Wedding gifts probably originated following the days when a ‘dowry’ was paid by a bride’s father to his future son in law.

And it often happened the bride’s father was not wealthy enough to provide a good dowry so all the bride’s family would help out either providing money or gifts.

The practice of giving a dowry slowly faded away but the buying of gifts remains to help a couple set up their first home together.

It is a good idea to put together a wedding gift list but an extremely bad idea to send it with the invitation. It may save postage but could also create a lot of bad feelings.

Most invited guests will either provide a cash gift or they will ask if you have a wedding list.

You can send them a list and ask them to cross off what they are going to provide. Or you can easily set up an internet page and they can choose from there. But always make sure it is updated regularly.

Alternatively you can set up a wedding list with a department store such as Debenhams or House of Fraser. The store will automatically update your list whenever a purchase is made from the store. Afterwards the store will send you a list of who bought what so that you can personally thank them.

Online gift shops are a great way as most people have access to the internet now. You can create an on line list and leave it to the chosen company to operate for you.

You should have your wedding list ready at the same time as your invitations are sent out. It can take a month or so to compile a wedding gift list so start it in plenty of time prior to sending invites.

If you are having a store shopping list make sure that you know if you have to collect or they deliver them in time for the wedding.

If guests bring them to the wedding it is the job of chief bridesmaid to ensure they are kept safe and that labels are attached by sticky tape so the couple know who gave them which gift. It is important that each gift be personally acknowledged with a letter following the wedding so knowing who gave what is important.