Gift list dilemma!

Hi ladies. I could do with some help from you lovely like-minded people! We weren't going to have a gift list as we already live together and have everything we need, but some people are asking what we want. I still don't feel comfortable with having a 'list' but on the other hand it would be lovely to have some gifts to remind us of our wedding - any suggestions? I saw somewhere that a couple had asked their guests to give them a framed black and white photo of themselves so they could have a gallery of all their friends and family, and I rather liked that... but then worried some of the older guests might get a bit stressed by the whole idea!

[Modified by: emmascat on 24 April 2009 21:49:55 ]


  • SpinkyMinkySpinkyMinky Posts: 271
    We have lived together for about 4 years so we dont need anything housy so we got a honeymoon gift list Were going to disney and they have a giftlist where people can pay for you to do things on our honeymoon. All our friends love the idea.

    I no that venture photography can do wedding presants like the photo thing your talking about hope that helps
  • EtherealBrideEtherealBride Posts: 1,418
    I didn't like the idea of a list either emmascat, but like you a lot of people asked. In the end, we wrote one (on a piece of paper, not based at a particlar store) and gave it to my mum. Those that asked if we had a listwere directed to her, and those that didn't ask never knew of its existance. We had a few unusual things on it- a cuckoo clock, trip to the zoo etc, and a few more normal things (surprising how much you can think of, even if you've been together as long as we have!)

    I saw a couple once that asked for a christmas tree decoration off each guest, which I thought was lovely (would only work getting married at Christmas though). Or maybe ask for each guest's favourite recipe? There are also charity gift lists. Beware of asking for photo frames though- we didn't even have them on our list and we got SO many. Someone here once suggested a wine list, which would be really nice.

    I think the key is to give people a choice. We got asked for money for a honeymoon last week, which I hate as I don't want to give them money! Would much rather have paid for something specific, like SpinkyMinky suggests. I know it amounts to the same thing, but I'd have enjoyed picking out an experience for them, rather than having to give cold hard cash in an envelope.

    [Modified by: Binky Zoso on April 25, 2009 10:42 AM]

  • alexlazarusalexlazarus Posts: 116
    I think gift lists are really difficult, and its awkward asking for anything i think, but people will want to get you something i think - its tradition after all!

    We've been together for a while, so dont need a huge amount fo rthe house (but as Binky says - its amazing what you think of!). We set up a wedding website, which has a gift list attached

    We tried to keep it as light as possible, adn i have recently had an email from my 80 year old american aunt who is ultra traditional saying how much she liked the web-site, she has already bought a gift off it too!

    There are other gift-lists available, but we opted for just the thing because the design is so great,a nd the commission they charge is quite reasonable. Bliss-list also do a list, but they charge 2.99% + paypal charge.

    Anyway, good luck with it all. We loved writing the website too!

    [Modified by: Fraggle Rock on April 25, 2009 10:49 AM]

    [Modified by: Fraggle Rock on April 28, 2009 07:13 PM]

  • NaomeiNaomei Posts: 2,273
    We have ours with JustTheThing who also host our wedding website. It's cool as you can put anything on it and then guests can pay towards something specific (in our case - our honeymoon). It is a bit like the cash thing only you know what it's going towards - we've broken down our honeymoon into nights at different hotels and meals and stuff, so people have a choice. Also will accept cash offline! image

    I hated the idea of asking for cash initially, but have come round after going to quite a few weddings where that was requested. I like the idea of knowing what the cash is going towards, though - which is why we've given an indication. We're not depending on it for our honeymoon but it will take some of the financial strain off us. We've lived together for ages and bought a house a few years ago so we don't really need anything like that.

    We do have a list at John Lewis for the oldies but haven't put anything on it yet. I kind of don't like that idea (even though it's more traditional) as we buy stuff for the house if we need it... I would much rather put it towards something that we'll love, like our honeymoon!

    Each to their own, though. I have bought on list and off list for people. I kind of don't see the point of people buying pointless stuff you don't really want as that is more of a waste! But then I don't expect everyone to buy us something as they are making the effort to come out to Italy and stuff.
  • SifreynirSifreynir Posts: 560
    we ummmd and argh'd about this. We will have been together 4 years when we get married. Have 4 kids. We pretty much have everything and didn't like the idea of it.

