Ask Lifehacker: What Should Be On My Wedding List?

Ask Lifehacker: What Should Be On My Wedding List?

Dear Lifehacker, Your recent 100 Things You Can Live Without post has got me thinking. My partner and I are currently in the two-month countdown to our wedding, and one of the last few things to finalise is a list of gift ideas to give to our respective mothers in case a friend or family wants an idea on a gift (we don’t expect any gifts at all, just their company).

Whilst we had started planning some ideas, I realised this morning that wedding gifts could easily be just another opportunity for ‘acquiring’ things that we don’t necessarily need, and that will potentially further clutter up our household (We – and specially protohoarder me – have been gradually de-cluttering our lives… I’ve even forced a horrible restriction of two books out before buying another book!)…

So instead of listing things like a bread maker, iPhone dock, etc, as gift ideas, what could be some good (reasonably priced) ideas for gifts that would be useful, not just things/clutter, and ones that emphasise being used and not just *being*? Blanking on ideas, Jon

Picture by aagius

Dear Jon,

I’m sure our readers will have plenty of ideas to contribute on this point, so I’ll just note down a couple of interesting variations on this approach that I’ve encountered over the years as a wedding guest and see what everyone else has to offer:

  • One wedding I attended used this line: “We don’t need any more household appliances, but we’re saving for our mortgage deposit. Any contribution you could make towards this would be greatly appreciated.”
  • If you don’t mind the slightly funereal vibe, you can ask for donations to your favourite charity in lieu of a gift.
  • You can set a strict and low price limit. As well as forcing people to be creative, you may feel less guilty when you do end up ditching gifts you no longer need or don’t end up using.
  • If you don’t mind being mercenary, accept everything then sell it as new on eBay.

But that’s just scratching the surface. What are the wedding gifts that our married readers have found genuinely useful? Share them in the comments. Hope the day goes well!



  • For our wedding, we requested gift vouchers for Flight Centre. It’s paying for our honeymoon (a roadtrip across the USA). People were happy to help, given that my wife is from the USA and the money would be spent seeing her friends and family.

    My uncle is a photographer and did our wedding shots for free. Saved us a crapload of money and at the end, we had the JPEGs ready to print as we wished.

    Some people did give us material gifts, but fortunately they were nice things like a hand-made wall mirror, hand-made stone cutting boards (which replaced our ugly wooden ones and a few books we wanted to read.

  • One thing I wouldn’t go without is my roomba. Get a few people to chip in for it. But it’s definatly worth it. Best appliance we have in our house (also saved a few arguments)

  • Unfortunately, my suggestion will add to clutter, but it worked well for our wedding. My wife came up with the idea of people giving us their favourite book. We got a lovely range of interesting and varied titles, from brand new ones to old classic Penguins. They also reflected on our guests and their tastes and made them all more heartfelt and unique to us.

    But then, we also got a deep fryer. Still in it’s box. Maybe I should eBay it..

  • I second a Roomba.

    I don’t have one but I’ve been lusting over one for a couple of years now. Unfortunately they just haven’t dropped to a price that I can justify yet. For this reason, get other people to drop the cash for you.

  • One, Two, or Many could contribute to buy a ceremony gift certificate – after all this is what the day is about. This means you can have a never to be forgotten creative ceremony and those contributing are immediately ‘engaged’. Budgets are controlled and this allows differing levels of $. No more boring ceremonies ‘that was just like…”. A trul;y unique and quthentic experience.

  • First Aid kit and/or First Aid course with St John’s, Red Cross etc. The only item of potential clutter I’d rather have and not need than need and not have.

  • We also asked for cash for our honeymoon but did it through a company called Honeymoon Planners.
    When people log in to get your gift they can choose “gondola ride in Venice”, “Dinner in Paris” blah blah blah…
    Whether or not you spend the cash on these things is up to you.
    We also sent everyone a postcard from all the different places we visited as thankyou cards.
    Although only half made it cause we sent a whole heap from Egypt LOL

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