When we got married I still wanted to create a gift list even though we asked for money towards our honeymoon, we realised that some guests may prefer to give us a physical gift. Therefore we kept our list fairly small with a few select items of varying budgets.
The actual shopping experience was good fun. We browsed our local branch both for items that we really wanted and others that would just be nice to have. The best bit was that we were given a voucher for complimentary tea/coffee and cake which we very much enjoyed.
Some of our guests chose to take their chosen gift to present to us on our wedding day and others just selected them for us to collect after our wedding day. Having the option was an advantage as our guests could choose whatever suited them but I found out that some found it a bit complicated if they wanted to leave the store with the item themselves rather than add it to our collection.
We had the choice to have our remaining gifts delivered but we decided to collect them ourselves. Everything was wrapped carefully and we were very pleased with the overall experience.
I recommended the service to friends who also decided to open their gift list with John Lewis and I know of several others who also took out their list with them as well.
Compiling our wedding gift list added to the whole wedding planning experience and was definitely one of the less stressful items on our to do list!
My husband and I got married last month, and we decided that we were going to provide a gift list with our invitations. We already have our own home and have been living together for a couple of years, and so we wanted to make sure that we didn't end up with lots more of the same items that we already own. Because we were quite young first-time buyers and so didn't have huge amounts of spare cash after putting down a deposit for our house, we decided to try to make do with what we already owned between us plus some other fairly cheap items. I had stayed away from home during my time at university and so we were lucky in that we already had quite a few basic items, such as kitchen utensils, saucepans and cutlery, and my Mum and Dad kindly let us have all of the furniture from my bedroom at their house. We felt that by having a wedding list, we would be able to ask for some better quality items that could replace things that were getting rather old, and also some new additions that we had been after for a while, such as a spice rack and salad bowl.
I have always been in two minds about John Lewis. I think it's a lovely place to shop and many of their items are of a very high quality, however, this is often reflected in their high prices and so I don't tend to shop there very often. There also isn't a shop close to where we live, which means a rather long drive to the nearest shop. I loved the idea of having our wedding gift list with John Lewis because I felt it was a great excuse to be able to choose some really great quality items for our home without having to pay for them! I had also heard that you were given a scanner and that you could walk around the shop scanning the barcodes of everything you wanted on your list, and for someone who loves shopping, what's there not to love about that?! I didn't want us to end up receiving the same gift from all of our guests, but I felt it would be rude to ask just for money, and so I felt that having a gift list was the best thing to do, meaning we would receive things we could really do with, and hopefully it would make it easier for our guests to choose a present.
You can register for the gift list online, over the phone or at your local store. Registration is free, and when we did it online, we found it quick and easy to do. Once you are registered, you are provided with a gift list number and you can set your own password, enabling you to access your gift list through the John Lewis website.
What you can have on your gift list:
As well as having products from the retail and online stores on your gift list, there are other choices you can have on there too. You can ask for John Lewis gift vouchers, contributions towards a special holiday or honeymoon, and you can also ask for charity donations for Cancer Research UK.
Compiling the list with items from the store or online:
In my opinion, this is the best part! John Lewis recommend that you choose the items for your gift list 8 weeks before your wedding, so that the items you choose are less likely to be out of stock from being discontinued when your guests choose from your gift list. To choose your items in store, you need to go to the Gift List department in order to collect your scanner. When we went to do this, we were asked to sit down with a member of staff at their computer, where they checked our personal details, we had to read through some terms and conditions, and then we were provided with our scanner, advice on how to use it, and also a voucher that would allow us to have free tea or coffee and cake, which I thought was a nice touch. You don't have to use the voucher that same day, as it doesn't have an expiry date on it. You are also given a little pack with a leaflet and small booklet with information about the gift list etc, a letter entitling you and a guest to a free beauty consultation, an invitation to receive a free fitted kitchen planning appointment, and a gift list checklist. I think the checklist was the most useful thing in this pack, as it has a large list of items you could choose for your list, and it's helpful to make sure you haven't forgotten something that you would like to add to your list.
