lists that offer products as well as contributions, The Wedding Shop, Prezola, The Wedding Present Company, Amazon and John Lewis. So you can choose the one that fits you as a couple best and start loading up that wishlist with all of the things you fancy. Giving you another thing to look forward to after the big day has passed (like Christmas come early!) AND saving your guests the dreaded job of choosing the perfect gift without any direction. Just click below for our honest review.

 

VISIT WEDDING GIFT LIST COMPARISON

 

Photography by D&A Photography
Author: Naomi Liddell

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