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Stuck between a toaster and a balloon ride? We can help!

Hello there! Which would you choose: a toaster or a trip in a hot air balloon? Perhaps you’d like a honeymoon in the Maldives, or a water feature?! Wedding gift lists can be a little overwhelming at times I think, don’t you? But most of us have them, and wedding planner Elizabeth Reed has been kind enough to share an introduction to some of the luxury wedding gift lists you might want to consider for your big day. I hope you find her advice useful!claire gould calligrapher signature

Wedding trends change over the years and with this wedding gift lists have changed

Back in the Victorian days unmarried girls used to have a ‘bottom drawer’ or a ‘trousseau’ in their family home where they would start storing items they would need for when they left home to get married. Typical ‘bottom drawer’ items would include silverware, glassware, crockery and household linens.

These days couples live together before getting married so the tradition of having a ‘bottom drawer’ or a ‘trousseau’ has really been forgotten, therefore, by the time couples do get married they already have the every day essentials.

Back in the 1950s and 60s it was virtually unheard of for couples to live together before getting married so gift lists were full of household items such as a kettle, towels, a formal dinner service, household linens, glassware etc.

These days although the majority of couples already have every day essentials it is common for couples to want to upgrade their every day items for better quality or designer items. Couples are also keen to receive gift vouchers, contributions to their honeymoon or experiences such as couple’s cookery lessons or a hot air balloon trip rather than actual gifts.

As a wedding planner, I decided to investigate the upper end of the market and below are my findings.

AMARA – http://www.amara.com/

Launched in 2005 offering couples a unique and bespoke gift list service, with unparalleled access to designer and luxury home brands. Some of the luxury brands include Yves Delorme linens, Roberto Cavalli home, Riedel glassware, Missoni home, Mulberry home and Ralph Lauren home. Upon registering, each client is appointed a wedding consultant for their own use and their guests.

HARRODS – http://www.harrods.com/

Some of the luxury brands available include Deshoulières china, Studio William cutlery, Riedel glassware, Wüsthof knives, Roberto Cavalli home and Mauviel cookware.

With Harrods your guests think they are purchasing a particular gift, however, in reality when your gift list closes you are given a gift card containing the value of all the items purchased. Couples are then invited in for a ‘Personal Shopping Experience’ to spend their gift card. Couples have a maximum of six months to use their gift card, therefore, there is always the opportunity to shop in the Harrods sale.

Upon registering, each client is appointed a wedding consultant for their own use and are also given a goody bag. In the past a copy of the Debrett’s Wedding Guide has been included in the bag.

JOHN LEWIS – https://www.johnlewisgiftlist.com

Some of the luxury brands available include Villeroy & Boch home, Bose sound equipment, Dualit kitchenware, Vera Wang home, Designers Guild home and Arthur Price cutlery. Gift vouchers are also available.

John Lewis have partnered with Kuoni so that couples can book their honeymoon with Kuoni enabling guests to have the opportunity to contribute towards their honeymoon. John Lewis have also partnered with Cancer Research UK to enable guests to make a donation rather than purchase a gift.

PREZOLA – https://www.prezola.com/

Launched in 2011 to enable couples to select gifts from a selection of their favourite stores. Some of the high end retail partners include Alessi, Italian kitchen utensil company, Designers Guild, international home and lifestyle company, Dualit, British manufacturer of kitchen and catering equipment, Fortnum & Mason, London department store and Selfridges, high end department store.

Prezola also gives couples the opportunity to ask for cash or charity donations amongst their gift selection. If an item is desired that is not from one of the Prezola retail partners, a maximum of 12 additional items can be added from other retailers.

Upon registering, each client is appointed a personal shopper to help create the perfect gift list.

SHAREAGIFT – http://shareagift.com/

Launched in 2011, a one-stop shop for those one-off exclusive gifts. Some of the items previous clients have selected include a Raymond Blanc cookery school experience, Pickett leather goods, a case of wine, a skydiving experience and bedroom furniture.

This is an ideal service, which enables your guests to club together to get you that extra special gift. Couples create a page online and then share it with their guests so that they can all contribute towards the cost of a small number of luxurious gifts.

There is no admin fee for collecting funds for gifts, however, to transfer funds into a PayPal account there is a transaction fee.

THE WEDDING GARDEN COMPANY – http://www.weddinggardencompany.co.uk/

Trees Direct was launched in 1988 and in the early 1990s The Wedding Garden Company was acquired to enable couples to create garden centric gift lists.

Some of the items available include a garden swing seat, water feature, hand carved love seat, BBQ, topiary, as well as a large selection of trees and plants. There is also the opportunity to have a qualified designer redesign your garden.

Upon registering, couples will receive a complimentary basket or rose petal confetti for their wedding day.

THE WEDDING SHOP (incorporating Selfridges) – http://www.weddingshop.com/

In 2006 The Wedding Shop was invited by Selfridges to develop a new gift list service in the Oxford Street store.

Some of the luxury brands available include Paiva chinaware, Frivole chinaware, Samoa chinaware, Baccarat glassware, Lalique glassware, William Yeoward glassware and Donna Karan home.

The bonus of having your gift list with The Wedding Shop is that your guests think they are purchasing a particular gift, however, in reality when your gift list closes you will have an accrued amount of funds in an account that you can spend freely on goods of your choice.

Clients will also receive a Privilege card enabling them to have a lifetime discount of 10% off all brands they are connected with.

WEDDING PRESENTS DIRECT – http://www.weddingpresentsdirect.co.uk/

Launched in 1999 to enable couples to select from a luxury range of branded gifts. Some of the luxury brands include Christian Lacroix home, Hermes chinaware, Haviland chinaware, Ercuis silverware, Riedel glassware and Oka home.

Clients can also enjoy a lifetime discount of 10% off all future orders over £100, giving couples the opportunity to purchase additional items or glass and china replacements.

See the full review along with contact information for gift list providers at http://www.elizabethjaneevents.co.uk/wedding-glist/

­­­­elizabeth jane events

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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