Gift list etiquette can be confusing and conflicting – partly because wedding gift lists are a relatively new phenomenon. We’ve answered some of the most common questions which couples ask about wedding gift list etiquette.
We’re not sure about having a gift list because we don’t want our guests to feel obliged to buy us a gift. What should we do?
Guests understand when couples get married it’s because they love each other – not because they’re looking for wedding gifts! If you decide to have a gift list you can choose your wording carefully to ensure that your guests don’t feel obliged to buy a gift. For example, a popular phrase to use is “It’s your presence, not your present, that we want!”
Even if you don’t want your guests to buy gifts for you, you’ll find that most people still want to give a gift as they feel it’s the right thing to do – and they want to mark the occasion with a gift. Without a gift list to guide your guests you could find yourselves inundated with gifts which you don’t really want. If you really don’t want any gifts for yourselves, why not consider charity gifts? Or you could ask for tree gifts which will grow and mature (just like your marriage!) as well as offsetting carbon emissions.
Should we send details of our gift list with our wedding invitations?
When couples started using gift lists it was not accepted etiquette to include details of a gift list with a wedding invitation. However, as gift lists have become increasingly popular, times have changed and so has the etiquette. It has become much more the norm – and it’s simpler – to let guests know where a gift list has been set up and saves guests trying to contact the bridal party to find out. It’s highly unlikely that guests will take offense. Most gift list companies can provide you with invitation inserts which you can send to guests.
If you don’t feel comfortable including your gift list information with invitations and you’ve got a wedding website, this is a great – and discrete – way for guests to get the all-important details about your wedding and your gift list. All couples who register with Nearly Married get a free wedding website which they can add lots of info and pictures to and their gift list is automatically integrated into their wedding website.
Should our evening guests be given details of our gift list?
If you don’t expect your evening guests to give you a gift, don’t include information about your gift list with their invitations. If you’ve got a wedding website this is a great way for them to find out if you have a gift list, without having to ask.
Is it OK to ask for money for general use or our honeymoon?
Many couples already have the traditional household items which were often given as gifts such as toasters, kettles, towels and bedding. That’s why couples often feel that it would suit them better to ask for money which they can use towards something special, such as their honeymoon. If you’re saving towards a deposit on a house, furniture or a new kitchen and would appreciate money towards that why not ask for contributions on your gift list? It is becoming far more the norm for couples to ask for money – but our advice is to let guests know what the money will be spent on so that your guests feel that they’ve contributed towards a specific item rather than giving money which could be spent on household bills or your entertainment expenses! The Nearly Married gift list service lets you customise gifts of money with your own gift name, description, price and picture so you can ask for anything you want!
We don’t need household items and we’re asking for other types of gifts on our gift list – how should we explain this to guests?
Many couples enclose an information sheet when they send out their invitations. The information sheet could have all sorts of important information such as directions, transport and accommodations options and information about the gift list. You might be able to add this info to your gift list if your provider offers this option. If you’ve got a wedding website this is another great place to add this info.
Suggested Gift List Wording
If you want to explain to your guests that they don’t have to buy you a gift, or if you want to tell them a bit about your gift list here are some suggestions:
- Please don’t feel obliged to give us a gift – all we really want is to have a lovely wedding which we can share with our friends and family.
- Your presence is more important than a present!
- You probably know that we usually like to do things differently – so it might not be a surprise to you that our gift list is a little bit different too!
- As we already have a lot of household items, we hope you won’t mind us asking for money instead of traditional wedding gifts. We’re planning to spend the money on…
- To celebrate our wedding we’re going on a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon which will give us memories we’ll always remember. Our honeymoon gift list shows some of the trips we’ve got planned so you can see how we plan to use your kind wedding gift.
- We’ve decided to set up a charity gift list. If you would like to give a gift, this is a perfect way for our wedding to help others less fortunate than us.