The Bride Diaries: Emily’s Big List Conundrum

Before you log off for the weekend, Emily is here talking about gift lists. Are you opting for a gift list? Or are you yet to decide? Thanks so much Emily :-) Happy Friday XOXO Lou


Brighton engagement shoot by Emma Lucy Photography

Image by Emma Lucy Photography


With less than 11 weeks to go (eek!) I’m bringing up what is perhaps one of the more contentious topics I’ve encountered in the whole wedding planning process – to gift list, or not to gift list? Personally, when I have been a wedding guest in the past I have appreciated some guidance from the bride and groom on the sort of thing they’d like to receive – I would far rather buy something that I know will be appreciated, and much prefer to give an actual gift rather than money in a card, which feels rather impersonal and makes me a little uncomfortable.


But, having canvassed the good old internet for opinion, it seems that others have quite a different view – that a gift list is selfish and grabby, and why would a modern couple need one when it’s more than likely they will have lived together for some time before the wedding takes place. This was a real worry – would people think we were rude? People had already started asking if we had a list of some sort, so there was obviously an expectation from certain quarters, but what about everyone else?

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We spent some time looking at honeymoon lists, where guests are invited to contribute to certain activities like airline upgrades and trips and meals out. Whilst this was a fantastic idea in principle, my extreme planning instincts wouldn’t allow me to not know whether we’d be able to do something unless someone bought it, so that was out. After much discussion, Mr H and I decided to go down the traditional route with a list at good old John Lewis. And I hope people will understand our reasons why – although we do live together, our possessions are a horrendous mish-mash of super-cheap kitchenware from student days and hand-me-downs from family – including the plates we use every day, which were from my parents’ wedding list in 1973! So we’re seeing this as a chance to replace this random selection with things that are truly ours, and that will hopefully last a long time and remind us of the person who bought them every time they are used for years to come.



And I won’t lie, it was good fun taking a trip round the store and selecting things for the list (well, barring one small domestic about plates…)! My top tip would be to leave yourself plenty of time – we were there for three hours, and so tired by the end we didn’t even stay to use our free tea and cake voucher – though rest assured that this is being saved for a free afternoon very soon! I hope that our nearest and dearest realise we’re not being demanding, and that there’s certainly no obligation to buy anything, all we really want is to see them there dancing their socks off and eating sausages.


So what are you doing when it comes to the ‘p’ word – a list, a request for honeymoon spends or just leaving your guests to freestyle it?


Em x


6 thoughts on “The Bride Diaries: Emily’s Big List Conundrum

I tooootally agree with this being such a difficult decision, we went down the same route and your post made me smile as our experience in good old johnny lew last week was almost identical. It was knackering and time consuming but very exciting picking things out (our tea and cake voucher is also being saved for another date!). I don’t think there’s anything wrong in upgrading old kitchenware, that was our thinking having lived together for four years. Whenever I attend a wedding I want to know I’ve bought the couple something they’ll like and that’s why lists are such a good idea. xx

We are asking people to either give money to AgeUK or make us something. Like you we only have old stuff but it’s OK and not broken so I couldn’t face chucking stuff away just to get the same stuff but newer.

We did exactly the same thing! We have lived together for the best part of 6 years, and we have decided it’s about time we chucked out some of the Primark, Asda and Poundland that litters our kitchen and bedlinen cupboards. John Lewis is great, it gives everyone the option (whether they use it or not) I felt very uncomfortable at the thought of asking people for money. This way we get loads of amazing things to fill our house that remind us of our wedding for a long time. Rant over. To summarise: I agree, best decision. xx

We’re asking for donations to two charities particularly close to our hearts – MacMillan, who have helped loads of our family and friends, and our dog’s rescue home, who saved him from peril and nursed him back to health before rehoming him with us. We felt very strongly that we have everything we need and want, we’ve lived together for years and that this was a fantastic opportunity to support causes which are important to us and need all the help they can get.

Thank you everyone – I will be taking Mrs J’s advice and trying not to let the random internet make me feel bad! And Lizz, all the old stuff is going to the charity shop as far as possible so not getting thrown out – that would make me feel bad!

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