    Then we started getting the requests and as we came closer to the day and I saw how much we were spending..I thought why not.

    We have a list set up with Debenhams and Argos. The argos one has camping kit on it lol. The debenhams stuff has bits and pieces we would really like but generally don't buy because we always put the kids needs first IYSWIM.

    Its hardly extravagant according to the co-ordinator who has helped us there.

    We also asked that if people would prefer to make a charitable donation then to support trees for life. I think then we have covered everything.

    Oh mum also pointed out you can never have enough towels...which is especially true in our house.
  • emmascatemmascat Posts: 58
    Thank you so much everyone, that's really helpful! I like the look of Just The Thing. I'm just not very good at 'asking' for things I suppose!
  • georgiec81georgiec81 Posts: 301
    Hi emmascat - If it helps, we were exactly the same as you. We felt (and still do a bit) really awkward about asking for gifts but then loads of people said to us that people do want an idea of what to give you and also don't forget that your guests will want to give you something to say congratulations. My friend told me that we would be really suprised about how generous people are because people want to celebrate with you. We set up a gift list with You can put anythng you like on here too, including Honeymoon vouchers etc...

    I hope that has made you feel a little bit better.Xxx
  • GemilyJukesGemilyJukes Posts: 321
    We really didn't want anything either as we already live together but guests kept asking for a list so we set up a tiny one at debenhams for new pillows etc and let people know that we had a small list but didn't any presents but their presence on our wedding day! We put it all in a poem and stuck it in with the invites and we ended up with a crazy amount of money as all our guests said it made more sense to give us cash as they'd rather we put it towards something big as opposed to asking for random things we didn't really need.

    [Modified by: GemilyJukes on April 27, 2009 09:54 AM]

  • I was really tempted to make an amazon wish list lol. We don't need house stuff but we have SO MANY books we've run out of shelf space anyway.

    Still, it could have been amusing.

    As it was, I just asked for donations to put toward our honeymoon and some much needed work done on our house. I don't know what people will do though, some might think it's rude to ask for money but really, the idea of asking for a toaster was so bloody old fashioned.

    I didn't write a poem, because I couldn't think of how to write it, so I wrote a polite little note instead which was more my style anyway.

    I have a question though. How do you who are asking for cash, plan to have guests give it to you? Did you provide bank account details or will you have a drop box? I was a little worried having a "gift table" would be a bit like holding your hand out you know? I dunno, I just find the whole thing very very awkward.
  • GemilyJukesGemilyJukes Posts: 321
    We didn't give any bank details so guests chose to write cheques or put cash in cards. My one aunt said she didn't want to be boring and stick a note in a card so she taped 50 £1 coins in a card!
  • lettypoplettypop Posts: 712
    a friend of mine asked for a ticket of the guests choice. they got everything from lottery and cinema tickets to a balloon flight and afternoon tea at the ritz. they did lots of things they wouldn't mormally do like going to the opera and it can suit everyones budget
  • anouska-banouska-b Posts: 91
    this is such a hard one isn't it? i'm doing my invites at the moment but am stuck on what to write about gifts.

    i'm having a separate piece of paper with directions and information about special rates at the hotel for wedding guests, so should i write a message about 'gifts' on here?

    i think we're going to ask for contributions towards a honeymoon and literally just go and book a last minute holiday the day after the wedding with whatever money we get. really don't want to piss people off though, so does anybody have any idea of how to word it please??
  • EtherealBrideEtherealBride Posts: 1,418
    We didn't ask anyone for money at all, yet I'd say that over half our guests gave us it instead of a gift. We were really surprised by how much money we got. I think that you're either the type that gives money, or the type that doesn't and if you like to give money as a present, you'll give it regardless of whether you've been asked for it.

    Having been asked for money in with the invitation 3 times recently as a guest, I'd say that the nicest (/least offensive) way is to keep it simple. One set of friends put a very simple note in saying basically -we don't expect presents, but if you'd like to leave an anonymous contribution towards our honeymoon behind the bar then we would be grateful'. The other two were poems, which seems to me to be trying too hard to cover up the fact that some people will find it rude. But I think word of mouth/telling only those who ask what you'd prefer is the best way. I'm desperately trying to think of ways to give our friends money like they requested, to cover up the fact that we're skint! I'm thinking of finding out where they're going on honeymoon and getting them some currency and a guidebook or something.

