Wedding lists: What to put on yours

It's traditional for wedding guests to buy the bride and groom a gift to get their married life off to a great start. Rather than leave it to chance (and end up with three toasters) most couples like to provide friends and family with a wedding gift list - or a least some ideas.

There are many companies offering wedding gift lists, which can make the whole process much easier for everyone concerned. And there are lots more options than crockery and silverware...

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What should I put on the list?
It's a good idea to include a wide range of items at different prices to suit every budget. While it may be traditional to ask for plates and silverware, consider if they will actually get used. Don't worry about asking for less traditional things if they will be far more useful in the long run.

Keep in mind that your tastes in homeware may change over the years, so it may be best to stick to classic or neutral pieces rather than opt for anything too outrageous. Finally, don't be afraid to make your list a long one - not because you expect to receive everything on it, but because it allows your guests to choose from a wide variety.

Before you pick a store, make sure your guests have easy access to it - nationwide outlets and those with an online or telephone buying service will be easiest for guests. Ask about possible extra charges such as delivery, too.

Your local department store may offer a personal shopping assistant to help you with any questions.

Alternatively, it's possible to employ the services of more than one shop with a multi-store gift list. Both Presentwise and give you the choice of a huge range of stores from which you can choose the gifts you would like.

Alternative gift lists
Of course, wedding lists these days are not restricted to traditional presents. There are a whole range of alternatives that offer couples the chance for a dream holiday, a big luxury item or even make a charity donation.

For example, at Bottom Drawer guests simply contribute money towards a gift fund. This is ideal for newly-weds who already live together and who may not need the day-to-day essentials but are saving for home improvement and the like. If travel is your thing, it's worth checking out the Trailfinders gift list service where guests spend their money on travel vouchers that can either contribute to your dream honeymoon or some future holiday of a lifetime.

And for the couple who has everything, why not consider a charity gift list. Charities such as Oxfam Unwrapped or companies such as The Alternative Wedding List offer a wide range of gifts that will improve the lives of those in need.

Do you have any tips for couples putting together a wedding gift list? Leave a comment below...