John Lewis unwraps wedding gift trends

John Lewis has revealed the most popular items requested by couples on its wedding gift lists.

The department store group has analysed data from its gift list archive over the past five years.

The findings highlight how today’s couples focus on want rather than need, compared with five years ago when practical basics were top of the agenda.

The number of couples moving in together before they tie the knot has increased by almost 30% in the past decade; and with this change, John Lewis says it has seen a shift towards ‘everyday luxury’ items replacing traditional essentials on lists.

Households are choosing to upgrade what they already have or indulge in items that suit their lifestyle – with Smart TVs, fitness, health products and kitchen gadgets at the top of the contemporary couple’s list.

Back in 2010, the top two most bought wedding list items in the food preparation category were toasters, followed by hand mixers.

Now, the most popular food preparation gifts for newlyweds are digital slow cookers, followed by NutriBullet nutrient extractors. Another favourite is the George Foreman Grill, suggesting that quick, healthy food is more of a priority for today’s couples.

John Lewis said ‘traditional technology has been left behind, with key products from previous gift lists, such as panini makers, stick blenders and toasters being left off in favour of their more sophisticated counterparts’.

Sara Allbright, gifts buyer at John Lewis, commented: “There is no doubt that couples are becoming more adventurous with what they put on their gift lists.

“Rather than the traditional mainstays such as a canteen of cutlery or a carriage clock, we are seeing more statement pieces that reflect the personalities and interests of the couple.

“Some have been known to have two lists: one for the classic essentials and key investment items and the other for quirky fun things that they don’t necessarily need, but do want.”

The top three selling quirky items are bee houses, tents and dumbbells. Other unusual requests include telescopes, drills, jigsaw puzzles, 3D glasses, a biscuit dog toy and colouring pens.

Same sex marriage gift lists are going from strength to strength, with data from the retailer revealing the highest ever number to date; more than quadrupling since same sex marriage was legalised in 2014.

In direct comparison, gift lists for civil partnerships dropped significantly in 2014, reflecting the switch to couples choosing marriage as their preferred option.

TVs are now the most extravagant items on wedding gift lists. The most expensive model requested has been £3,000. But while mattresses were among the top four most expensive items on gift lists in 2010, they no longer even feature in the top five.

Lists are also increasing in value, with some couples including gift selections worth a total of £20,000.

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