Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Always Advice: Gift Lists

If you are considering setting up a gift list, you need to decide what you type of presents you want on it as there are number of gift registry options out there. For example, if you are thinking of a standard gift list take a look at what you have already in your home and what you might need; if you are moving in together after you get married look at both your belongings and decide what you are likely to keep and where the gaps are. Popular items for traditional gift lists are house wares such as linens, china, small appliances; which even if you have already you could upgrade.

You may find that you really don’t need any more items for your home in which case there are other options: this could be a great opportunity to get some of those luxury items you may have been coveting such a bespoke piece of furniture, a piece of art or setting up your own wine cellar. Then there are gift lists for honeymoons, charitable donations even Interior Design companies to help on large renovation projects (I’ll be looking at one such company Beyond Weddings in my next post). Don’t be afraid to think out of the box.

You can register your gift list in a number of different ways.

Large department stores such as John Lewis, Debenhams are often first choice as they provide a large variety of items in a wide price range and you can go in and choose the items yourself.

Specialist wedding gift registries such as The Wedding Shop or lifestyle shops like Cath Kidston offer a more personal service and they will know more about the items you are choosing and have their own dedicated showrooms or shops.

Online services offer a great choice of products and are very convenient for your guests; a very good one such as Not on the High Street which stocks a huge range of products from independent British suppliers, give you a personal consultant and deliver the items as soon as your guests have purchased them rather than one large delivery when you return. This can be very helpful in keeping on top of those thank you notes.

For the alternative to items for the home there are dedicated honeymoon gift lists such as Honeymiles or travel agents such as Trailfinders. Consider one that not only pays towards the flights and hotel but also special treats you can do while away such as a meal with a sunset view, a helicopter trip, spa days; for guests who like to know where their gift is going this is a great idea and your thank you note can be a photo of you enjoying it.

For Charitable gift lists where guests give donations to your favourite causes there are number of choices from Oxfam Unwrapped, Good Gifts to The Alternative Wedding List and there are ethical and eco friendly lists too such as Fair Gift or Our Green Wedding List

If you want to combine department stores, honeymoons and charity then there are number of services that do this such as The Bottom Drawer or Nearly Married .

So how do you go about deciding which gift list provider to go for?

• Check what level of service is on offer and does it meet your needs
• How do you choose your gifts and set up your list
• Is there a charge for registering
• Can you add or take away items from your list once open
• Can you change your mind about items bought
• When are your gifts being delivered
• What’s the delivery charge if any
• How do your guests buy from the list
• How will you notify them, does the service provide notification cards

Really place close attention to fine the print and think about if it’s right for you and convenient for your guests e.g. will your guests want to go into a shop or will they be happy to buy online, and when you come to compiling your list put a variety of items on it, in a range of prices to give your guests the most choice.

Once upon a time it used to be frowned upon to even suggest you were asking your guests for a gift but these days many guests want to buy you a gift; even if you don’t want one or would like cash gifts, consider having a small back up one. Guests also appreciate having guidance when it comes to choosing a gift as they’ll know that it’s a gift you truly want. So if you do decide to go for a gift list choose your gifts and the registry service wisely and don’t forget to send out those thank you cards!

All images via Not on the High Street

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