It used to be simple. You get engaged, you plan your wedding and somewhere along the line you decide to make it easier for yourself and your guests by setting up a wedding gift list. Regardless of whether you'd like gifts, cash, honeymoon, charity contributions (or a little bit of all of the above), having a dedicated gift list service has always been a good idea. So what happens now that your wedding plans may have become more complex or in some cases, more simplified? What exactly are the expectations surrounding wedding gifts? We've taken all of the most asked questions on this topic to give you everything you need to know about the new wedding gift etiquette.

We've decided to have a small ceremony only. Do we still need a wedding gift list? Technically, no. Just like you don't need flowers or a white dress. As we have always maintained, it is your day, your way. However, will the people closest to you who make the max number limit want to buy you a beautiful gift? Absolutely. Will your family and friends whom you are unable to invite want to buy you a congratulatory gift? Absolutely. So the question becomes, would you like to guide the kind gestures of friends and family (who can make the big day or not) towards something that you want? We think it's a good idea.  And we have some examples of how you can share your gift list graciously below.

Our wedding is now in two parts, a small ceremony first then a larger celebration next year. Do I have a wedding gift list for one or both? In this case, a wedding gift list (with a good gift list service) is a lot more flexible than you'd think. You could create a smaller list for your ceremony guests and then expand that list for your larger celebration. Or you could use the furthest away date, your larger celebration, as your 'wedding date' in this case as it allows your guests to contribute from before you tie the knot, right up until the day you throw the party of a lifetime. This gives you plenty of time to curate your list and a day of gift opening to look forward to after the celebrations.

We have a wedding gift list and our guests have already brought gifts, but our day is postponed to next year. What should we do? Ah this one is a simple fix, either login to your gift list service or contact them and change the wedding date on your account to reflect your new date. This way, your guests' contributions are all safe and sound. Most gift list services will let you change your mind and edit the gifts on your list over this time too, so don't worry too much if your tastes or needs change within that time frame. Have a look at our Wedding Gift List review article to see which gift lists offer the best levels of flexibility. And if you know you're postponing until next year but you don't have a new date quite yet, just pick a date in the future and update your account when you're ready.  

We're reducing our guest numbers out of necessity, should we still have a wedding gift list? Much like our answer to the first question, many people originally invited will almost certainly want to congratulate you with a gift. Aunties that couldn't be there, friendship groups who are too big to make your new numbers, family and friends who would have traveled far and wide to make your day. If anything, we're finding that most people who have been uninvited to a wedding (we've also written about how to reduce your guest numbers tactfully), understand how difficult the whole process has been for the couple and want to give you something to celebrate your marriage. So you have the option to save yourself the time of answering dozens of "I'd still like to get you something, what would you like?" texts and make it easy for your friends and family by having a wedding gift list.

How do we share our wedding gift list details politely with our wider family and friends? Are you streaming your day to a Facebook group or a wedding website? Chances are you'll be sharing those details in advance so your loved ones can join in. Whichever platform you choose, you can add a simple link to your wedding gift list in there. You may receive texts or calls from people asking what you would like. Having a short link you can send them to your gift list will make the gift-giving process easier for you to manage but also infinitely easier for your guests too. Guests can buy your gifts at the click of a button, so they don't need to venture out to find the perfect gift.

Examples of wording to accompany your gift list details:  

"Thank you for all of your love and support whilst we've planned our wedding. It means the world to us. Thank you also for your kind offer to buy us a gift. You can see our wedding gift list here . It's full of special things that we've really enjoyed choosing together."


"Your love, understanding, and support whilst we've been planning our wedding have meant everything to us. A few of you have asked how you can buy us a wedding gift. Please know that this is not necessary. But if you do feel inclined, you can see our wedding gift list here . It's full of special things that we've really enjoyed choosing together." 


The bottom line is, no matter what shape or form your wedding day takes; whether it's intimate by necessity or by choice. Whether it's in one part or two. Whether it's in two months' time or two years' time. Many of your loved ones will want to give you a gift to celebrate your new marriage.  

Other Helpful Links

If you're still deciding whether or not this means using a gift list service, then this article is for you. If you know you want to make gift-giving a stress free experience for both you and your guests, then use our unsponsored wedding gift list review to find the best fit for you.  

Naomi Liddell

Written by Naomi Liddell

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