There was a time when the vast majority of people who got married were still living with their parents and so their wedding presents formed part of the process of setting up their first home. These days many couples are already independent and have most of the things that they need for the house so what is it acceptable to ask for as a wedding present and how do you go about organising a list?
Personally I think it is perfectly acceptable to ask for anything that you want or need. Your presents don’t have to be accessories for the home. Cameras, tablets, sporting equipment indeed anything that you will both use are great gifts. Whatever you want to receive it is essential that you formalise the situation by telling people in writing when you issue your invitations. If you just mention things casually or leave people to their own devices you are likely to end up with the glasses, saucepans, bed linen and other homewares that you already have and don’t need. You should also bear in mind that your guests will have varying budgets and so whatever you choose you must make sure that people have the option to spend as much or as little as they can afford.
The conventional way to organise your gifts is to issue a list of the items you want. This can be a random selection of goods from different places or goods chosen from one store’s inventory. Either way it is best to use an online system and simply give your guests a link to the list. They can then choose which item they would like to buy that falls within their budget. If your goods are coming from only one store they will almost certainly have a wedding gift list system but if you are choosing from a variety of retailers you will need to include your list on one of the many sites which offer couples their own page or micro site for their wedding.
It could be that what you really want is one significant item rather than many small ones. You may need a new television, sound system or large piece of furniture. In this case simply set up a special wedding account at a bank and ask people to send funds to the account. You can then pool all of the contributions to get the item you most want. Few people object to this idea and it is quick and easy for them to contribute.
Whatever wedding presents you want it is crucial to advise people well in advance and to be specific. Sadly, however clear you make the situation some people will always go off and buy something else and it will probably be the last thing you need! For my own wedding I asked for contributions towards a camera and made it clear that I had everything I could need for the home but still I received three sets of glasses all of which were hideous!
Article by Sally Stacey