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Nearly Married: Wedding Gift List Service
Nearly Married Gift Lists and Honeymoon Gift Lists

Wedding Gift List Etiquette

If you're thinking about having a gift list, the etiquette can be confusing and conflicting - mainly because wedding gift lists are a relatively new phenomenon. Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions 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 asking for charity donations - or asking for a mix of money for you and your chosen charity?

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 offence.

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.

Most gift list companies can provide you with invitation inserts which you can send to guests. At Nearly Married we provide these free of charge and they'll let your guests know where to find your wedding website and gift list.

Remember that guests who receive invitations often feel that they have to give you a gift even if they can't come to your wedding. Why not call them or send a card to let them know your good news, instead of formally sending an invitation which they would need to reply to?

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 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. Perhaps they're saving towards a deposit on a house, furniture or a new kitchen and they would appreciate money towards that. 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 ask for money donations and if there's a specific item which you're saving for, you can add a picture of this to your website and explain to your guests that you're asking for money to purchase that item.

Money towards the honeymoon is a very popular wedding gift now and again, the best way to do this is to ask guests to contribute towards specific elements of your honeymoon. Honeymoon gift list providers usually operate a voucher type system which enables guests to purchase an item such as Flight Upgrades, Cocktails, Safari trip etc. And at Nearly Married if we don't have an appropriate voucher for your honeymoon we can even add your pictures and ideas - so if you'd like money to pay for you to swim with dolphins we can add this option with the actual cost for you.

If you're not sure about asking for money as a wedding gift, why not take a look at our tips and advice on how to ask for money as a wedding gift.

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.
  • For sample wording for other types of wedding stationery please see our stationery guide.

    Our free Wedding Handbook is packed with wedding planning info including To Do lists and Checklists.

    Nearly Married offers a flexible and feature-rich gift list service. Why not take a look at what people are saying about us or find out more about our giftlist service. There’s no obligation and you can register for free.

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