The perfect wedding list: what to include and how to ask for gifts – etiquette and history of gifting.
BLUE RIBBON is a premier wedding gift list service offering an edited selection from 80 luxury homeware brands. One of the most exciting luxury players in the wedding industry, and featured in multiple blogs and magazines, BLUE RIBBON is a UK Wedding Industry Awards nominee, recognised for bringing exclusive high-end brands to the UK market.
5 Star Weddings caught up with the co-founder of BLUE RIBBON, Zsofia Jamieson, a former Global Head of Retail at the NET-A-PORTER Group to ask her about the history and etiquette of gifting.
5 Star Wedding Directory: Where does the tradition of wedding gifting come from?
Zsofia Jamieson: History saw wedding gifting take many forms: in some cultures it was the groom’s family who would pay the “bride price” and in others it was the bride and her family who would pay the dowry (in India) or ‘pridanoe’ (in Russia). The idea of the bride’s possessions accompanying her into a new, married life evolved into a marriage chest, or trousseau, containing the finest embroidered linens and china she would have been collecting from a young age. This custom continued well into the 20th century, and the Queen’s trousseau was exhibited in Buckingham Palace only recently.
The tradition of women collecting linens and porcelain to furnish new family life has changed; however, the excitement surrounding starting new life together, and the desire to create a perfect home are as strong as ever. As more and more couples nowadays live together before deciding to get married, there is now a sense of upgrading, of investing in quality rather than quantity, and finding pieces that will last a lifetime.
5 Star Wedding Directory: What is the key advice when compiling your gift registry?
Zsofia Jamieson: When putting together your gift list add some special pieces that would make you smile every time you see them – be it a wonderfully soft and warm cashmere throw, or a delicate tea set with the most exquisite floral pattern, or a truly stunning vase that becomes a conversation piece every time you have guests.
Make a larger list than you may think you need, in order to give your guests plenty of choice and different price options. Most reputable gift lists are happy to accommodate any changes before you commit to your final choices, after your wedding.
5 Star Wedding Directory: What is the best way to let your guests know about your registry?
Zsofia Jamieson: When it comes to sharing your gift registry with your guests, there are many options: some couples choose the traditional route of insert cards with carefully chosen wording to inform guests of the location of the registry; others prefer to send an email with a link to the registry site or include the details on their wedding website. The other option is to ask the bridesmaids to tactfully spread the word.
You may feel like having a gift list is imposing on your friends and family, but don’t underestimate how happy they are for you and how much they want to give you something that accompanies you both into your new life together. Monogrammed, engraved and hand-crafted pieces provide a personal touch and make for a treasured and loved gift.
Zsofia Jamieson is a co-founder of BLUE RIBBON Company, an online luxury wedding gift list, blueribboncompany.com
The company offers beautiful homeware gifts from 80 luxury brands and ships worldwide. For expert advice on how to create a beautiful wedding gift list please contact [email protected]