John Lewis reveals 2019 wedding gift list trends

British couples have fallen in love with the ‘farmyard wedding’ as growing numbers seek the rural idyll, according to John Lewis & Partners wedding insurance data.

The department store group said: ‘Couples are shunning glitzy urban hotels in favour of Instagrammable ‘Boho’ venues, complete with bridal wellies, fields of wildflowers and glamping guests.’

The number of wedding ceremonies in barns or farms has doubled in the past five years, with one in eight taking place in these venues compared with one in 15 in 2014.

The figures are even higher for wedding receptions: one in six booked for this year will be held in a barn or at a farm, up from one in eight in 2014. Meanwhile, one in 10 weddings now involves a marquee, as couples embrace the great outdoors on their Big Day.

And to create a relaxed ambience, John Lewis has seen a 35% rise in outdoor fairy lights so far in 2019, compared with the first quarter of 2018. Among its best-selling ranges are solar-powered strings of lights (suitable for couples looking to avoid messy wires as these lights don’t have to be plugged in).

Couples are also returning to traditional gift list requests. Many are shunning the high-tech products seen on lists in recent years and the most popular requests are, once again, bowls, plates, towels and cutlery. As a growing nation of coffee lovers, cafetieres are also outselling teapots on gift lists for the first time.

John Lewis & Partners buying assistant Billie Nicholls said: “Weddings are becoming less formal. Guests are wearing more versatile styles, from jumpsuits to silk cami tops and skirts, rather than always opting for dresses with a jacket and hat.

“Even bridal styles have become more relaxed. Many women are opting for a more comfortable outfit – including floaty gowns or a less traditional dress for hitting the dance floor in the evening.”

In response, the retailer has expanded its range of bohemian wedding dresses. New for this spring, John Lewis has launched Monsoon’s Bridal Gown collection, with two Boho dresses already proving its most popular dresses in the range: the Helena Embellished Bridal Maxi and the Sophie Lace Wedding Dress in ivory. And sales of French Connection’s Cari Maxi Bridal Dress have risen by 45% since 2018.

This summer, John Lewis has also launched a range of floral Boho-style veils and sashes for brides-to-be at their hen parties.

However, even the most carefully planned Boho weddings do not always go to plan. In the past year, John Lewis wedding insurance has helped couples recover their costs when a wedding barn burned down, flower pollen damaged a bride’s dress and a mother-of-the bride’s outfit was rendered unwearable after it fell out of a car roof box.

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