We were shown how to use the scanner, which I have to say was slightly more technical than I was expecting, and off we went to scan our products. The scanner worked for a couple of minutes and then suddenly decided that it didn't have any signal apart from if we stood in one corner of the shop. We went back to explain that it wouldn't work and were handed a different scanner. This one decided to work most of the time, although this one also didn't have signal every now and again. I have to say, it was great being able to wander around the store scanning things we wished to have in our home, wondering if anyone would purchase them for us. We did make sure that we had a really good range of products in terms of price, as we didn't want there to be too many expensive items. We were advised when we were given our scanner to select a fairly large number of items because people are often a lot more generous than you would expect, and so make sure there is plenty of choice.
If you don't wish to go to the store to add items to your gift list, you can do it online instead. We added most of our items in store but then we decided to remove and also add a few new things online. It was nice to have the option of managing it online, as it saves the hassle of having to keep going to the shop.
Guests purchasing your gifts:
If you wish, John Lewis will send you little inserts with information about your gift list for your guests free of charge. We chose to send these with our invitations, and you just have to write on your gift list number and a password, if you decide to set one. The inserts were white and modern-looking, and they looked good being sent with our invitations. The gift list opens for your guests to access it 6 weeks before your wedding. Guests can purchase items from your list online, in store or over the phone, which I think is great because it means they can use whichever method is the most convenient for them.
Watching your gifts being purchased:
I found it rather exciting, and I think my then fiance did too, to keep logging on to our list every now and then to see if anyone had purchased anything. It was easy to tell if anyone had purchased anything because it was listed under a separate tab. What we found to be a nice touch when our guests purchased something was that as well as typing in their names, so that you could tell who had purchased each item, guests could also write a personal message, and it was lovely to see messages of congratulations and well wishes next to our gifts. I have to say that the advice John Lewis provided about having a good range of gifts because people can be very generous was actually very good advice. Some of our guests spent far more money on gifts than we were expecting, and a pair of lamp bases that I loved but nearly didn't put onto our list because we thought they would be too expensive were purchased by my Mum and Dad's friends, which we couldn't believe. It just goes to show that when it comes to a wedding, people can be extremely generous.
All gifts are delivered free of charge, and you can specify a date that is convenient for you. If you need certain items delivering before your honeymoon, they can arrange for this. We arranged the delivery date for our gifts over the phone and the lady was very helpful and friendly. In fact, whenever we've rang up to discuss our gift list, every advisor has been helpful. We had some gift vouchers purchased for us and you can either collect those from store or have them delivered to you for free. The gift vouchers can then be used in store or online. As promised, on the day that our gifts were being delivered, the delivery driver rang us to let us know he would be delivering to us in around half an hour, which we appreciated. Our gifts arrived in cardboard boxes and were well packed, with no damage to any items.
Closure of your list:
Once we had received all our gifts and vouchers, we received a phone call asking if our list could be closed, which actually made me feel quite sad! We received a list through the post of all the items we had received so that we had proof of purchase should we have any issues with any items.
Would I recommend?:
Yes, I would recommend the John Lewis wedding gift list. Their prices are rather expensive, but at least you know you are going to receive good quality products that will last for a long time. I wanted to receive wedding gifts that will last for years to come, because seeing and using them reminds me of our wedding. I really enjoyed going round the store with my partner scanning in products that we would like for our home, and it was very useful being able to manage the list online. The only negative I think I have to say about the whole experience was that the scanners weren't very reliable, but that's the only issue we had. If you want a company you can trust that sells good quality items, I would choose John Lewis.
5 months later we still don't have our vouchers or all our gifts. They do not follow up with you and I am sure if I hadn't chased they would not have sent many items. Vouchers have been sent in random chunks and we were told after we were told we had everything, that actually we were owed more vouchers. I honestly can't believe how bad the customer service has been. Our guests spent several thousand pounds on our list and in return, John Lewis have the nerve to think they don't have to issue all the vouchers, send us our pressies, follow up with us, remain in any way on-top of what was on the list.
Use at your peril!! I have seen other sites where you can list items and guests order things themselves so they are delivered separately. I would 110% do this if I had our time again. Total disaster. I also sent a complaining email to John Lewis outlining how fed up I was (I was nice in the email, just explained the issues) and they didn't reply. URGH!!!
Like everyone else I read the John Lewis gift list reviews before getting married - it really is true that they are really bad! We have had so many problems with them and 5 months after our wedding, we still don't have everything. Half of the things werent in stock anymore so we had a lot of gift vouchers. From what could be delivered, a lot was broken or missing and they have refused to give us a refund or compensation. We are still waiting for items to be delivered for the 3rd time. I would advice to use someone else as this has caused us a lot of stress.
