Wedding Wednesday Discussions: Is the Wedding Gift List a Thing of the Past?

Today I wanted to open the blog up to you and find out your thoughts on the Wedding Gift list.

Gifts Lists have been a long standing tradition for years and a popular way for couples to receive wedding gifts from their guests and actually get what they ask for. Wedding Lists traditional hold a number of house hold items, meaning that the newlyweds receive a host of brand new stuff for their brand new newlywed house.
BUT times have changed and couples situations aren’t the same as they once were. So many more couples now live with each other and have set up home before they get married, so the need for brand new items isn’t as big as it was in the days where couples lived separately until they were married.

These days many couples are choosing to ask for money instead of actual gifts, or donations towards their honeymoons, even donations towards a new building project.
BUT have we stepped to far away from the tradition? I mean surely the point of buying someone gift is the fact that you have put time, effort and thought into that gift And you buy something that not only reflects them as a couple but you as well……..no???

As a wedding planner I have found that the split is still quite large, lots of my brides are asking for money for a honeymoon, while others are still opting for the traditional in store gift list. So today I wanted to ask YOU, what you are doing and why!

I have asked a few of the Boho Brides to tell me what they think. I have also included my own view


Wedding Gift List

(Photo source)



I am definitely against the traditional gift lists from both the perspectives of a guest at a wedding and also a bride to be.
A few years ago we got a gift list for my friend’s wedding which was from Debenhams so I logged in to the site to see what they had zapped in store and I remember looking down the list and feeling this huge dread of what on earth do I buy them!
I love buying presents for people, especially something they aren’t expecting, but at the same time I’m all for getting presents that people actually find useful, want or need and with a wedding guest list it is definitely about the what they want and need isn’t it? But the reason I’m against it from the guests point of view is that you get the most extreme price ranges and depending when you log in, all the good stuff might have been purchased already and you are just left with the Playstation that they thought would be hilarious to put on there and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a set of wooden spoons and some face cloths as a present! So I truly hate them from the guests perspective!
Then from the brides perspective.. aside from the obvious fact that most people have everything that would usually go on a gift list nowadays seeing as we live in sin and all that (not remotely religious but you know what I mean) I think the main thing that puts me off it as a bride is that I watched my friend spend the following month after getting married sorting out broken presents that had been delivered from her gift list directly to her. So I just think is it really worth the hassle and also disappointment once you’ve come back from your honeymoon?
More and more people are expecting to give money or currency as a gift because everyone knows how expensive weddings are these days, it’s so much easier for the guest and I’ve never met anyone that would turn away a little extra cash that can help with the cost of the wedding, go towards that expensive honeymoon or just to save up for a rainy day.
So for me personally sack the traditional gift list, it’s all about the money, money, money!! I know you are singing Jessie J right now haha!
Becki Mallows 


Me and Jo won’t be having a gift list. It’s not that we are against them, it just seems an old fashioned thing to do. A guest list would make sense if we were setting up home for the 1st time and we needed all the mod cons. Me an Jo have been living together for 2 and a half years and have everything we need. We are asking for money towards the honeymoon from our friends and family, hopefully with their help we will be able to make it the most amazing trip ever….that is once we finally decide on a destination!!
Nick Thompson 


wedding gift list

(photo source)

A gift list is something that we’ve thought carefully about and decided against. We have lived together for the past 2 years and have everything we need and want for our home. As we are getting married abroad we think that we are already asking so much of our guests to attend our special day in Cephalonia and that is all that matters to us. We just want people to be there on our big day and celebrate with us, that will be us spoilt enough!
Carys Holly 



I would say I’m against the traditional gift list as we have lived and built a home together for the past few years there is nothing a gift list could provide us with that we don’t already have. I am sure this is the case with most brides these days.
We will be asking for money, most probably for our honeymoon…..trying to word is as to not sound cheeky!! With weddings costing more and more these days money to help with the cost of sometime away afterwards would be greatly appreciated and a little more exciting than pots and pans!!
I suppose I see it in that if you ask for money guests can give what they wish and deem reasonable. Whereas a gift list determines a price.


Jens and I had this discussion at the start of our planning as we were asked about engagement gifts (even though we didn’t have a party or anything). We came to the conclusion to not have a gift list, mainly based on the fact, that we have lived together for nearly 6 years and we have a lot of the normal things that you would ask for on a gift list.
Another reason is that we are also getting married in the UK, and most of our guests are from there too. It would be a bit of an issue for us to get everything back to Germany, and even if we did we would have to buy different plugs for everything :-).
I think that asking for money is the best thing at the end of the day for us, it is also normal to do so in Germany, and most couples even use it to pay for their wedding, so we won’t have any issues explaining it to one side of the family….but we would want to put the money towards starting a life together and buying a house.
If I had to choose between a toaster or purchasing our own pad, I know that we would hands down always choose the latter.


wedding gift list

(Photo Source)





