She didn’t look convinced and handed me a voucher for a coffee and pastry in the restaurant. “Take this,” she smiled knowingly. “Just in case you stay longer and need a break.” Sure enough, an hour later I was still in the kitchen department musing over the different array of kitchen knives and in dire need of a caffeine boost.
The store had got busier and I’d noticed quite a few couples who had originally begun happily zapping away, now getting increasingly weary. Some of the grooms were bored, others were disagreeing with their fiancées about the fabric of the shower curtain, complaining that it would stick to them…Others couldn’t give a monkeys what colour the dinner service was or the size of the saucepans!
Time for an injection of caffeine!
Patience was waning, tempers were soaring, so I decided it was time for an injection of caffeine and headed for the cafe for my complimentary beverage. I returned half an hour later with renewed stamina and raced around like a bride possessed, dodging in and out of fretful couples smugly thinking how lucky I was not to be slowed down by a grumpy groom.
At 1.30pm I headed for the 5th floor to download my zapper into the store’s computer but was dismayed at the sight of a long queue and the information that there was a 20 to 30‐minute wait. Gone were the smiling happy couples holding hands and in their place were seething individuals.
My advice? Leave the groom at home or get two zappers and send him to the departments to buy the ‘fun or funky’ presents.
And if you’re on your own and need time out head for the bedlinen department where you can lie down on a bed in the pretence that you are trying out the different pillows and take a much needed catnap.
With an increasing number of couples living together before they marry, gift lists have become far more creative so don’t feel you have to follow in the footprints of your parents and order a chintzy china set and non‐stick saucepans.
My sister and her husband even went as far as putting a desert tyre and motorbike helmets on their list (but then their honeymoon consisted of motorbiking around the world on a 1000cc BMW bike!).
Our list isn’t so unusual (there are quite a few traditional items such as non‐stick saucepans, as I seem to ruin mine very quickly…) but there’s also a range of more fun items (such as a tent, sleeping bags and Thermarests) that reflect what we actually enjoy doing in our spare time!
Ask any high street store and they’ll say that these more personalised items are the ones that get snapped up first by guests and are generally used more by the bride and bridegroom too.
if you’re undecided then it’s a help to browse through Confetti’s Gift Lists channel, which has a series of articles to designed to inspire you or just help you make up your mind!
If you’re compiling a list from one store and want to do it in one day it can actually be quite tedious and a little stressful too, as I discovered on my recent trip to John Lewis.
I arrived at the London department store just before the doors opened at 9.30 on a Saturday morning and was amazed to see a queue outside. I was even more astounded when, like me, most of the people in the queue made a beeline for the lifts as soon as the doors opened and pressed the button for the fifth floor.
Don’t take the groom…
I had gone without my partner (like most men, he hates shopping) but as all the other people in the lift were couples, I hazarded a guess we were all heading for the 5th floor for one reason ‐ to compile our wedding gift lists. Sure enough, as soon as the 5th floor’s lift doors opened the race to the wedding department began. Some of the couples were obviously veterans or had inside knowledge, and knew the quickest route to the wedding counter. I was slower off the mark being less experienced and ended up about 10th in the queue.
However, after around 10 minutes I was served by a cheerful assistant who taught me how to use a ‘zapper,’ which memorises the bar codes of the items you want and eliminates the need for you take down codes by hand on a piece of paper. Happy that I had understood the instructions, the assistant wished me good luck and to return the zapper by 6pm. Given that it was only 10am I assured her that I would easily return within an hour or two as I knew exactly what I wanted.