Here is a list of things you might want to consider when asking for wedding gifts.
1. Make sure your present list includes things to cover a range of different budgets. Some of your guests might only be able to afford a token gift, but they can make up for it by choosing a really interesting and unusual one. For example, you could include things like coffee mugs and let your guests choose ones that say something about how they perceive your style. If you do that, you don’t need to feel guilty about including more expensive items. The other advantage of including smaller, cheaper items, is that some people might buy you more than one present. This is a good reason to include plenty of these sort of items.
2. You know who you are going to be sending the list to, so personalise it. If you have a cousin who is in a pottery-throwing club, include something they could make you. Include things that children could make or buy, so that they can learn about the pleasure of giving presents and so they will not be excluded.
3. You might want to be more specific, whilst still giving your guests the fun of making a personal choice. For example, you might want to say what colour towels and bedding you would like, so they match your décor.
4. Some large stores have a wedding list service. These lists are extremely specific, so the only choice your guests have is which item on the list they will buy you. The store manages the list, so that if an item has already been bought for you, no one else will also buy it for you. The store can also keep the items until the wedding day and deliver them to your home or to the venue.
5. If you don’t use a wedding list service, you will need to find a way to avoid ending up with several versions of the same present. So that it doesn’t spoil the surprise, you could ask your guests to let each other know what they are buying for you. If it goes wrong, it doesn’t really matter. Where would we be without the jokes about having four toasters?
6. If you have already made it possible for the keen shoppers to choose items for you, you can always include vouchers or money on the list. The disadvantage for your guests is that they will feel obliged to give more money than they might have spent on a gift, but for those who don’t want to spend an afternoon trying to choose a wedding present, it might be exactly the convenient alternative that would suit them best. If they wanted to get you something more personal, they could always choose from one of the smaller items. The good thing about vouchers, though, is that although you might feel embarrassed asking someone to buy you a honeymoon, you could get enough travel vouchers from several people put together to pay for a really special trip.
To sum up, be gracious, enjoy whatever tokens of affection you receive and try to include as much variety in your list as possible, so that everyone can join in.