I would never EVER recommend this store to anyone!!!! If I could have given it less than one star I would have! Actually setting up the gift list was really easy but the problem started when the gift list actually opened. 40% of the items that were purchased were converted to gift vouchers because John Lewis doesn't have the technology to count their stock!!! And to make matters worse the store never informed me that the items were not available and they said it was my fault that I complied my list early, but for some unknown reason the store was able to inform me when items were out of stock before the gift list was opened. Please please do not use this store! All you need to add to the stress of your big day is worrying about John Lewis's ability to stock their store!
John Lewis Gift List - Just Pants!
On the 13/11 I received an email to say that they had (finally) sent our last outstanding item. We got married on 24/07!!
Many others have written reviews deriding the availability of stock and the subsequent delays in getting their items. The stock issues are doubly frustrating as you can often see the item as being in stock on the John Lewis website. I wrote to GiftList_Kingston@JohnLewis.co.uk to query why I seemed perfectly able to source stock from Johnlewis.com , yet they were telling me was not available, and was advised that John Lewis Gift list is a totally separate company - you can imagine my confusion then given that the email explaining this had the footer (you guessed it........... John Lewis plc Registered in England 233462 Registered office 171 Victoria Street London SW1E 5NN Websites: http://www.johnlewis.com http://www.waitrose.com http://www.johnlewis.com/insurance http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk
If it looks like a Duck, Quacks like a Duck......
Avoid the gift lift from John Lewis like the plague. The fuctionality of the website is terrible and unless you make a mental note of each item once it's purchased the descriptions can leave you wondering what it actually was you choose, half of the gifts purchased were not available and despite the fact that i could see them in the store, the gift list team could not confirm when they would be secured even after two months of guests buying them!! The delivery is joke, inflexible and at your inconvenience. There are others options out there so hunt around and find an alternative would be my recommendaton...
John Lewis wedding gift list
At the end of last year I got married and I used John Lewis as a more efficient way of organising a gift list both for myself and for the guests. I hadn't really considered what I was going to do about a gift list when a woman from John Lewis approached me at a wedding fair, they explained who they were and a brief overview of the service they provided. Within the pack that they gave me it provided little cards that go into the invitations with the information of your list (obviously you fill it in when you go forward and make a list with them).
We went in at a pre-arranged time and were greeted by a very nice wedding sales coordinator; it was her job to make our guest list go without a problem and make it an enjoyable experience for us. She explained briefly (most of what I already knew) about how everything worked and what we need to do to open a list, make a list and make it active. It really is just a matter of filling out a few forms and off you go. They give you a scanner that you can wander around John Lewis with selecting the items and quantities of these items that you want. Of course my husband wouldn't give up the scanner to me...what is it with boys and gadgets?
The lady at the wedding gift counter when handing over the scanner gave us both a voucher for a free drink and a cake, as a little treat to break up the scanning. I felt like they wanted us to enjoy the experience and it is always the little things and consideration that sway my opinion of a service.
You can set it up so that guests need more than just the wedding list number to access the list of items (i.e., add a password) but it's recommended that you don't do it. It is unlikely enough that a stranger will stumble across your list and decide to buy you a gift but the staff suggest you don't because most guests have a big enough problem remembering the number. If they do forget thou I think the list is still accessible by searching for surnames, I am lucky enough that my hubby has an unusual name so our list would always be easy to find, might get a bit confusing trying to find the list if you are a Smith. The guests can buy the gifts in store or online or by telephone. They can also just choose to give you gift vouchers.
They did explain that if anything was out of stock we would receive gift vouchers to that value instead. Which did happen, I had scanned some Molten brown products that weren't available closer to our deliver date. It just meant that we had some more vouchers to buy anything else that we needed.
They do also have an online facility which was incredibly useful and it allowed me to keep up to date with what we were going to receive, and it allowed me to write my thank you cards well in advance. I also found that if the list was going well and the amount of items was dwindling it was really easy to add more using the online site.
