Posts Tagged ‘gift list’

If you are setting up your wedding gift list then you are probably on the look out for exciting, contemporary, greener home wares, decorating materials and home basics.

Greener Abode is an online retailer offering products which are handmade or manufactured by small, independent designers and companies that are committed to creating modern, innovative designs with greener credentials. From small utensils to benches, beds and desks, you could furnish your entire new home here.

Choosing only the most stylish pieces, there is none of the hair-shirt image of previous eco design. As many of the pieces are handmade or unusual, each one has a story to tell and will make your home unique and styled with imagination.

Other pieces don’t wear their eco credentials on their sleeve. These stealth sustainability supporters include wallpaper, upholstered vintage chairs and contemporary beds – your friends won’t believe you when you tell them how green they are.

Adding some of these pieces to your online gift list will spread the word – enabling your guests to see the bredth of eco design out there, whilst also creating your ideal eco home from the wedding gifts they buy for you.


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It is always great to know that Wedding Notebook is appreciated, and so it was a real boost to hear Bride Karen raving about us after her August wedding.

{September Bride Of The Month} Karen & Alan's Wedding - August 2011
{September Bride Of The Month} Karen & Alan’s Wedding – August 2011 Hosted by Official Bespoken For Blog for Bridal Jewellery Designer and Wedding Expert Jenni Bush

Karen was chosen as Bride of the Month on BeSpoken For and had this to say about Wedding Notebook:

“A fantastic website where you can have your own wedding website and gift list – fantastic isn’t even close.  For us it was ideal as we had people coming from Scotland, England and the USA and this made it easy to tell them details of the wedding, directions, accommodation and also a Gift List that meant they could shop around for the best deal for it wasn’t linked to any shop…  But the website was fantastic and now I am updating it so that we can show people photos and details of the wedding!”

Thanks Karen!

Wedding Notebook is free for brides to use. You can read more about what it can do for you here

Here is our BeSpoken For Seal of Approval.

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There’s no point having an online gift list where you can have anything you want, and still going for the department store standard bits. So here are some quirky ideas to get your creative gift-adding juices flowing:

This is exactly waht is says on the tin – a Grow your own Wine Rack Kit! You get a kit of willow strips, which you plant in such a way that they graft together to make a wine rack for 10 bottles. You’ll need patience as it will take 3 years to form, but then it really is a talkingpoint – and very unique. Your friends will be fighting each other to get it for you. Perfect for any wedding gift lists from Autumn through to late Spring, as the willow needs to be planted in the winter months. Currently £31.64 from EcoCentric.

I love how much eco homewares has developed in the last few years. Not more of the obvious recycled items trying so hard to be something else. Greener Abode has some stunning finds and I love this Recycled Tyre Photo Frame, which is cool and classic, perfect for that stylish large black & white print of you from your wedding day (It is 1m square). And being black it will fit any room in your house, so even if you don’t know where you’ll be living yet, put it on the wedding list!

I must admit I am a lazy gardener, but I love having acolourful garden. This gardening gadget is perfect for lazy gardeners, or guerilla gardeners – flower bombs (Banksy would be proud!) The SeedBoms (From Kabloom – love it!) are biodegradable grenades filled with seeds and organic compost – simply throw in the garden (or nearby wasteland), then open a beer, sit back and let the sun and rain do the hard work for you. Just make sure they don’t get into your honeymoon hand luggage, or you might have some explaining to do at the airport…

So, research has shown that houseplants help keep the air clean in your home, so probably its best to have a leafy green right by your bed when you sleep, right? So obviously you’ll be wanting this mini-plantpot and clock in one… This really has to be the quirkiest gift on the wedding list… and the great thing is, it doesn’t require batteries so you can get using it straight away. Perfect! The Clean Energy Water Clock is just £14 from Natural Collection.

Any other ideas that you want us to know about, leave a comment below, or tweet us @weddingnotebook or like us on facebook.com/weddingnotebook

If you want to set up an online wedding giftlist for your big day, it is free from weddingnotebook.co.uk

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As dress design and wedding style develops through the years, so does the way the guests give gifts to the happy couple.

