Five alternative wedding gift registry services you need to know about
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Don’t subject your marital home to a boring John Lewis list. Here are five alternative - and local - options to suit every north London couple looking to decorate their love nest.
With wedding season in full swing, the John Lewis gift registry looms large on many wedding guests’ horizons. Whilst it’s trendy to grumble over the ballooning cost of attending a marriage ceremony, at the end of the day most guests are happy for the happy couple and more than willing to chip in for token towards their future domestic bliss.
Most cultures have an enshrined tradition of attendees contributing in some way to setting the newlyweds up for their life together, but today modern couples will have often lived together for extended periods of time before tying the knot. Partly due to changing cultural norms, but also because the price of property in London means combining two salaries is the only viable way to obtain a mortgage (with the bank of Mum and Dad drafted in to scrape together a deposit).
When you already have enough crockery, cutlery and spaghetti measurers to start your own pop-up department store, the wedding gift registry becomes more of a chance for the couple to pick out items that they really desire – and that signpost their impeccable taste.
Forget a bland, identikit list of napkin rings and casserole dishes. For a gift registry that will help you stand out from the matrimonial crowd look no further than these five alternative gift list services.
Skandium – The Scandi-philes
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You share a love of knitted jumpers and dark detective dramas, and your wedding day is a Pinterest smorgasbord of naked wedding cakes, loosely braided hair and romantic greenery.
For lovers of all things from the lands of the northern lights look no further than Skandium. The store that prides itself on bringing the very best of Scandinavian design to the British public has a fantastic four step gift list service.
Simply create a user account, browse their sleek website adding your favourite items to your gift list then share your custom code with your gifts.
After the wedding they’ll liaise with you directly to organise a convenient shipping time.
Browsing the Marylebone branch is enough to make you want to throw out every last poorly designed possession in your life and start anew in true Scandi ascetic style. Opt for elegant tableware with swooping curves like this pepper grinder and jug by George Jenson, which would pair nicely with this set of cutlery by Ittala.
Whilst not strictly of the Scandinavian persuasion, Japanese Issey Miyake’s style is an aesthetic soulmate despite the geographical distance. His geometric platters, produced in collaboration with Finnish Ittala, break the mould of traditional rounded flatware and prove that it’s hip to be sqaure.
Borough kitchen – The Foodies
When not in pursuit of the latest hot London restaurant opening you and your food fanatic partner can be found entertaining an army of friends at one of your legendary dinner parties. You’re partial to a kitchen gadget or three, but form and function are important when it comes to allocating precious cupboard space.
For pure kitchen porn get your kicks at Borough Kitchen. Every pot, knife, tool and truffle shaver you can dream of is stocked in their Hampstead store, and you can rest assured that every item has been rigorously tested before reaching the shop floor. Their gift list service has been optimised for both giver and giftee, with products broken down into price ranges for every budget and a summarised list for the recipients to help with the all-important thank you letter writing.
Quality cookware abounds. This Staub cast iron grill pan is a thing of beauty that will look as hot on your countertop as it will on the heat.
This elegant copper whisking bowl is almost a work of art yet is entirely practical: the copper reacting with egg whites to create those perfectly stiffened peaks.
Prezola – The Digital Natives
Two digital natives with a passion for technology, you might well have met via an iPhone app and you’ll certainly be documenting your nuptials on every social media platform available, once you’ve settled on your ideal hashtag of course.
You haven’t stepped foot in an actual shop in years (do they even exist still?), preferring to do all your purchasing online.
Even for the most tech-phobic of intendeds, Prezola is a fool proof option. The intuitive design allows you to seamlessly choose from over 300 carefully chosen brands, with options to discretely request cash gifts, contributions to a honeymoon fund or charity donations.
You can manage your list on the go from your phone, but should technology fail you the customer service team is only a call away.
With 30,000 possible gifts to choose from it can seem a little daunting, but luckily there are plenty of gold standard brands to get you started. A Kitchenaid mixer is always a crowd pleaser.
There are plenty of delightful finishing touches to adorn any nest – Jo Malone candles (our favourite is Cassis & Wild Fig), a plush Heal’s cushion in blue velvet and these classic blue on white Roelofs & Rubens handmade cake plates.
The Mint List – The Retro Cool Couple
Forget something new, you’re obsessed with all things old. Your weekends are spent wandering hand in hand through flea markets and car boots and nothing gets you going like a good eBay bargain. You can’t wait to grow old together surrounded by your antiques.
Online interiors store The Mint List brings together the very best of one-off vintage furniture, antique home wares and up-cycled pieces, all sourced from their handpicked independent suppliers. Couples can put together their list online with a custom webpage, or the company can organise a tailor-made day out of shopping with their suppliers, complete with a bottle of bubbly.
The Mint List is a total treasure trove of fabulous objects that have stood the test of time. This riotous reclaimed fairground sign will bring a carnival of light and colour to your home – and remind you of the big L.
A stunning antique French mirror is a big ticket item to be sure but guaranteed to look striking in a marital home with high ceilings. And for the quirky couple what could be more offbeat than fossilized sharks teeth framed on a backdrop of Farrow & Ball paint?
Maud and Mabel – The Artisanal Connoisseurs
Your love for each other is as original and unfettered by mass production as your taste in home décor. Department store shopping is complete anathema to you; you’d much rather while away the time hunting down the latest handmade, small batch product to decorate your nuptial abode with.
Hampstead based gallery, lifestyle and gift shop Maud and Mabel run a personalised wedding gift service. You can arrange to drop by their ‘shopping sanctuary’ for expert advice on curating your list from their rosta of artists from the UK, Japan, Italy and Finland.
Be aware, this is an option for the careful planners rather than a last minute elopement (however thrilling), as each handmade item requires 3 or 4 months to commission from the artists.
This transparently glazed cup by Mizuyo Yamashita combines three clays and has a secret sculpted base, perfect for that first cup of coffee in bed.
A hand thrown porcelain bowl from Derek Wilson’s latest collection is almost too pretty to use, but is perfectly functional, while this delicate hand thrown vase by Kenta Anzai has been polished eight times with fine sandpaper to give it an ephemeral eggshell finish.