We dread them, we hate them and worst of all a lot of us end up having one!
I always said that I didn't want to have a gift list for our wedding, but because we live together it makes sense to make a list of little bits and pieces that people could get us if they wished to avoid the sterotypical 3 toasters, 2 kettles and 12 sets of towels (mind none of that goes wrong).
So lets consider the options of gift lists, you get the traditional store lists in the likes of John Lewis, Debenhams etc but you can also have then in the likes of Argos - it really depends on the budget that you're working with.
You can request "gifts" or contributions to your honeymoon on some lists, as well as making a charity gift list where instead of buying you a gift friends and family can buy things like a goat for an African community etc
Once you've decided to set up a list, you have to consider what to put on it, for us this has been the hardest thing. We couldn't decide what to ask for, then once we decided we didn't want to have anything too pricey to avoid family thinking we were being cheeky.
So far our lists comprises of both necessary items and silly items:
* various plates and bowls from the dinner set we got as an engagement gift
* wine glasses
* vases (that way he's got no excuse not to buy me flowers!)
* bedding (it never goes wrong)
* posh cutlery
* table cloth and napkins
* place mats and coasters
* coffee machine
* photo frames
* a bathroom set (soap dispenser, toothbrush holder etc)
* mixing bowl and kitchen scales
* a rolling pin and various baking trays and tins
* chopping board, cookbook stand, chopsticks and a knife set
* a wine rack
* an ice cream maker
See you can list various things, some of ours are things that we think we might 'put past' for future use ie the table linen as we don't have a diningroom table at the moment. There are things that are purely silly on there like the rainbow chopsticks and corkscrew, tin opener and bottle stoppers but adding little bits like that shows people that we're being light hearted about it.
We've also made sure that we said to people not to feel obliged to buy anthing at all from the gift list, we're more than happy for a £10 gift voucher or if they want to buy a similar present from elsewhere, but if they do would they try to stick to the colour etc we have asked for ie can we have stone coloured towels/white bathroom set etc etc
Gift lists are notoriously difficult and depending on how your family are likely to react to it, they can be an absolute nightmare. I've recently seen a list with very extravagent things listed, 50 inch LCD tvs, Le Creuset pans at £56 each, a washing machine....in all honesty I looked at it and laughed! There's no way I'd be buying something off that list, but at the same time for some people looking at it they may think those are legitimate, regular things to ask for......it just depends on your family and remember that sometimes people will "club" together to buy things - in our case it's more than likely that aunts and uncles will buy pieces from the dinner set we want together rather than each set buying their individual presents.
It's worth having a think about what you would really like and appreciate as a wedding present. Why not have a think and make up a list of things you might want, like bedding, towels, a dinner set, a fancy pan, a food processor....etc and then see where you think might offer the best service. Look out for places that offer free delivery, otherwise your guests could find a delivery charge being added on to the price of their gift.
And don't forget to send thank you cards for all the presents, donations and gift vouchers!!!