  • NaomeiNaomei Posts: 2,273
    The cash thing is not that unusual any more. I've been to a few weddings lately where people asked for cash, so I just thought of nice ways to give it. eg I put it in a special box or something.

    I did think at the time that it would be nicer to know what they were going to spend it on, so that's why we've used Just The Thing - you can break it down however you want. eg We haven't done full nights in hotels, but you can see which nights it's going towards. I put nights in the various b&bs we're staying, breakfast, drinks, dinner, activities, a bottle of bubbly etc. So people can have an idea of what they're giving towards. I broke it down into amounts from about a fiver to £60ish I think. If people want to spend more they can buy multiple things, eg someone has spent £75 on us by buying 3 things.

    Most of our friends think it's a good idea. I think people don't find it offensive nowadays as it's quite normal. Also I know it's normal in some cultures to give money, eg at Irish weddings (so my friend told me) they usually give money, and are pretty generous - he said that he would always give 100 euros!

    Oh and just my opinion but I think the poems are well naff. image I would rather people just asked than did it in a dodgy rhyming way! We just put that the most important thing was to spend our day surrounded by our favourite people, and that they really shouldn't feel that they had to give us a present, but if they really wanted to, blah blah.

    I do think a lot of people like gift lists because it means you don't get someone something they don't want. Like I always thought it was very unromantic but people always ask me what I want for my birthday, so I do find it easier to have an Amazon giftlist so people can search for it if they want.

    Also re: asking for cash, if you don't have a website then I think the trad thing is for whoever's hosting it to give out that info. eg Last time we looked into it, I ended up calling the bride's mother to find out, because they didn't include that information with the invitation. And she just said they wanted cash for their honeymoon. We would definitely have preferred to have known how much things were, eg an elephant ride or something, so we could have donated towards something specific, which is why we've used Just The Thing to do that.
  • emmascatemmascat Posts: 58
    I like the ticket idea! It could be anything from the honeymoon flight tickets to a cinema ticket! That's great. And I agree with Naocat that it seems nicer to let people say they've paid for something specific.. You girls do make all these decisions so much easier! Thank you..
  • nickkipnickkip Posts: 686
    We were like most of you by the sounds of it. We ummed and ahhed for ages as to what to do.

    We were really wary of vouchers because of the huge numbers of companies going bankrupt, we didn't want to chance another Wrapit. In the end, we built a really little list of things for those intent on a traditional list at Debenhams and then asked for money towards projects on the house. We then wrote up what we were doing with pics and plonked them on our website.

    Its hidden away under FAQ's and comes with a massive disclaimer.. does that make it worse? I dunno but I wanted to avoid the cute poem thing but for people to be aware that we expected nothing and were just amazingly grateful for them being there in the current economic climate.
  • EtherealBrideEtherealBride Posts: 1,418

    Its hidden away under FAQ's and comes with a massive disclaimer.. does that make it worse? I dunno but I wanted to avoid the cute poem thing but for people to be aware that we expected nothing and were just amazingly grateful for them being there in the current economic climate.

    I far prefer that- it means it's there for people to click on it if they want suggestions, or they can choose something themselves without feeling like they're disobeying instructions. I do think gift lists are a good idea, and I often buy off them myself, I just hate it when it comes with the invitation, but putting it on a website is a really good way around it.
  • dmwilsdmwils Posts: 1,265
    a couple i knew who had been together for years and had everything they needed (and didn't want money) asked each of their guests to give them a copy of their favourite book with a message in the front cover.

    the couple loved reading each one and found it interesting as it said something about each guest.

    anyway i thought it was a nice idea and a little different, but only really if you like reading lol

    [Modified by: dmw14 on April 28, 2009 03:52 PM]

  • MoominjulesMoominjules Posts: 719
    Fabulous Ideas!

    Though I have to say some how or other we shall be asking, if they wish to give us a gift, for local currency for wherever we go on honeymoon (hopefully Mexico) so we can do some excursions and buy some local craft and artwork to bring back with us!

    If they were to book excursions etc with a tour op, do you have to pick and choose the days you want to do them? If so I'd rather ask for cash and book the excursions there so we don't have an 'itinerary' ??

    cheers x
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