When puffy sleeves and peach bridesmaid dresses were all the rage, guests were calling up the brides parents to ask what they should buy from a handwritten list pinned up by the telephone, and gifts were duly ticked off as guests called to make a pledge. A slight improvement on previous eras where guests bought whatever they thought the couple would need – usually including 3 toasters and a couple of hoovers. If Ebay had been around it would have seen a plethora of unwanted wedding gifts on its pages…

In the 90’s technology was developing and department stores devised a way to make sure all the gifts for a wedding were purchased from their store. We are all familiar with the John Lewis gift list, where the couple spend an afternoon browsing the store with a ‘zapper’ and giving the guests an easy way to choose and purchase a gift instore or online. This method of creating a gift list soon monopolised the market.

Far from being detatched from reality, the royal wedding embraces the trends and needs of the times. William and Kate, like many couples trying the knot, already live together and so have all the cutlery, toasters and bedding they need. So rather than having the usual gift list of homewares they have opted for the ever popular charity donations option. The Royal Wedding Charitable Fund lists many charities around the commonwealth with focus on youth, environment and the armed forces, causes close to the hearts of William and Kate.

When the ‘alternative gift list’ was first used there was concern it would be viewed as rude to ask for donations or non-physical gifts, but it is now accepted that each couple is unique and the needs they have differ and so can’t be standardised by one type of gift.

The trend for the gift list which encompases a variety of needs is on the increase with couples opting for the charity, honeymoon or a combination wedding gift list. It will soon be the case that requesting a variety of gift types on one list is no longer called an ‘alternative’ gift list.

The convenience of the online gift list can be used for a combination of gifts with an online gift list organiser, such as with Wedding Notebook where you can create your own wedding website with incorporated gift list organiser where you can add gifts from anywhere – online, local, charity donations or honeymoon vouchers.

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Are you a to-do-lists girl? Maybe you like to cut and stick pictures to make mood boards? Or do you creatively doodle ideas in a wedding notebook?

Do you have a thick wedding planning notebook that goes with you everywhere, or have you got some excel spreadsheets on a memory stick that make an appearance when you are planning together at the weekend?

Photos this week of Kate Middleton’s lunch with Camilla at the Berkley Hotel show Prince Williams bride-to-be making notes in a slim red notebook. As an Art History student and aspiring photographer I imagine Kate to be very creative – lets hope that royal protocol doesn’t stifle some innovative ideas that she may be sketching out…

When I was planning my (sorry, OUR) wedding, I loved browsing magazines and websites for ideas. I was never going to buy into the high-society wedding projected in many of the bridal glossies, but every-so-often there was a little something I thought I could recreate within our budget, or make it myself. The page was duly ripped out and stuck in the pages of my wedding notebook…

The notebook came with me at weekends to my fiances house so we could get on with bits of planning. There were also guests lists, information on suppliers etc saved on my memory stick… If we have done bits of wedding planning from our respective bases during the week this was then collated so we could have all the up-to-date stuff together… phew! (We did make sure we had weekends off – where talk of the wedding planning was banned to concentrate on US!)

Browsing websites in my lunch hour was fun, but tricky to get the images and info into my book as it involved printing and getting them home. The interactive online wedding planner Wedding Notebook came from this conundrum – I loved the idea of an online version of the traditional wedding notebook where you can make moodboards with images from websites and have a central place to tick off your wedding to-do-list that bride and groom-to-be can access from their respective workplaces or homes.

Keeping you organised, without reducing the creativity and fun, Wedding Notebook is a handy place to plan and create your wedding, including a personal wedding website to communicate all your wedding info to your guests, and an online gift list organiser to have gifts from anywhere – no restriction to one department store – and can include honeymoon vouchers, charity giving and gift experiences.

Register free for Wedding Notebook

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Retail guru, Mary Portas, a.k.a. Mary Queen of Shops, has a point. With the rise of huge supermarkets the great British high-street is suffering. Smaller independent shops are going out of business. Mary tells us that 5,000 small shops closed last year – We’ll miss our neighbourhood shops when they’ve gone…

It’s not just greengrocers and corner shops that we have at hand. Next Monday (28th June) Mary will be revamping a homewares business in Kingston. Do we really want to be left with only massive retail parks miles from our homes so that we have to journey out in the car to buy a unique gift for a friend’s birthday or browse for accessories to spruce up a tired outfit or items for your home.

