The Guest List

The gift list.

Older couples, often on their second (or third!) weddings often stipulate “no gifts please; your presence is present enough”. Others ask for donations to a chosen charity. Both these things are very lovely, but we all know that guests will want to buy you something anyway – something they think you will remember them for, so accept it and give them a Gift List to shop from. Then everyone is happy! Don’t ever feel bad about providing a list, you are simply guiding people towards things you really do want and steering them away from wasting their money.

In the bad old days before the Gift List, wedding presents were a rather hit-and-miss affair; a kind of marital equivalent of Russian roulette. How do you choose a present for the niece you only see once a year at Christmas? How about this lovely set of botanical table mats? Mmmm! Straight to Oxfam.

How much more sensible (and kind) to let people know what you actually want! And these days, Gift Lists are easier to use than ever, both for you and your guests. Nobody needs to spend hours traipsing round huge department stores in search of some elusive sous-vide cooking set; online Gift Lists mean that everything can be done from the comfort of your own home. Some online gift lists also offer ‘group gifting’ for expensive items, which means guests can give as much as they can comfortably afford.  

Asking for cash has become a little more acceptable in recent years, although most people still feel that it smacks of buying a festival ticket (“So, will we be issued with a wrist band so that we can go in and out, or will they just use a stamp?” is one tart comment we’ve heard).

According to research, guests feel happier contributing money if they know what it will be put towards. Some online Gift Lists offer flexible options to create personalised bespoke cash funds that guests can contribute to. From honeymoon cocktails to bespoke artwork for the home, your guests can picture how their money will be used, and if your plans happen to change there are no ties once the funds have been transferred to your account.

However good your reasons, it can still be embarrassing to ask your guests for hard cash. To take the edge off the request, many couples resort to writing little poems to ask for donations to their ‘wishing well’. However, these can sound a little coy, and some guests may feel they’re being mugged through the medium of rhyming couplets. We would generally recommend that you steer clear of poetry here!

We’ve come up with a useful function to smooth over any awkwardness: once your guests have RSVP’d online, they will be given the option of choosing a gift directly from your chosen online Gift List. Not only does this discreet solution save a lot of tricky questions, but it means that all your guests need to do on the big day is grace you with their presence – which, as we all know, is enough of a present in itself… yes?

Here are a few of our favourite Gift List services in the UK.


Get adventurous with your gift list. Gifts. Subscriptions. Honeymoons. You can add it all using the UK’s favourite wedding gift list. With Prezola you have the freedom to add, and edit what you want, when you want. Honeymoon funds, homeware gifts, adventures or a combination of everything. Your funds are kept in a ring-fenced Trust account, giving you confidence that your money and gifts are safe. There are no costs to your guests. For any cash on your gift list they only charge a 2% transfer fee. Standard UK delivery is free on a weekday. You can upgrade to a weekend too, the choice is yours.

Find out more about Prezola.

The Wedding Shop.

Create a list with The Home of Gift Lists. Choose The Wedding Shop for an unrivalled choice of gifts, full flexibility and exceptional service. They will help you build a dream gift list, completely unique to you. Build your list online or join them at one of their inspiring showrooms to see thousands of gifts in person.

Find out more about The Wedding Shop.

John Lewis is the stalwart of the High Street and offers an incredible range of products and services perfect for your wedding gift list, both online and in-store. Their Wish List service lets you create a list of things you’d love to receive via their smart app, whether you’re browsing online at home or you’re in the store with the scanner app on your phone. Share a link to your wish list with guests via your GettingMarried wedding website, and they’ll be able to choose a gift quickly and easily. They can even go into the store to make purchases if they prefer.

Find out more about John Lewis Wish List