After a number of telephone calls from my Mum complaining that relatives were asking her what to buy us as a wedding gift, we finally turned our minds towards a gift list.
I have attended weddings without a gift list but found it difficult to decide how much cash to put in a card or what gift to buy, without any guidance. I wanted to make things as simple as possible for guests, so knew I wanted a gift list.
My husband and I have lived together for over 4 years, we love house renovation and bought a property as soon as we could. We already have a house full of furniture and accessories, so the traditional gift list of full of homewares wasn’t going to work for us.
Due to our home renovation and saving for the wedding, we had not been on a big holiday for a number of years. Holidays were something we really enjoyed at the start of our relationship. We love spending time together in our own bubble and exploring a new corner of the world.
My husband’s parents kindly offered us some money towards a honeymoon and we had our heart set on going to Bali, but we were worried about spending money. I had heard of couples asking guests for contributions towards their honeymoon and this seemed like a great option for us.
However, a browse of a popular wedding forum completely panicked me about asking for donations towards our upcoming honeymoon. “Honey funds” were deemed tacky and distasteful. I wasn’t sure what to do.
Luckily, my husband (then fiancé), had been researching the options. He had found a number of websites that offered hybrid gift lists, where you could still list traditional gifts such as toasters and coffee machines, but where you could also list customised gifts for your honeymoon. This meant you could explain to guests exactly how you intend to spend their cash gift on your honeymoon.
This sounded like a great idea, until he ran through the first options. Although the gift lists were free, the website took a percentage of every cash gift as a transaction or “gift handling” fee. I did not like the sound of that. I dismissed these options, feeling dejected.
Then my fiancé told me about Prezola. Prezola offered the flexible approach we were looking for, where you could list traditional homeware gifts, a honeymoon fund, vouchers and even charity donations. But the main benefit is that honeymoon fund is commission free, so your guest’s full cash gift will come to you. Instead there is a one off fee of £59 paid by the couple at the start.
Prezola’s gift list has won Wedding Gift List of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and it seemed like the best option for us, so we set about creating our list. We chose about ten household items and also options for guests to contribute to new bed linen.
Then we researched what we would like to do on honeymoon, choosing trips, restaurants or things to see. We could add these easily to the website, setting the exact amount and adding a comment or photograph.
We chose a spa day at a famous resort in Bali, a vegetarian cookery course, a volcano sunrise trek (which I almost came to regret after realising we had to wake up at 2am) and a brunch in a beautiful restaurant. For some of the more expensive trips, such as the reef cruise we chose, we listed one for each of us, to split the cost. You can then add some general options such as cocktails on the beach, honeymoon massage or a luxury lunch.
It worked really well for us, as whilst we were away we could add photos of us enjoying a spa day or a special meal on social media and tag those who bought it for us.
Pros of the Prezola gift list
- Its flexible and you can please everyone with a mix of traditional gifts, customised donations towards your honeymoon and donations to a charity.
- There are 300 brands to choose from, including the White Company, Joseph and Joseph, Tefal and Wedgwood, so you are likely to find things you love for a varied price range.
- You can download the list, including your guest’s messages, as a PDF. This really helped with writing thank you cards.
- If you create a wedding website with gettingmarried.co.uk, it is very easy to embed the gift list into the website, as it is owned by Prezola. We created one for our evening guests and it was quite good.
- You can add a welcome message, which help make it feel personal.
- Browsing for gifts was easy as they are split into categories or brands. There is also an inspiration section.
- You can add a personal comment for each gift and prioritise them by “Most Wanted”.
- The cash is transferred to you quickly and easily once you have finalised your list.
- You build up Prezola Rewards when guests buy certain gifts, so we were left with a pot of about £25 to use on the website.
Cons of the Prezola gift list
- A number of items on our gift list were discontinued. Whilst this is not in Prezola’s control, it was frustrating. You were given the same amount to spend on the website, but we found it difficult to find replacements for the exact amount.
- I found the website difficult to navigate after we had compiled our list. The “My Account” section is a bit confusing, as there are three options which all sound similar “View My List”, “My Prezola” and “Control Panel”. The first option takes you to a view of your gift list as your guests will see it and the second appears to be similar to the home page. To manage or view your list you have to go to the Control Panel where there are a number of other options. This could be streamlined and made more convenient to navigate.
- We finalised our list a few weeks ago and we have not yet received our gifts or any communication about when they are likely to be delivered. The website says “all gifts are en-route to our Delivery Centre and should be ready within 28 days” and whilst we are understand we are still within that period, the lack of communication has been slightly frustrating.
- Older guests struggled with the technical side of finding the list and purchasing a gift, so many just put a cheque in our card. This is a con of online gift lists in general, not specific to Prezola, but it may be worth considering those guests and making plans for them.
Overall, I was pleased we chose the Prezola gift list and I would definitely recommend it. It was great to be able to show guests exactly what gifts we would like. Most importantly for me, I was glad that we paid the fees for the gift list, rather than our guests through hidden commission.
We particularly enjoyed the customised honeymoon gifts and being able to tag friends and family in photographs of the activities or meals they had gifted us.
The cons of the website do not outweigh the pros and the main negatives which are within Prezola’s control are streamlining the website and improving communication after the list is finalised.