"Rach and I really enjoyed compiling our wedding list. It is a great pleasure to visualise your future together even from a very materialistic point of view. We both spent plenty of time trawling through household porn – glasses, pots and pans, mixers, rugs, bed linen etc. and debated / argued over the relative benefits. I was pushing hard for a list compiled solely of wine, a sneaky tactic which made my other suggestions seem less controversial. So… I have selected wine glasses, some dazzling copper pans and a selection of kitchen knives and quietly encouraged friends to buy us wine whereas Rachel has suggested a fabulous mixer, bed linen, a bread-maker and several other highly practical things. We also settled on plenty of things which we were equally enthused about including every decent cook book we could think of and a table for the garden.
As fun as the process was we both felt a weight of responsibility for our selections. In reality there is nothing selfish about a wedding list but it feels like there is. Our hope is that the majority of people will have plenty of ideas about things to buy and will not even by aware of the wedding list (we are sending it out on request). Clearly we run the risk of duplication but this is balanced by the pleasure we will get from opening the presents without prior knowledge and tracing back the thought processes of our friends and families. Even getting a sense of how they understand us or at least what we are lacking. This is one of the victories of mass celebrations; the gifts take you back through your life to shared memories and enthusiasms.
We agreed early on that if there was to be a wedding list it needed to reflect our different tastes and the differing means of our guests. It was important to find readily affordable gifts which we would love to be given whilst providing a few things at the upper end for those who want to spend a lot of cash. We wanted the list to be specific enough to serve its primary purpose – to guide those who don’t know what to buy without being overly prescriptive. Our hope is that some people will look at the list, get a sense of our style and select something in that style. This way we will see them in the present and the list becomes something more than a shopping list.
The monetary aspect of weddings is a big one. The whole thing is expensive and at a certain point in one’s life you start getting inundated with invites. In many instances you will need to cough up for a stag / hen do, a present, travel to the wedding, hotel and so on. This is a great thing and to me these are mini-holidays. It is however slightly difficult to balance the books and 6 holidays each summer, no matter how mini, stretch one’s budget. We were determined that our wedding would fulfil all our hopes without bankrupting our friends and the wedding list is at the core of this. We do not expect people to buy presents. If you will forgive the cliché, their ongoing support (especially in putting on the wedding) is more than enough and we wouldn’t want people to be put off attending because of monetary constraints. We have tried to find decent places to stay for sensible money and to lean on all friends and relatives who live locally to put people up. Thankfully, Devon is pretty cheap… So they will have plenty to spend on presents. Yippee!"