It arrived on time and everything was well wrapped up and then packed inside boxes. When the driver came to the door he did apologise because there were two items that didn't make it to the store in time for deliver. He also told us that we would have to wait for those and that someone had accidentally broken a bowl from the dining sets, which of course would be replaced and re-delivered. Although it wasn't a completely smooth delivery I wasn't disappointed in the service, nearly everything had safely arrived and I was itching to tear away the layers of bubble wrap.
I couldn't have been happier with the whole experience, although there were a couple minor hiccups with the delivery, overall everything went really smoothly. I would happily award them with four and a half out of five but since you can't do that here I think on the whole they deserve a five rather than a four. They made the experience enjoyable, easy and hassle free. I would definitely recommend there services to anyone about to start considering what they want to do for a gift list.
The wedding gift list at john lewis is fabulous, has a huge range of stock and is an experience in itself - a fun one at that.
I got married in may 2008 and we used john lewis for our gift list and it was wonderful from start to finish. The stock of john lewis ranges from clothing, homeware, electrical items, gardenware, beauty, sports and gifts, so not only a great starting point for a wedding list but will cover practically everything you could ever ask for in the home.
The best thing about having john lewis is for your guests to choose gifts from because the prices can vary dramatically which many couples like to do on their lists. Some guests will want to spend into the hundreds whereas for others a simple token gift is just what they intend to purchase so you can offer on your list items ranging from high ended electrical goods or furniture or perhaps some luxurious chocolates or champagne. This is the beauty in that the list ranges from £5 to £500 and caters for everyone and yet even the smallest of gifts is a pleasure from this shop.
The quailty of goods is superb and never have I had one complaint with anything from here. Many beautiful items can be ordered also for your list such as silver candelabras and decandent cutlery.
When you set up a list this can either be done through the internet which is a very simple procedure or alternatively by going into the store and setting it up with an advisor. This is simple and can be done in approx 10 minutes just to fill everything in and then upon completion you are able to take a scanner and go around the shop scanning everything you wish to have on your list; this by far is the best part!
The scanner is able to edit quantities and delete items if required and once this has been completed you then hand this back in and it is automatically transferred onto your list, with which you can either send the number of your list to people or alternatively print it out and hand it to them. Guests are able to then look online, purchase an item and once purchased this will be removed from the list so double purchases cannot be made.
The arrival of goods takes place after the wedding at approx. 3 weeks later which is always nice as you can arrive home from your honeymoon and wait for the gorgeous items to arrive and unpack with your new better half.
All in all a fun, easy and conveinient experience for any gift list organiser, and perfect for a range of costs to suit everyone.
Wedding lists are a debatable subject- some love them, some hate them, and the others are indifferent. I personally am in the pro camp, I do not want to spend my hard earned money on an item that is going to at best, find itself stuck in a cupboard, perhaps only seeing the light of day when I visit or at worst being disposed of post haste. So when two friends of mine said they were not going to have a wedding list as it appeared materialistic- I persuaded them to have one and told them I thought John Lewis was probably the best choice. I had no experience of a John Lewis gift list- but their reputation is such, that I was confident in making that proposal.
So how has it gone ?
They visited their local John Lewis and it was quick and easy to set up a list. They were given scanners and told to go around the store scanning in anything they wanted on their list. The list was created at that point, but they were advised that they could at anytime add or remove items from the list online or in store. They have done this and it couldn't have been simpler. They were given small folded cards to hand or send to their guests - these contained areas to write their names, the wedding list number and a password for online access. Together with the date the list would be "open". It also listed all the John Lewis stores for those who preferred to shop in person.
The list prepared, they agreed a date for delivery to their home address and that was that. Simple.
The happy couple have a different password to the guests, this enables them to add or delete items from the list and to see what has been purchased, by whom and the accompanying message if they wish. My friends are trying not to do this, so they can enjoy the opening prezzies experience more when they return from honeymoon.
As a guest it is easy, I have purchased online and I just entered the password and clicked on Buy a Gift- I can see all the items available, sorting by price if I wish. Click and Buy and write your gift card message, pay and it is all done. It took all of 5 minutes- imagine how long trudging from shop to shop to shop would have taken me- and the stress! As the wedding is in another part of the country and I will have to be traveling by train, tube, train. taxi and car- I am very pleased not to be carrying my choice of gifts on the journey. No gift wrapping to worry about either. Let's face it I have enough to do, transport, hotel, a new outfit, hair appointments etc; etc. I also can relax knowing that I have definitely bought a gift they will be pleased to receive. I also know that the gifts will be excellent as John Lewis is known for quality.