We are having a John Lewis gift list, though we have told guests that their presence at the wedding is by far the best gift we could have. Some have already given us money donations for wedding things, but I know most of our families are looking forwards to checking out our, very traditional I suppose, gift list. There are a number of reasons that we have chosen John Lewis, but mainly we decided on this type of gift list is because we need stuff! We met at university, acquired a range of hideous, and in most cases poor quality and completely useless, home wares and are in dire need of new kitchen wares and linens. We plan on buying our first house in the near future and I know our families are so excited to help us make our new house ours and buy us nice belongings to start off our marital life. We had never treated ourselves to good home wares as we shared with others, or lived in horrible rented flats, but now we live somewhere we love it seems right we fill it with things we love too! Other reasons we chose John Lewis over other gift lists are because their customer service team in our experience have been excellent, you can mix online shopping with visiting the actual shop, they have a very user-friendly system and offer a massive range of products, and finally, they give you change from a gift voucher in cash! I think it is an incredibly personal choice – we are young, have never owned our own home and have few belongings. Others may already have accumulated a substantial amount of belongings and therefore appreciate money or contributions towards honeymoons etc.
Laura Cutress 


We had a gift list from John Lewis when we got married and it was something we did think long and hard about. As we got married in Ibiza I thought it was pretty cheeky of us to ask our guests for a gift as well, BUT we had a few friends and family ask us about one and said that they wanted to buy us a gift even with the expense of coming to Ibiza. We then had other friends and family who weren’t coming to the wedding who also wanted to buy us a present. I found that it was the older generation who were asking for a gift list they certainly didn’t seem happy with the ‘just give us some cash’ answer. So Nik and I decided our old house stuff had seen better days, some of which I still had from university, many years ago! So John Lewis was the way to go. We set up a gift list with a few select items on there, we didn’t go mad (even though Nik got WAY too excited with the zapper) and made sure that the items on the lost were £50 and under. We were really surprised how many people bought us presents not all of our guests did but that is fine we didn’t expect them to. It never actually occurred to ask for money, that just didn’t seem right, and to be honest even more cheeky than adding a gift list card into the invitation!
The day the gifts were delivered was a great day as well, and really extended the whole honeymoon phase of the wedding!
Years on, we are still using the presents that were bought for us, mainly kitchen equipment and I often think about the person that bought us each item which I think is a nice thing to be able to do and something you don’t get with cash or honeymoon vouchers!
I understand why people ask for money these days, but I am still a big fan of the gift list, as long as couples don’t abuse it and put massively expensive presents on there I think the gift list works well for everyone! The present giver feels they are actually buying something substantial for your life together as a married couple and the newlyweds get a gift they can treasure for ever.
Kelly Hood – Boho


Wedding Gift List

 (Wedding Gift List)

So what are your thoughts? Are you having a gift list? or have you opted away from the idea? Are you asking for cash? Or are you asking for honeymoon donations? Do you think the gift ist is outdated? Do you think couples should expect a gift at all?
Feel free to leave your comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Why not visit our Supplier Directory


    Jill Hanby

    Oooh this is an interesting one and its been interesting to read everyones ideas ….. we aren’t doing either though!! We have lived together for 8years plus and live in France but are getting married in the UK – so a gift list is a little redundant (although as a guest to weddings, it is fairly useful), as for money, I just don’t feel that I can ask for money from my friends/family. For me, if they come to the wedding (which is not close to any of our friends/family’s homes), then that is a big enough gift for me. I think if you feel able to ask for donations to the wedding or honeymoon, then why not, its just not for us. Quite possibly, we are being very unhelpful to our poor guests!! x


    I don’t think so, I think they’re a good option to have as long as they are used as a (useful) casual ‘option’ for guests!


    I got halfway through sending you an email on this and my phone crashed, then I forgot! Oops!

    We have decided against it for the usual reasons – we’ve been together nearly 7 years, most of which time we’ve lived together. We just don’t need things, and our wedding really is all about being with everyone we love. When people do want to give us something, we’ve said that something towards our honeymoon would be very much appreciated.

    I do know that some people want to give an actual physical gift though, and several people have asked us to think of something – we haven’t managed to yet though, we’re genuinely stuck!


    We decided against a guest list simply because we don’t need anything and don’t like the idea of accumulating “stuff” for no reason. We have decided to post pictures of fun stuff we’d like to do on our honeymoon and ask for donations towards those items. We are hoping that this allows people to still pick out gifts even though it all goes to one pot. Our hurdle is that every site we’ve found that does this charges a minimum service fee of 7%…ouch!


    As my lovely fiance has said, we will be asking for contributions towards our honeymoon if people would like to give us a gift. By far the most inportant thing in all of this though is their presence at our wedding. I would much rather have everyone we love there to celebrate with us than any holiday in the world.
    Whilst I understand your point Kelly, regarding your gifts bringing thoughts of those who gave them to you, I do have to slightly disagree that cash gifts cannot give that. It does massively depend on what the couples spend it on, but by spending it on a honeymoon and (hopefully!) going to a unique place that neither of us have been and are unlikely to have the opportunity to go again, we will always be grateful for the wonderful memories that our friends and family have helped us to have, not only at our wedding but afterwards too.


    I got married 7 years ago and didn’t need anything for the house. My wife and I were planning on buying a Camper Van so made our own “Giftlist” up were friends and relatives could buy parts of the van, ie a steering wheel for £20 or a set of tyres for £100. We gave them loads of options and it was a bit of fun. We added the cash to our own pot and bought a beauty.
    I’m interested in what everyone has written as we are about to try and get our beautiful product onto some major gift lists.




Please leave your comment

We reserve the right to remove any comment that we feel is distasteful, rude, hurtful or inappropriate, so please be nice. Remember the weddings featured on this blog are real people and their weddings mean a lot to them. Please be mindful of this and other people's feelings. If youhave a problem with any of the content please contact me directly.

Thank you xx

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.