Gift lists have proved pretty divisive in the wedding build up. Once upon a time when it was the done thing to live apart pre-marriage, it made total sense to use your registry as an opportunity to kit out your new marital home. But I’ve lived away from my parents for five years, and with Ben for nearly three of those. We’re lucky enough to have been able to cover the basics – no White Company towels or wine glasses necessary – whilst any of those additional, traditional things feel quite irrelevant to us now. Although my culinary skills are better than remedial, I certainly don’t need a variety of woks filling my tiny kitchen cupboards, and I couldn’t possibly guess what kind of bedsheets or china I’m going to want in ten years’ time.
However, we learnt the hard way with our engagement party that proper grown-ups are deeply uncomfortable not buying a gift. We were adamant we didn’t want our parents’ friends to have to splash out on us in advance of the wedding, but it turned out we left them stabbing in the dark, feeling socially obligated to buy a present but without any direction about what we may like. That’s why we’ve curated a small list filled with grown-up necessities – a great hoover, a proper coffee machine and some Le Creuset have all made the cut.
We’ve already asked a lot from our friends, who are having to fly out to Mallorca, book hotel rooms and attend stags, hens and everything else, so we felt quite strongly we didn’t need them to lay out for crockery on top. Instead, we are asking them to support Buttle UK, a charity that provides beds and bedding to underprivileged children, as a way to bring a bit of altruism to our big day.
If you are in the market for more traditional gifts, then you’re lucky – you’ll find putting a list together significantly easier. But if you are a little stuck, here’s my advice for getting it right…
Consider Where You’re Registering
John Lewis will always be a reliable destination, but there are now a host of rival companies bringing something new to the table. We went with The Wedding Shop, thanks to their easy-to-build online model, great partner brands and a clever function which allows you to register for anything, anywhere – simply put the link through their site and it gets added to your list. The Wedding Present Co is also well worth checking out.
Forget The Trends
It’s really easy to register for that scalloped lamp shade, or those minimalist line print paintings, but chances are they’re all going to look pretty dated in the next few years. Stick to classic items, like useful kitchen gadgets or smart homewares, to guarantee your guests aren’t just wasting their cash.
There’s nothing worse than receiving an invite that says ‘we are registered at’. Sometimes you need a bit of extra copy to prove you’re not just in it for the gifts – wording such as, it’s lovely your guests are attending and if they do wish to give a gift then you’re registered at XYZ, is better.
Do It Together
Don’t forget it’s his wedding too. Make every choice on the registry one you make together, whether it’s the colour of your new Smeg toaster or the style of the salt and pepper grinders you will have to live with forever. Receiving your gifts should be equally exciting for both of you.
Ask Your Mum
When it comes to household essentials, no one knows better than a parent. From exactly what casserole dishes you need to how necessary a gravy boat really is, your mum or similar will have all the intel you need.