John Lewis 2018 Wedding Trends Report

Monday 30 April 2018

Rise in couples asking for tech gifts, honeymoon contributions and charity donations


As the nation prepares to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, John Lewis has today published a report on the wedding trends of 2018 - from what's on gift lists and what we're wearing, to where couples are honeymooning and how fashions and trends have changed since Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011.

How gift lists have changed since Prince William and Kate Middleton married

Tasneem Shafiq, Manager of John Lewis's Gift List Service said; 'We have analysed thousands and thousands of Gift Lists created in 2011, when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, and for 2018 weddings and there are significant trends in couples' decisions. The biggest shift we have seen is that couples are choosing technology, and in particular smart home products, over more traditional choices. In 2011 our most popular gift list product by value was a premium cutlery set; whereas this year both first and second place are taken by smart speakers. The most expensive wedding gift selected in 2011 was a £2,500 sofa, and this year it's a £3,499 LG OLED 55 inch television.

'However, plates, bowls, towels, toasters, roasting dishes and bedding still appeared on most lists in both 2011 and 2018. Items which appear on many 2018 gift lists but weren't on any lists in 2011 are: firepits, voice activated speakers, Star Wars Droids and barista-style coffee machines. This year few couples are asking for microwaves, digital photo frames and landline telephones.

'Since 2011 the nation's obsession with great food and cooking has continued to rise and as a result, when choosing homeware products, couples are opting for barista-style coffee machines, gourmet steamers, pasta making machines and non-fat frying pans.  In 2011 they were more likely to ask for microwaves, woks and slow cookers. Not only have cooking choices changed but also how we eat. In 2011 more plates were given as gifts than any other product but now the most-bought gift is a bowl.

'More couples are asking for honeymoon and charity donations instead of traditional gifts. Requests for Kuoni honeymoon contributions have increased 375% since 2011 and the number of couples asking for charity donations has nearly tripled.'

Gift List products which defined the years 


The 2018 Gift List The 2011 Gift List
Home and Tech
Smart Speaker (Sonos) Hi-Fi systems
Soundbar for home cinema DVD Player
Smart thermostat Landline telephone
Voice activated speaker eg: Google Home FM Radio
Firepit Digital Photo frame
Star Wars Droid Digital Camera
Eaziglide non fat frying pans Wok
Steamer pot set Microwave
Pasta machine Slow cooker
Barista coffee machine Espresso machine
Bowls Plates
Gin glasses Napkin rings
Settlers of Catan Backgammon
Obama Llama Cranium


Rise of the weekday wedding

Research by Wedding Insurance from John Lewis Finance has found that almost a quarter (24%) of weddings now take place on a Thursday or Friday. Over the past five years the number of people getting married on a Thursday has increased by 61% and the number of weddings held on a Friday has increased by 8%.

The research also found that getting wed on a Wednesday is a growing trend, with the number of weddings taking place on this day increasing by 91% over the past five years.

While the nation will be turning out in May to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding the research found that August is consistently the most popular month to get married.  May is the fifth most popular month to get married chosen by just 11% of couples.

Black tie weddings, practical bridal underwear and 'Crown' tiaras

Since Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in 2011 the trend for black tie weddings has increased with tuxedo sales growing 68% faster than other men's formal wear over the past seven years.

Brides are also changing what they wear. The plethora of advice available on sites such as Youtube and Pinterest is helping brides know how to look their very best on their big day, starting with all important underwear. This growth in knowledge is driving sales of practical underwear which enhances the dress and gives a bride confidence.  As a result multiway strapless bras are John Lewis's best-selling bras for brides this summer with sales of the  John Lewis Ivory Satin Band Underwired Strapless Multiway Bra up over 100% year on year.

Melissa Gallagher Personal Stylist at John Lewis's flagship shop in Oxford Street said; 'Inspired by previous royal weddings and celebrities including Poppy Delevingne and Kim Kardashian, we're seeing a new trend of brides choosing white dresses not just for themselves but also their bridesmaids.'

The very popular TV series 'The Crown' has reminded millions of the beautiful sparkling effect a tiara brings to a very special occasion outfit; and brides know that you don't have to be a princess to wear one. Over the past six months sales of tiaras have grown 68% compared to the previous year.

Rise of the jumpsuit and our fascination with fascinators

Lucy Knight, Personal Stylist at John Lewis's White City Westfield shop said; 'Royal Ascot has put the seal of approval on jumpsuits as acceptable formalwear and we expect to see lots of wedding guests and even brides wearing fashionable jumpsuits this summer.'

So far this year there have been 8,715 searches on for jumpsuits and searches for white jumpsuits have quadrupled compared to the same period last year.

The nation's fascination with fascinators continues to grow. In 2011 when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married the ratio of fascinators to hats sold by John Lewis was 2:1 and this year it's already 5:1.

Royal Wedding Memorabilia

Excitement is building for the Royal Wedding with website searches for 'royal wedding' products doubling in early April when sales of memorabilia grew by 67% week on week. Favourite searches include 'royal wedding mug' and 'royal wedding tea towel'.

How couples are honeymooning

As the average age for getting married has risen so have expectations of honeymoons due to the fact that couples are increasingly well-travelled.

Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations

2018 2011
1. Maldives
2. Mauritius
3. Bali
4. Sri Lanka
5. Thailand
1. Maldives
2. Sri Lanka
3. Thailand
4. Mauritius
5. Malaysia

Sheena Paton, Product Manager at Kuoni UK, said; 'The majority of UK couples get married in the summer, which doesn't always match the best weather in some long-haul destinations, so we're seeing more couples opting for two bites of the honeymoon cherry. They tend to book a  European stay immediately after their wedding, with Italy and Greece being the most popular, and head off for a longer stay later in the year.'

Download a copy of the John Lewis 2018 Wedding Trends report (PDF 4.2MB)

Notes to editors

John Lewis - John Lewis operates 50 John Lewis shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as John Lewis, 'Best In-Store Experience 2017', 'Best Furniture Retailer 2017', 'Best Homewares Retailer 2017'* stocks around 350,000 separate lines in its department stores and across fashion, home and technology. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

*GlobalData Retail Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2017


For further information please contact:

Mandy Pursey
Mobile: 07889 230522

Rachael Brown
Mobile: 0754 6500013