Of course, as is my life, things never run smoothly- one of my soon to be legally bound friends rang me to say they had received an e mail from John Lewis- two of the items they had chosen and that I had bought were no longer available and therefore under the terms of the wedding list agreement they would be sending gift vouchers to the same value of those gift choices. They knew I would not be happy with this, hence the phone call.
I went to check my e mail inbox and I had received nothing, had my friends not told me I would have been none the wiser and that is, in my opinion, wrong.
I rang John Lewis and they did sort out the problem, promptly and well, I was credited for the gift vouchers and I could go online and make another choice.
So I do feel that a service that had been exemplary, was let down by this one issue. It would have been so easy for them to have e mailed me and given me a choice as to whether to let the vouchers stand or to make another selection.
Would I recommend John Lewis again- absolutely, but I would mention the "issue".
A wedding list review is not only about how the list itself operates, but also the store itself. Let's face it, a list system could be the best run in the world, but if the goods were rubbish, with poor after sales care- would you want your list there?- methinks not.
So if anyone from JLP is reading this- just sort out the substitution issue and you would get ten out of ten- for now you will have to settle for nine and a half!
General disclaimer to start things off: This is a review of a Gift List service. If the comments you are going to make all relate to how gift lists are tacky and horrible and you find it horribly gauche to receive them with your wedding invitation then don't read a review of a Gift List service. Go read about something you like. Why put yourself through it?
I'm sorry if that sounds a little harsh and it probably is a bit harsh because when I started wedding planning I had conflicted thoughts about gift lists and was actually a little horrified that in England you receive information about the gift list with the invite. I've never had that in Canada. Of course I also know of a friend who received no less than 15 silver photo frames and another couple that wound up with a rather impressive but not overly practical collection of tea pots. Since moving to England buying wedding presents for people has been much more fun (if no cheaper) as you can actually see what people want, get it for them and feel like you've told them you're happy for them in an appropriate way.
We did recently receive a wedding invite with no gift list information. The groom is a good friend of my husband but I barely know the bride. I figured that eventually I'd have to make my husband get in touch with the groom to find out if they wanted money for honeymoon or what we were supposed to do. Luckily we wound up socialising with both of them and the bride handed me their John Lewis gift list information a little sheepishly. She said she'd felt it was tacky to include gift list info with their invites but was now having to either hand it to people directly or post it on its own which seemed even tackier to her! Instead of saying "We want you to celebrate with us when we get married and if you want to give us something here's some help with what to buy." It wound up being "Gift List" all on its own.
We got married in the summer of 2008 which many brides will remember as the year that Wrap It went bust and their wedding gift list became a nightmare. Luckily I was spared such horrors as my husband had decided that the Wrap It centre in Norwich was weird and wanted to go to John Lewis where he was comfortable. As wedding season is once again upon us I have been interested to note that both weddings we are invited to next month have gone with John Lewis for their lists as well. This means I've now been on both sides of the equation when it comes to their Wedding Gift List service.
SETTING UP YOUR LIST
One of the reasons that we chose John Lewis is that they have branches almost everywhere, unlike a local Norwich department store that we considered. This means that for most folks looking to set up a gift list all you have to do is go to the store and follow the signs to the specially designated gift list department. We waited a few minutes for one of the gift list folks to be free and they sat us down at a computer and showed us how the process worked. Our person was very friendly and knowledgeable. Obviously they are trying to sell you on their list, but we didn't feel uncomfortably pressured.
If you decide you want to go through with setting up a list with John Lewis then both the bride and groom's details are taken as well as the wedding date. Generally the gift list goes live six weeks before the wedding but we requested a slightly earlier date because of the number of friends and family who were travelling over the summer. The usual process is for John Lewis to arrange for delivery of the gifts two to three weeks after your wedding but you could modify that as well if you wished. We were given a stack of cards that you send off with your invitations indicating that you have a gift list with John Lewis, the account number associated with your wedding and the date that the list will be accessible online and in store. One was filled out for us and I sat and did the rest at home later.
