With so many couples already living together before marriage (and with no need for new toasters and towels) we’re seeing more Confetti couples looking for alternative wedding gift ideas and advice.
We caught up with Olivia Knight, founder of group-gift registry and honeymoon fund Patchwork, to recommend her top wedding gift ideas and reveal this year’s most popular trends in group-gifting.
What is Patchwork Gift Registry?
“Patchwork isn’t like any other gift list as we don’t try to sell people stuff!” says Olivia.
“Instead a couple can create a gift page to show wedding guests the one thing they’re dreaming of (a honeymoon adventure, a new home, help doing up the garden, matching tattoos or whatever) and then everyone comes together to chip in towards that one thing.”
Patchwork is Used as a Honeymoon Fund. What Travel Trends have You Noticed this Year?
“Honeymoons are always the most popular thing for people to use Patchwork to fund – which is why we have ready made honeymoon templates on our site for over 100 different destinations,” Olivia explains.
“This year we’ve seen an increase of couples taking European honeymoons – to Italy, Croatia and Portugal in particular. And we’ve seen lots of couples heading to Canada as well as Central and South America.”
“Costa Rica, Columbia and Argentina have been popular destinations for adventurous couples and the trend looks set to continue for 2020.”
“Because Patchwork isn’t tied to any travel agents and couples receive gift money direct, they can use our platform to raise funds for a honeymoon anywhere, booking it how they like and when they like, so it’s super flexible. We know this is really important for our couples. The wonderful thing about having a honeymoon fund rather than a traditional gift list is that your friends and family are contributing towards your first adventure as you journey into married life together.”
“Our couples all say they really feel this as they head off on honeymoon – that it’s wonderful knowing that everyone they love has helped make it happen. And of course with Patchwork you get to send photos and thank you notes along the way so everyone can share the joy.”
What Gift Ideas are there for Art and Design Lovers?
“We have a lot of couples using the platform to collect gift money from friends and family towards a work of art – whether that’s work from a contemporary artist, a local photographer or their favourite sculptor or painter,” says Olivia.
“We’ve got a ready made template that couples use to commission a portrait which is really popular too. It’s such a nice idea to have a portrait as a couple to remember your wedding day and treasure forever.”
Is Social Gifting Becoming a Trend?
“With Patchwork couples can invite guests to donate their time and skills instead of physical gifts,” says Olivia.
“This has become really popular, particularly with couples who don’t want homewares but do want help with a DIY project – like doing up the kitchen.”
“With Patchwork you can register the things you’ll need for your kitchen renovation like a tile for £1 or a tap for £100. And you can also list things that you’d like people to make, do or donate.”
“Someone might help you put up shelves or donate some plant pots or grow you some herbs. It’s a really lovely extra feature on Patchwork that was recommended a while back by our amazing users. And it’s also a gift that all your friends can benefit from – once the kitchen’s done and you invite them around for dinner!”
What are the Biggest and Most Expensive Gifts People have used Patchwork to Fund this Year?
“Although most couples have all the household items they need these days, a lot of couples still rent when they get married, which is why our Home of Our Own template is always very popular,” explains Olivia.
“A home is the most expensive thing a couple will ever buy and is sadly out of a lot of people’s reach these days. A house is definitely not usually something you’d find on a conventional gift list but we’ve noticed it’s really popular. It’s a big one and super practical because couples are actually asking guests to contribute into their savings account. But it’s really cute because the Patchwork template enables guests to choose to buy a brick for £1 or a chimney for £200 or a letterbox for £20 so it’s fun and playful. And couples get to add images to represent the home they are personally dreaming – with a pink front door or a cat-flap or whatever.”
What are the Most Popular Experiences People Ask for?
“We’ve got loads of people using the Patchwork gift registry to fund all sorts of courses, from cookery to coding and lots of memberships to art galleries, music and film venues,” shares Olivia.
“A lifetime membership to the National Trust is also very popular. And we’ve just recently created a group-gift template for a Year of Dates template inspired by a number of users who were creating patchworks to invite guests to fund trips and experiences in their first year of marriage. We loved this idea so now it’s a ready made patchwork for others to customise.
Have You seen any Emerging Group Gift Trends for 2020?
“Puppies,” reveals Olivia,
“We’ve had lots of couples asking wedding guests to chip in towards the cost of a dog – both puppies and rescue dogs. Along with all the kit and vets bills and everything, a dog is obviously quite a big investment in time and money. We’ve had Patchwork ponies and cats and llamas before. But dogs are definitely the most popular Patchwork pet and this looks set to continue.”