Hand Engraved Messages.
Adding a personal message or sentiment create's a unique gift for any occasion.How to engrave your special purchase
By Astrid Joss
1. MAKE A MOOD BOARD
With so much choice on the market, narrowing your list down can be difficult. Designing a mood board helps you see how you want your gifts to enhance your dream home. Perhaps you need more colour or just a few extra photo frames to personalise it? Translate this into your gift list. Pinterest is a perfect domain to start a mood board as well as being full of ideas from other brides, wedding planners and bridal stylists alike. Following interior stylists and companies on Instagram is another great source of inspiration. Receiving any gift is a major luxury, so make it count!
2. BE DISCERNING
Although you may be drawn to that state of the art ice maker, do you really need it? List items that you know you can't live without. For the kitchen my Magimix has helped me from dinner parties galore right through to pureeing food for my children. My husband argues that a fantastic set of knives is vital, as well as a decent BBQ for the summer. John Lewis have an excellent choice for all these. You can still be practical as well as stylish. Flowers make me (and every woman I know!) happy, so I made sure I added beautiful vases to my list. Equally some stunning candle stick holders and hurricane lamps for outside are still my most prized possession, dartington crystal have a rich selection of chic yet affordable pieces, enabling you to add several to the list!
3. SHOP AROUND
These days it's very normal to add more than one wedding list company. The variety will give your home personality (you don't want to feel like you're living in a department store show room) and gives greater choice so you can pick the best from each category. I would go with one major company such as Harrods, John Lewis or Heal's for all your basics and then a more boutique style company such as Amara who specialises in home wear, stocking fashionable brands such as Ralph Lauren, Cavalli, and Missoni Home. I love the Wedding Shop which has over 30,000 incredible pieces from traditional to contemporary with a stunning show room. As Managing Director Anne-Marie Jenkins says, 'it’s nice to see gifts you are choosing as you'll have them forever, and while you there why not get free advice from their highly trained consultants, full of product knowledge'.
4. ADD A FEW SURPRISES
Placing a few crazy requests shows you have a sense of humour and sets the tone for the wedding. The best lists I've seen have included some silly but funny gifts such as a ferrari or a diamond chandelier. If you want to play it a little safer, (you never know, you may well luck out) how about something imaginative such as your favourite chef coming to cook for you or two open first class tickets around the world. If this is still too much, try a more realistic couple’s spa day - The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair for ultimate luxury - or a flower arranging course for 'Her'. Balance that out with an outstanding bottle of whiskey for 'Him' and his mates to enjoy, matched with some stunning crystal tumblers to drink from.
5. ADHERE TO GIFT LIST ETIQUETTE
Consider the Do's and Don'ts before sending out your list. Although gifting the Bride and Groom is an old tradition, never lose sight that your guests are treating you. It's a luxury, not a rite of passage, so consider carefully what you are asking for.
Ask for money for charity but make sure it's got a personal reason behind it and explain why. As it's a modern choice it's a good idea to make this a side option, allowing guests to feel they have some say in what they choose, so great granny can still by you that cake stand if she really wants to!
Offer vouchers. People would love to help you complete your dinner service or set of glasses.
Ask for payment towards your wedding day or honeymoon. It moves away from the original idea of guests buying you something to keep and remember them by. Charity is the exception.
Draw up a list that comprises of unaffordable gifts. Make it accessible to everyone by offering a large range of price points so there is plenty of choice.