Not only are there are benefits to using local wedding service providers, such as caterers using local produce, or locally grown flowers in your displays, that will cut down on air miles and also benefit the local economy; but you can also think about how you incorporate local into your new home when compiling your gift list. Using the wedding list service of a huge department store may be convenient, but do they offer the unique items that will make your home reflect your personal style? Can you incorporate one-off items made by independent designers?

An independent gift list, on which you can request items from a number of retailers whether they are online based, high street or local, will give your home a unique flavour rather than copy-cat style. Set yourself up with a free independent list manager on Wedding Notebook

Are there local designer makers that you adore, or smaller retailers that you can support who offer great quality alternatives to mass-produced items? You may even have friends who are self-employed designer-makers who you’d love to include on your list.

It is hard for me to suggest local stores to add to your list as I can’t tell where you live. Here are a few online stores with local at heart:

Warren Evans beds
Handmade in their London workshops, these beds are made from FSC wood and when delivered are put together for you – all part of the service for hardly any more money that you would buy flat-pack elsewhere. If you need to move the bed then they are easy to take apart and reassemble, and should one part of the bed be damaged you can get a replacement section rather than having to buy a whole new bed. They have won awards for Best Ethical Retailer and Best Green Company – so you can rest assured… and whatever else newly-weds get up to under the sheets…
Tip: Ask them to add a couple of inches to the legs for loads of storage underneath for homes that need to maximise on space

The ultimate department website of purely home-made and independently made homewares, accessories and gifts. The only downside is that the prices are shown in dollars and you have to look carefully to see if the seller is UK based. Other smaller UK based versions of etsy include Make It Sell It, Dream Aid, Ugly Be Gone & NotMassProduced

Florence & Florence
Re-loved homewares – these lovely ladies have scoured the country for second-hand items and restored them to their original beauty. Old wool becomes a chunky hand-crocheted cushion cover; an old vase is lovingly brought back to its former glory. They just need homes to be loved in.

Next Monday (28th June) Mary will be revamping a homewares business in Kingston as part of her Queen of Shops series on the BBC, and there must be lots of similar stores up and down the country. So why not take a walk round your local area with your partner on a Saturday and see if there is anything you can add to your independent wedding list. You will enjoy dreaming up a new look for your home and your guests will appreciate being able to buy your wedding gift so locally.

Whether you think Mary Portas is brash and rude, or that she really is breathing life into the local and charity retail sectors – take a leaf out of her book and pop along to your local shops to encourage them – Tell them what you love about them, or even let them know how they could improve to make you shop there more often. You’ll feel the benefits when they are providing just what you need, just where you need it – locally.

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The John Lewis partnership – a top choice for many couples wedding gift list – has won the 2010 Retailer of the Year award from the Homes & Gardens Classic Design Awards. For the second year running John Lewis pipped other giants Marks & Spencer and Laura Ashley to the post.

Retailers play a key role in British design, searching out the new and gently influencing the tastes of their customers. This award aims to celebrate a retailer that has most successfully captured the hearts and minds of readers of Homes & Gardens.

Homes & Gardens tells us why John Lewis deserve the award:
‘The key to John Lewis’s success is that, despite all the economic turbulence of the past two years, it has continued to expand and innovate both on the high street and online. It is also focused on refining its offerings; last autumn the retailer launched new furniture, bedlinen and accessories that were collaborations with designers such as Neisha Crosland, Nick Munro, Matthew Hilton and Sebastian Conran. The result is that John Lewis appeals not just to its traditional following, but also to a new generation drawn to the dynamic nature of this innovative retailer.’

Other things we love about John Lewis are that they have truly embraced the need for more sustainable design, offering a range of environmentally friendly products including recycled glass crockery and organic cotton bedlinen to name a couple – but there is still a long way to go!

If you are considering John Lewis for your wedding gift list, let us know why below.

See details of the other winners here.

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