The details out of the way, the fun could begin. The helpful man demonstrated how the hand held scanner worked. It's most basic function, scanning in the item in front of you using its barcode is very straight forward. However there were some other options that I promptly forgot once I was on the store floor but luckily it's a gadget and my husband is a gadget person. Actually at times it was hard to get him to discuss the things right in front of us because he discovered that, upon scanning an item such as a milk jug, you could access a list of all other items in the same line. I don't think I actually got to hold the scanner the entire time we were in the store! Once we'd had enough for the day we simply returned the scanner to the gift list section.
When making up your list they do recommend putting a wide range of gifts at various prices. We knew that many of our friends are as broke as we are so really tried to keep that in mind. While we were setting up a home, the apartment was already furnished as we were already playing with the idea of emigrating to Canada at the time so we didn't have huge pieces that we wanted anyway. Some of our items were around £5. The majority were under £50. Your gift list information when sent to you or when access online will tell you how many of your gifts fall into various price categories. This can give you an idea if you're going a little overboard (ie if all of your gifts are over £75 some of your guests might struggle a little) We included some fun things like board games as we love playing them with our friends and I often by them as wedding presents anyway. Was pleased to see on a friend's list recently that they decided to do the same thing after buying Cranium for us!
For many people, such as ourselves, you want the gift list set up before you send out invites. While the wedding planning guide lines still suggest you send your invites out 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding, that's just not practical for most people in this day and age. We had to confirm the number of tables if not the exact numbers a couple of weeks before the wedding and the hotel wanted rooms reserved at least three weeks before the wedding or they would release them. Many people are now sending their invites out three or four months before the wedding. However, as far as the store is concerned, scanning your full gift list four months before the wedding is far too early. Goods are somewhat seasonal and you may find that the item you scanned in May has limited availability by August while new fun and exciting things are suddenly available to you. So they may suggest that you set up your list but return to scan things at a later date.
MANAGING YOUR LIST
Once you have gone home you are able to access your list online from the start. It is not available to guests yet but you can add and delete items via the internet. This means you have access to goods that are available on the John Lewis website that my not have been to hand in the store. John Lewis does insist on sending paper updates and information regarding your gift list for those who have less internet access or are less internet addicted. Ever conscious of the amount of paper and postage being used on our wedding we tried to decline this service but got the paper anyway!
This is where I have to bring up one of the problems, or at least annoyances, that I had with this service. Not long before our gift list went live I received an email from the gift list folks at our local branch telling me that there was limited availability on our silverware set and so they wanted us to switch it for something else. This doesn't sound like a big deal except that my husband and I had spent embarrassing amounts of time playing with every piece of silverware in the store and my husband was dedicated to this particular set. I was in love with its wooden box and we were both slightly devastated (it was wedding planning that really made us overly emotional but still) at this news. Then I went online and discovered that, while Norwich only had one set listed on their inventory, the London stores and Reading (where my in laws live so thought to check there) had upwards of 30 sets available between them. I called the store, pointed this out and asked if we were not able to get one of the sets at another location. The woman was polite, professional and said that as long as we didn't mind things being delivered separately if they had to be called in from other stores then they were happy to leave anything on our list that was available elsewhere.
Well, there goes our attempts at being environmentally friendly I guess, but we were happy to get the things we loved from elsewhere. It was an unneeded stress leading up to the wedding but I can see why they'd try to keep lorries off the road and deliver everything at once.
Anyway, once the list is available to guests they can access it online or by going into any John Lewis in the country. The account number included on your card is one way of quickly bringing up your list but they can also search by either the bride or groom's names. We did this recently for friends' wedding and it worked just as quickly. You can browse all gifts on the list or search by price bracket (ie under £50 etc) or by type of item (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom). If you buy the gift online you can leave a message for the couple then and there which is immediately available to them online. My husband and I loved watching our gift list and were just stunned by the generosity of people. We'd told all of our friends, who we know are young and just starting out and broke like we are, that we simply wanted them there for our day and not to worry about gifts and such and that we would arrange to put them up with local friends if need be. I mentioned before that we tried to keep our list reasonably priced. We found that people sometimes liked to buy a set of related items such as two pillows and the pillow cases, but no one felt forced to (I hope!).
Very important if you are a wedding guest who still likes to have the option of going into the store and picking up the item in person to remember to let the store know you are buying from a guest list!! We only had one set of guests bring a gift list item from a store, wrapped to the wedding. Opening it to see it was our wine glasses I didn't stop to think twice about whether they were the people whose name I'd seen with the wine glasses on the internet. When our delivery came later and I suddenly had wine glasses coming out of my ears I realised the people who'd gone into the store had not had their item crossed off the list!!
