Gift list etiquette – the do’s and don’ts of wedding gift lists

We’ll soon be approaching the wedding season!

You may be putting the final touches on your wedding preparations and you’re finally getting excited for the big day.

Or you may be about to send your invitations to your wedding next year or later in the year.

We know that there is always one potentially tricky aspect of the invite that you put off for as long as possible – your wedding gift policy! Whether you’re buying a gift for someone who is getting married, or you’re setting up your own gift list, we could all use a bit of help to know what is expected of us.

Wedding gifts have changed drastically over the past 20-30 years. Gone are the days of receiving household items for the newlywed couple to enjoy once you’ve moved in together. Chances are you’re already living together and have been using that toaster for years. Enter the wedding gift list – designed to help couples to get the gifts they’ll actually need or enjoy. However, there are unspoken rules when collating a wedding gift list to send to your guests. What are the dos and don’ts of wedding gift list etiquette? We’ve outlined 6 tips to help you navigate this particularly tricky situation.

For those setting up the gift list:

  1. Be specific and have a professionally produced gift list – there are many types of wedding gift lists available today. For example, we offer a wine wedding gift list for those wine-loving couples who just want wine and to remember their big day over a glass of wine – long after the event is finished. Have a think about what specifically you would like and choose your gift listed based on this. Then seek a professional gift list service that will help you manage the appropriate list. If you choose to manage the list yourselves using spreadsheets etc, you may lose track of who is giving you what. A professional gift list service takes the stress out of the process.
  2. Leave your list open at least a week or so after the wedding – Your gift list request may have been long forgotten between the time you’ve sent the invite and the day your wedding rolls around; we often see guests buying gifts right up to the last minute and even after the big day!
  3. Request items that suit a variety of budgets – If you do have, for example, a wine gift list, make sure there are wines of all budgets on this list. Not everyone will be able to afford an expensive gift so be considerate of all budgets.


For those who have received a gift list invite:

  1. Stick to the list – if you’re buying for someone who has sent you a wedding gift list, try to stick to their list as chances are, much thought has gone into choosing what they like. Especially with something as specific as wine, they may have chosen the bottles they want based on their taste so it’s best to stick to the list!
  2. If you can’t afford an item that’s okay too! Technically, you don’t have to take part in a wedding gift list. You can still purchase another gift if the items on the gift list are too expensive. A gift list isn’t a demand for a gift, it’s designed to simplify the process for those who don’t know what to get the happy couple.

Remember, a gift list is a great way of taking the stress out of the gift buying process for both the couple and the recipient. If you’re looking for more information about gift lists or searching for inspiration, have a read of our wedding wine gift list page – especially if you’re a wine lover!

Gift list etiquette – the do’s and don’ts of wedding gift lists