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After all the invitations have been ordered, written and sent the happy couple will inevitably receive phone calls and letters asking to see the wedding gift list.

If you’ve been living together for a while you’ve probably already purchased the usual things on the list such as toasters, kettles, linens, etc. So what do you do, and how do you write it so that it doesn’t read like a long list of ‘I wants’.

1. Start with the list itself. Go around your or your mother’s house and list all the essential things that you don't already have. Perhaps you are already living together and when you moved in you were given hand-me-downs – now is the time to think of what you really want for your new home.

2. Note down the colour/pattern title and which shop you would find it in. Make it as easy as possible for your guest to find and buy the item. An approximate price would help also.

3. Think of not only things you need now, but for the future. You may choose to have children at a later date and will need nursery furniture, toys etc. Putting these on the list isn’t a good idea, but maybe asking for the wedding present to be carried over until you will need such things might be an idea.

4. Now write down a few luxury items such as ornaments/candlesticks etc. Make sure that you include items for all price ranges. Listing only higher priced items may embarrass those who are not as well-off or may even give the impression that you expect people to spend a lot of money on their gift.

5. Think about gift certificates and (for the bold) cash. If you have already set up home and have all that you want, perhaps you might suggest a check for any amount – make sure you say what you will put the money towards (a project around the home perhaps – or a new washing machine). For those who are busy this does save them going and buying a present, however there are those who feel that gift certificates/cash isn’t something they would give as it shows clearly the amount they have spent.

6. Once you have your list, you need to present it in a nice way. Passing around a sheet of typed paper isn’t particularly stylish, nor has there been a lot of thought towards it. One good idea is to make your own booklet (a notebook size that fits nicely into a pocket). Tie the pages together with a coloured ribbon that matches the wedding colours/theme. This way it shows that you have bothered to make the list look presentable and when the guest has chosen to buy something from the list they may tear the page out – thus making sure you don’t get two of anything and so that you do not know who has chosen it.

7. As soon as someone asks to see the list send them the copy. Make it known that there is only one list and that many people will want to see it so perhaps you could ask that people choose and pass it on within 4 days? This way everyone will get a chance to see the list and have the time to change his or her mind or purchase the item.

8. Keep track of the list. If it is going to get passed through many different hands, try and note down who has it - perhaps to save you the time and trouble, you could ask them to pass it on to the next person. It might be an idea to have a few lists or booklets circulating, however you would need to keep track of the missing pages as you’d need to keep both booklets up to date.