The gift list remains active for about two weeks after the wedding. Sometimes people do decide to order your present later I guess but I think the real reason is to allow you to purchase things that guests didn't buy either using vouchers that you were given or your own money. Anyway, once the gift list is closed the items are delivered to you or you can arrange delivery earlier.
We arranged to have our items delivered the week after we got back from our honeymoon as I knew I'd have real flexibility with work that week. It was a relief to have a little time to sort out all of the wedding chaos at our apartment before having the presents all arrive. Our little apartment was so insane when we left for our honeymoon that my bridesmaid (who had a key in case of emergencies) went in and organised one day because she didn't want me coming back to a bomb site. If we'd had the gifts on top of that I might have had a break down.
I was recently at a wedding where they'd had a gift list but requested that everyone pick up the item and bring it with them (which was a bit of a pain quite honestly after ordering online any!). It was a military wedding that had about 100 for dinner but more like 200 in the evening. The next morning the bride, groom and their parents were found just staring at the pile of gifts plus all of the flowers and decorations in the middle of the hotel reception completely overwhelmed. I'm sure it made for a wonderful photo op but one that I could live without. You can decide for yourself whether or not you'd enjoy that!
Anyway, the day of the delivery was arranged and I believe I was given a general slot of time related to morning or afternoon. The pillowcases and duvet cover that had been found in another store arrived the day before and had their own separate delivery slips. The gift vouchers people had ordered online (some had bought theirs in person and put them in their wedding cards) were also delivered separately a few days before, which was no problem because they fit into our post box. All of the goods were delivered well packaged in boxes by a helpful man and left where I indicated. At the time I was given a full print out of the whole gift list, what had been ordered and what had not been purchased.
It was upon opening all of the boxes and sorting through everything that I discovered the wine glass duplication. I took one box of wine glasses and my gift list information back up to the gift list section of my local John Lewis. It was not a problem in the least. I was given vouchers to replace the extra wine glasses and the woman even apologised on behalf of the store. I don't think it was their fault that our guests hadn't crossed the item off of the gift list at the Reading branch, but nice of her all the same!
Over all we found the John Lewis staff helpful and friendly. I hope this is true at all branches but cannot say for sure. We found the process fairly easy and the addition of the scanner really did make the gift list a little more "groom" friendly. The presents are for the groom as well so it shouldn't be too painful for him but it did make finding matching pillow cases, sheets and duvet covers more exciting for him. Other than the annoyance at being informed an item had limited availability when there were lots in the country, I enjoyed monitoring our list. The delivery and follow up after the wedding was very straight forward. It's also nice to know that John Lewis is one of the more secure options in the current economic climate.
As a guest I've also found it very easy to use and enjoyed picking out something that I know my friends want to have. I know how excited I got when our list went live and so like to go on as soon as I can to find something fun to buy so others have the same exciting experience. I was pleased that they found it convenient enough when they were our guests to use the same service.
It is now fairly standard practice to have a wedding gift list to avoid receiving multiple sets of glasses (in the case of my parents), or, even less usefully, multiple teapots (in the case of my now husband's parents). In addition to making the outcome better for the bride and groom a gift list also simplifies the process for guests, removing their need to trawl shops looking for something that might be appropriate and instead giving them the option of straightforward online shopping.
There are of course multiple options for gift lists - one couple who recently got married had an Oxfam gift list from which you could purchase such things as 'a goat' or 'a set of vaccinations' and some friends have just asked for cash towards their honeymoon, but since we were setting up a flat from scratch together we decided to go for a traditional style gift list and John Lewis seemed like a good option.
Setting up the gift list
We went into our local John Lewis and noted where the gift list office was, went and presented ourselves there and after the lady had had a surreptitious glance at my engagement ring we were sat down and our details were entered onto the computer. We were then given a plastic folder with information leaflets, a pencil, vouchers for a free drink and cake each and a bar code scanner to use to quickly enter items with liked onto our list, and were then left to roam the store.
