Caroline Stanbury is the breakout star of the hit Bravo reality show Ladies of London, but she also runs two successful gifting sites: Gift Library, which features unique and memorable presents and The Wedding Shop, which hosts wedding registries. Given her expertise, we talked to the gifting and TV maven on the best ways a couple can build their wedding registry, how to buy the best wedding gift ever, and so much more.
Start by adding classics with perennial staying power to your registry.
Registering can be overwhelming. To start, Stanbury suggests, "It's important to start with long-term classics that will stand the test of time." She continues, "You can never go wrong with well-made kitchen accessories such as luxury pans and dishes, or simple Egyptian cotton linens for the bed."
Add in things you've always coveted, yet don't necessarily need.
"Always go for things that you wouldn't usually buy for yourself, such as high-tech gadgets, beautiful silver frames for photographs or perhaps a lovely vase or piece of affordable art," says Stanbury. "If the purse strings are tight after the wedding it's these little luxuries that you'll value the most."
Give your guests a slew of options in every price range.
Despite what you might think, there really isn't a guest-to-gift ratio or a minimum number of items that need to be included on your registry. Stanbury agrees: "That's the beauty of wedding lists, you can design it however you want! I think it's better to leave as many options as possible in lots of different price ranges, as it allows your guests to be as creative as they like."
As a guest, don't stray from the wedding registry.
"I would always suggest sticking to the list, it's easier for both the guests and the couple," says Stanbury. "Guests can take pleasure in knowing they're buying a gift the couple genuinely wants, after all, no one wants to end up with three toasters! Lists allow you to guide your friends on pieces you've always wanted, and they also have the option to pool together as a group to get a really wow piece."
And as for Stanbury's favorite gift to give ...
"I always like to go for something personalized, with their names and wedding date — I often give a beautifully bound custom-made wedding album as I know it will always be cherished."