Wedding Gift Lists, what should you be asking for?

Wedding gift lists can be a little overwhelming. While they might be considered the most ‘fun’ part of planning – after all, who doesn’t like gifts? – the selection process can be harder than you originally imagined. So what should you put on your gift list? I’m sharing everything from mine, why and how we put it together.

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The first thing you need to think about is where you’re going to register. This will largely depend on your taste but while you might be really tech savvy, spare a thought for relatives or friends who might not be as au fait with online retail.

Registering in one store is great if you find somewhere that closely aligns with your needs and tastes. While John Lewis is the classic option for many couples, department stores such as Fenwick can also be a popular choice (and they really do have some of the most beautiful dining ware too).

But if you’re struggling to plump for the classic John Lewis list (like we did) and have far more eclectic taste, then you’re in luck. A number of wedding registry sites have sprung up that allow you shop multiple brands in one place. Remember, while of course you can have several different registries, try to make it easy for your guests with one or two lists max.

Alternatively, you may want to use one of the shopping portals that allows you to pull in from all different sites to create your ultimate gift list. Check out myregistry.com and The Wedding Shop as two great options. Both also have an option for cash gifts for those perhaps saving towards a honeymoon (the dream right now). The Wedding Shop also has options for guests to pledge some money towards bigger items, that means friends and families can club together to purchase more expensive items collectively.

Finding the right place to host your listing is just the first hurdle. Next up, what do you actually need? This is, of course, entirely personal to the couple. If you’ve been together for a number of years in your own home then your needs will differ to couples who are embarking on a very new journey together. Perhaps you’re still both using bits of cobbled together crockery from various flat shares or adventures and want to start with a clean slate. You’re now in the perfect position to plan your dream home, so think about what you’re missing but also make sure you have items on there that you both love. You don’t have to pick items you wouldn’t purchase yourself but choose things that you’ll want to hold on to – wedding gifts should hold as many memories as the day itself and people love to pick items they know you’ll enjoy using.

If, like me, you’re doing the double whammy and moving at the same time as getting married (not actually advisable) then it’s a great opportunity to start relatively fresh and hopefully your lovely guests can help you on your way! Here are some of the favourite items we have on our gift list…

Now, we couldn’t plump for just one store. Dan and I have quite similar but equally eclectic taste and we love things that are fun and thematic. We both adore colour and luckily both enjoy hosting friends for dinner, so having enough joyous serveware was a high priority on our list.

Serveware, Platters and Statement Dishes

These are the sort of pieces you put out for dinner parties and gatherings. They elevate the food visually and make dining together stylish and easy. Statement dishes, beautiful salad bowls and pretty platters make for great gifts as you will hopefully use them lots and keep them for years to come. Here are a few of my favourites.

(First row, left – right) Van Verre Large Bordallo Bowl, £31.00, Fenwick

Bordallo Pinheiro Melon Serving Bowl, 34cm, Yellow/Green, £50, John Lewis & Partners

Portmeirion Atrium Embossed Platter, £30, Kaleidoscope

(Second row, left – right) BORDALLO PINHEIRO, Pineapple Salad Bowl, £80, Amara

Deco Charm Teal Glass Platter, £20, Dunelm

Maxwell & Williams DR0088 Boho Round Platter, Gift Boxed, Ceramic, £13.80, Amazon

Grubs Up… Dinner Sets

If you’ve lived off Ikea or Sainsbury’s dinner sets for the last few years, then this is the perfect excuse to get some gorgeous new grown up crockery (not that I don’t love Ikea sets TBH). Whether you go for a classic Royal Doulton or something altogether jazzier really depends on your own personal taste.

Schlenker 16 Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4, £86.20

Royal Doulton, Plate 28cm Set of 6, £72.00, Fenwick

12 Piece Reactive Glaze Two-Tone Dinner Set, Natural & Cobalt

Big Ticket Items

This is where sites like The Wedding Shop really come into their own, as guests can pledge money towards higher priced items. It does feel overly indulgent putting some big money items on your list but friends or family will often happily club together to get you something they know you will use and love for many years to come. Keep these to a minimum though and opt for a handful of big ticket purchases that you desperately would love to add to your home.

KitchenAid 175 Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer, Red, £499.00, John Lewis & Partners

Ninja Foodi MAX 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker 7.5L OP500UK, £299.99, Ninja

De’Longhi Magnifica S Smart Coffee Machine, £349.99, John Lewis & Partners

Top Pots

Opt for good cooking pots and roasting dishes and they will last you a lifetime! You probably have a cupboard full of cookware but your gift list is a great time to update your pots or get some really investment cookware items that you’ve always felt were missing from your kitchen cupboards. Look for pieces that come with 10+ year guarantees and be sure to check their suitability for different hob types.

Circulon Style Hard-Anodised Aluminium Non-Stick Sauteuse Pan & Lid, Black, £100, John Lewis & Partners

Tefal, Ingénio Émotion 15-piece cookware set £175, La Redoute

LE CREUSET Signature cast iron casserole dish 22cm, £220.00, Selfridges

Keep it Quirky

Don’t forget to let your personality shine through. People want to give items they know you’ll love, so even if the giver wouldn’t want to receive an item, they’ll rest assured they’ve selected something you’ll enjoy. Adding fun finishing touches to your home, particularly items you may have neglected to purchase but will make you smile is an excellent way to start your gift list.

Pineapple Pitcher, £90.00, Sous Chef

Cactus Coffee Capsule Holder – Black, £18.99, Redcandy

Beautiful Spiral Shell Shaped Rattan Lamp Shade – 2 Sizes Available, £225.00, Rockett St George

The Price Is Right

Be mindful of your guests budgets and make sure to have a varied level of price points. Most people have a budget in mind for a wedding gift and it’s important to have a mix of price levels to suit everyone’s needs. You may also find some people like to buy multiple smaller items so try to ensure you have a selection of gifts around the £20 mark too.

Paxton and Whitfield Acacia Wood & Stainless Steel Cheese Grater, £20.00, John Lewis and Partners

Kikkerland Penguin Kitchen Timer, £7.50, John Lewis and Partners

Hay spiral candles set of six, £25, Selfridges

Vouch(er) For Me

Some people really don’t know what to get and sometimes you really don’t know what you want, so vouchers are always a good shout. We’ve been blessed with a number of Ikea vouchers which have been amazing as they’ve helped us furnish our new home. Other strong choices include John Lewis and Partners, Selfridges or Fenwick as they have a great selection of brands and items and means you can spend as and when you need things.

All About the Experience

If you’re looking for contributions towards a honeymoon, a number of places offer the opportunity to purchase an experience, not just add cash. For example, guests could buy you a night at the hotel, a candle lit dinner or an excursion. This is a really lovely way of ensuring guests feel part of your trip and that they know they’ve given you more than just cash towards a holiday.

Good luck, happy choosing and congrats!