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People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*

Bottom Drawer

So where do people stand on the whole wedding list issue?

Because I am having a MORAL DILEMMA, people.

The Boy and I already live together. We're lucky enough to have a nice flat, filled with lovely things. Sure, there are a few things in the likes of, oh I don't know, say John Lewis for the sake of an argument, that I would LIKE to own. Like this. Or this, if people were feeling especially generous. Ooh, or these! And this would be perfect for hoovering the crumbs off the Boy when he falls asleep on the sofa after dinner. But that doesn't mean to say I NEED any of this stuff. It would be nice, but we don't need it.

I feel kind of mercenary asking people to not only turn up on our wedding day in their sunday best, possibly take time off work (as it's a Friday) and book flights or train tickets to be here, but to buy us cool stuff that we don't need as well.* So I don't know what to do. On the one hand, I'm dazzled by the pretty things, but on the other I don't want to start off married life with a great big dollop of bad karma. This is my chance to make a difference. To do something selfless.

*Not that we would be ASKING people to buy gifts, of course. What do you take me for?

Wedding gifts are supposed to give you a leg up in your married life. But we don't need a leg up as much as some. Judging by the amount of money we've spent on other people's wedding gifts (which is not grudged), if we went for an Oxfam wedding list we could potentially provide a whole herd of goats. I mean, who needs a revolving spice rack to make their life complete? If that spice rack were in Zimbabwe or Mozambique it would be a revolving dust rack, and what use is that to anyone?

But, there's always the chance that people will look at the Oxfam list, chuckle and say 'Goats? Those kids! What will they think of next?' and go off to John Lewis and buy us a toaster anyway.

So what to do? Could we compromise and have both? Is it stupid and confusing and just plain WEIRD having two lists? Should I suck it up and go for the warm fuzzy charidee one, or the mercenary look-at-all-this-STUFF list?



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At 7.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

Oh the pretty. I love the spotty. And the chrome. Not so much the goats but I get where you are coming from.

I went to a 60th once where they got us to buy oats. My family laughed a bit but we are all morons.

Anyway, in Ireland they give money. That way you put it towards the honeymoon or, if you want, give it all to charideee!!

Or at least tell people it’s going to a good cause and indulge in nightly baths of champers.

Think of it this way, you are paying for people to come party In.A.Castle. You gotta get something of it. Or ‘break even’ as BF would say.

But for all those who have to get a flight over for the weddin, ignore all the above and offer them a free bar. . .    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

Goats, I mean goats. But buying oats would be just as funny. . .    

At 7.3.07, Blogger the craic girl said...

There is nothing wrong with having two lists at all. Reasonably (read cheap) things on both lists mean that people can contribute to both. If you do need something large, like a sofa then it is quite acceptable here to ask for contributions in the form of vouchers for a specific shop. As DQ says, lots of irish wedding guests gift money directly to bride and groom.    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Cat said...

I'm afraid I don't agree. I absolutely hate wedding lists and even if I'm sent one I will always ignore it and buy something else. Sorry!    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Teeny said...

DQ/Craic Girl - I just feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing, like I'm begging or something. If we have two lists people might feel obliged to buy something from both - never thought of that.

Cat - don't be sorry, you're perfectly entitled to your opinion. Just out of interest, if someone had an Oxfam list would you buy from that?    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

Of course I would. I don't think there is anyone who would refuse. Also I don't see the wedding list as begging. I think they are great as you don't get them something they already have. . .

Unless you are giving something hugely original or artistic you run the risk in giving them a duplicate.

Also, with the list, you know they are getting something they really want.

Again, if you want to do the Oxfam list who is going to say no. Yes it will prob make us want to buy you something else also but that way it will bound to be a small keep sake and probably something worth keeping.    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

Just a thought but do you know that Fair Trade run a wedding gift service? That way you get but also give back. . .    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...






At 7.3.07, Blogger Cat said...

Yes, I would. A friend of mine is getting married soon and guests are being asked to either buy a gift from Oxfam Direct or make a donation to MS (which he suffers from) in lieu of buying them a present. They've lived together for a while and really don't need anything for the home. I very much like that idea.

I always feel wedding lists are a bit grasping, especially when people might be spending a lot of money on going to the wedding between transport, accommodation, outfits etc anyway. I used to feel shamed into buying a present I couldn't really afford (who goes for the cheap things on the list?) and feeling resentful about it - surely having me as a guest should be gift enough?!

Don't get me wrong, I'll always buy a lovely present. But I'd prefer not to be told what it should be and what it should cost. The last one I went to the list was quite, quite hideous. Instead I bought a bottle of good champagne and that Alessi corkscrew that's like a woman where you put the bottle in her skirt, do you know the one? Everyone needs booze and something to open it with!

However, it is, of course, your day, so don't listen to me being a miserable cow!    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Shameless said...

I like lists. I like lists of things I want even more. I like being bought things I want even more than that.

Hell! Presents are difficult enough to choose, I think lists are a good and helpful way for people to get you something you like instead of something you don't and that you'll never use. I think the majority of people want to buy the happy couple a gift so don't feel uncomfortable about it, and I think 2 lists is a good idea if there are those that prefer to do something more charitable.

You celebrate your birthday and christmas and I bet you don't feel uncomfortable about receiving presents then! Your wedding is another celebration so let the presents roll in.

Am I a greedy and selfish child who only thinks of presents? hmm.    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Random Reflections said...

I think wedding lists are very normal and people expect to be sent one. There are some people who are great at coming up with present ideas and don't need pointers, but the majority of people do. If people want to buy something they have thought of themselves then there's no obligation to buy from the list.

My case for wedding lists is as follows:

- I am rubbish at coming up with present ideas and therefore *need* to be pointed at what to buy.
- You aleady live with the person you're marrying so people will know you've got a lot of the things that might be traditional to consider buying, so will need to be pointed to the things you don't have.
- If you don't give people suggestions then a percentage will end up buying you hideous presents and you will have to hide them in a cupboard but remember to get them out if the giver ever comes to visit.

Whilst an Oxfam list is fine and I see no problem with having two lists (I know several people who have done the two list thing), I think an Oxfam type list would be more acceptable to younger people, but those who are older might want to feel they are giving you something more permanent. I think actually I would err toward the traditional list to purchase a present from probably because I would feel as though somehow I was doing something to contribute to the next phase of their lives together, which I think is nice.

I have no idea why I have any particular thoughts on wedding lists...    

At 7.3.07, Blogger Teeny said...

Thanks everyone - it's good to get all your different perspectives.

I think I like the idea of the double list. We can push the Oxfam one but have a small(ish) selection of things on a traditional list for people that are so inclined.

Just the guest list to go now...


At 7.3.07, Blogger James said...

I always thought a chosen charity would be the way to go. If not, try this:


At 8.3.07, Blogger the craic girl said...

I just know that if I were getting married (without some sort of wedding list) I would end up getting given some horrific pieces of cut glass which I would feel too terrible to exchange and they would therefore haunt me for the rest of my days. I'm not good at taking back presents even if I don't like them. A bit of both will keep everyone happy.    

At 8.3.07, Blogger SpanishGoth said...

I didn't have a list and now I don't have a wife so make a list or your doomed......

Seriously, the Oxfam list is the way to go. Giving by receiving - bit like sex really ;-)    

At 8.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

I think the fair trade thing is the way to go. You get presents, the poor get paid fairly.

Without a list you will only get 10 of everything. I know some of your friends and some of the Boys. Not way to go on originality. . .(I include myself).

Toasters all round.    

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*Logan Pearsall Smith

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