The bar code scanner was clearly designed with boys (sorry, 'men') in mind as it made the process more 'fun', with the result that my better half scanned lots of items he would not have even considered putting on the list if he'd had to make the effort of writing them down. Fortunately the scanner was simple to use and you could delete items you changed your mind about from it. It made compiling the list very easy, and the free drink and cake were a nice touch to allow a break in the middle of the day.
Once you'd finished scanning, you returned to the gift list office and your list was uploaded onto the computer. You were then given a 'gift list number' and set up a password so you could see and edit your list online, and your guests could see the list.
Managing the list online
The website was clear and simple to use and allowed guests to buy either online or in the shop. All you had to do was give guests the guest list number (and a password if you chose to password protect it) and the website explained the rest for you. It also allowed you to keep track of what people had brought and what was left, so you can add things to the list as appropriate from the comfort of your own home. It also had a 'gift voucher' option so if there were no items at the price your guests wished to spend that was always an alternative.
After the wedding
After the wedding there is the option of exchanged a certain amount of the items bought so if you didn't get something you really wanted you can swap some items you did get for it without your guests knowing. A printed summary of who bought what is also provided, which makes writing thank yous far easier. Free delivery of items, if required, was provided in 2008.
Would I recommend?
On the plus side, setting up the list was easy and enjoyable and there was a good range of products to chose from. In these times of fears of stability, John Lewis also feels a relatively 'safe' company to use. However, on the negative side our experience of getting our gifts afterwards could have been better - our martial home was 100 miles from where I had grown up and set up the gift list, but when I went to the John Lewis in my new location to discuss what was going on with deliveries of items they were unhelpful to the point of almost rudeness about how everything had to be done in the store where the gift list was set up. Everything did however arrive within a month of the wedding.
Overall I like John Lewis products and everything was delivered so the service to a degree did what it was supposed to, but the customer service after the list had closed could definitely have been more courteous.
We had our wedding list at John Lewis when we got married in December 2008 and we were really pleased with the service and the items that we received.
Setting up the list was straight forward- we simply went along to our local store, picked up a scanner and scanned the items that we wanted to add to out list. We also got a coucher for a free drink and cake each to refresh us during this arduous task! One of the things that I really liked about the service was that we were able to go back at any time and add items to our list as and when we wanted to.
It was easy for our friends and family to buy from the list- they could do so online, in store or over the phone. As an item was bought, it disappeared from the list. We the received all of our gifts, delivered to our door just over two weeks after the wedding.
In the end we ended up with a couple of duplicatiosn because some guests chose not to buy off the list. John Lewis were really helpful, allowing us to return items and have gift vouchers in return meaning we could save some to buy items later in the year.
The one niggle that we had was that John Lewis failed to update my maiden name to my married name after the wedding in their correspondence. However when I pointed this out to the they were apologetic and sent us £25 gift voucher as an apology.
Overall the list was easy to set up, easy to buy from and we were extremely happy with the service.
An insanely poorly built system for dealing with a wedding list. Unlike every other online ordering system I've dealt with they have no way of knowing if an item is available or not at the time of purchase, nor can they reserve the item digitally the moment a purchase occurs. The items ordered are apparently collected over a series of months. It is now two months since our wedding and we have received four of 50 or so items. We are still receiving email updates telling us that items are now suddenly unavailable and our friends' purchases have been converted to vouchers. The delivery process is completely unconnected to the company meaning you have to spend hours making two different sets of frustrating phone calls to get anything to happen.
The most frustrating thing about all this is how they just don't seem to care. Staff are rude and apathetic, not returning phone calls, not responding to requests for management letters explaining the problems. They know couples can do little to fix the situation - they can't cancel all their orders and shame their friends by having all their purchases returned.
If this list had been put together by our own money we would have cancelled the order a month ago and demanded a full refund. John Lewis know we can't do this with out friends' generosity and take advantage of the situation.
Wedding lists are really good these days and most people expect them as mostly people dont have a clue what you want or need and fill pretty rude not to.!
But be sure to ask them to tick of what they are getting you after they have finished with it weather they want it to be a suprise or not because you dont want 50 carving knifes like my mum and dad found out when they got married 20odd years ago no body ticked of a gift when they had the wedding list so my parents had about 20 electric carving knifes and predicted every gift they opened.one good thing was they would never be with out one.
its really quite funny but not for a newly married couple i suppose who wants alot what was on there list another good idea is to just tell that person something on you list and tell the next person another idea on the list wat you would like.