So, you’ve been invited to a wedding? For guests, a wedding is a celebration of love with free food, drinks and festivities. While your first thought may be what to wear, what’s most important is the gift you bring. If you’ve been invited as a “plus one” or acquaintance, you won’t need to worry about it. But if you fall into the “family and friends” category, you will be expected to present the happy couple with a gift.
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Although you may have been wearing the cutest sundress or given an impressive speech – what the happy couple is really going to remember is the gift you brought on their wedding day. A wedding signifies the joining of two families by the joining of two individuals. A personalized gift can be a way to remember that joining.
Monogrammed washcloths, dishcloths, and bath towels are great options if the couple hasn’t yet moved in together. But any household item that shows of their names or initials will delight the new couple. Specific examples include coasters, picture frames, wall art, doormats, kitchenware, and even lawn décor like stepping stones.
My favorite personalized gift is the “Always Kiss Me Goodnight” pillowcase set (above left). Not only does this gift show that you took the time to have a personalized gift made, these sweet pillowcases are a cute and pleasant way to remind the newlyweds of their vows in case of tough times.
If you’re looking for a gift that will really stand out from the others as truly unique, check out these one-of-a-kind gift ideas:
- Personalized Map – frame a map of the city in which he and she met, fell in love, or were married. This classy decoration will make the new couple feel young again every time they look at it.
- 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet Set – this isn’t just your average frying pan (image above left). Made by Finex, this cooking implement features a steel spring handle that cools quickly and six corners so you can pour in any direction. If he and she like to cook, they will love this twist on the classic cast iron skillet (any unique kitchen implement will do).
- Bar Cart – These are quickly becoming commonplace in the houses of trendy individuals (or those who like to entertain). Pair a bar cart with a bar set, glassware, a bottle opener, a cocktail book, etc. You can even make your own bar cart out of a vintage suitcase.
- Subscription – Whether it’s wine, beer, or local food, this is a gift that keeps on giving. There will be a new and exciting delivery each month for the first year of the marriage.
- Beer Making Kit – If the new couple enjoys beer, they will love making their own as one of their first projects as man and wife. Plus, they can serve the unique beer at parties and get-togethers.
It was so much easier to buy gifts when hardly anyone moved in together before marriage. But trends have changed and many newlyweds are already set up in a house with all the kitchen supplies and décor they need. If you’re looking for a gift for that couple that seems to have everything and you have a little extra money to spend, consider a donation. You might want to ask the newlyweds beforehand, but a charitable donation in their name – the new name, of course – is a touching and thoughtful gift that will make you stand out from the crowd.
I mentioned barware and glassware above, but for a really luxurious gift, go all out and purchase a super expensive high quality bottle of scotch or champagne. Pair it with a cute note that says “open on your anniversary” or “open during your honeymoon.”
You’ll have to gather some information before purchasing this gift, but it can be a real winner. If you know where he and she will be staying during the honeymoon, do some research and purchase a honeymoon excursion. It can be anything from a cooking class to a snorkeling trip. If you’ve been invited to a destination wedding, click here for specific gift ideas.
If you’re looking for a gift that will make the new couple feel cool or classy, consider purchasing a set of gilded flatware. For just over $100, you can surprise the couple with a gift that will make them feel elegant whether they eat ramen or escargot.
If the newlyweds are a hip couple, they’ll love a “retro” gift. How about an ice cream maker? It will be fun all summer long – especially if they have children. Foodies will also love it because they have the option to make organic ice cream. The image above left is a Cuisinart model available for $70.
If you’re well acquainted with this couple, you know what they like to do together. Make them notice how cool you are by surprising them with a lifestyle gift they will actually use. If they enjoying hiking and camping, consider something like a hammock tent. If they like to tailgate, surprise them with new chairs and a portable grill.
If you’ve been invited to a wedding and you’re low on cash, the quest to find a suitable gift can be daunting. Thankfully we’ve got some great ideas for you, but be prepared to think out of the box!
To help the newlyweds get excited for year one of the marriage, surprise them with a date for each season. The winter date, for example, could consist of a blanket and a packet of hot chocolate. You can be as complex or as simple as you like depending on your budget. This is a great gift to give with a friend or relative. Make sure you tell the couple not to open the gifts before the start of each season! I love this idea because it gives the newlyweds something to unwrap later in the year.
Help the couple remember their wedding by framing a wedding speech. If you don’t have one prepared yourself, ask the best man or maid of honor to send you their speech ahead of time. Type it up and pair it with a photo of the couple for a thoughtful, unique, and budget-friendly gift the couple will treasure for a lifetime.
Help out in a big way by pre-paying for a maid service. Whether you choose one month or four months, the couple will surely appreciate the free time they’ll acquire by not having to clean the house.
With the above gift ideas, you should have no trouble selecting the perfect gift for any couple, a gift they will treasure and enjoy for years to come. For even more ideas, browse the New York Times‘ list of wedding gifts. Weddings are sometimes followed closely by another type of celebration … click here for baby shower gift ideas.