Buying a wedding gift isn't always easy. Everyone wants to be the gift-giver who sails in with a memorable, ever-so-thoughtful gift! A wedding gift seems so weighty; we always want them to be perfect. We're saying something with a wedding present and we're sending out our best wishes to the couple for a happy future together. Forget the nesting bowls and the napkin rings. Is there anything more depressing than wrapping silver-plated napkin rings that you know will languish in a drawer somewhere, slowly tarnishing? Let’s think about more personal options.
Image: kudumomo via Flickr
Not every couple wants- or even needs- housewares. With about half of couples moving in together before marriage, many people already have their homes together by the time they tie the knot. Even if they are looking for that magical KitchenAid stand mixer, the truth is that some people didn’t end up using it for years. Is isn’t exactly what I have in mind when I’m thinking about giving a gift- and, honestly, I can’t afford to give a $400 mixer to everyone who is getting married. My favorite gifts all center around two basic ideas: experiences and sentiments.
The experience gifts are all things that couples can enjoy together. They've just gotten married- spending time together is key, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, especially in today’s world. These gifts help carve out that time. It’s not unusual for friends or siblings to group together to make some of these experiences happen.
- Weekly housekeeping services for several months allow the couple to relax and just enjoy being married.
- Pre- paid couples massages allow for joint relaxation. (Many wellness centers will give excellent rates when purchasing packages.)
- A family membership to their local symphony, museum, aquarium, or zoo- any local organization that you know they enjoy is great. This might be their first chance to have a family membership and now is the perfect time to mark that moment.
- Are they sports fans? Do they tailgate, or have the biggest Superbowl party in town? A pair of season tickets for their favorite team might be a huge hit!
- Think about offering the gift of classes. Learning a new language, learning The Tango, or mastering new cuisines might be just what the couple wants to try.
There are also the sentimental gifts, of course. These can be a little trickier, but when done right, they’re perfection.
- Contact relatives and friends and solicit recipes, memories, photos and advice for the couple. Websites like Blurb.com and Bookemon.com make putting together the best cookbook ever a breeze.
- Have the wedding invitation framed! They took time to choose exactly how to tell everyone about this event, and the invitation is a small reflection of the couple themselves. Try your local framers for the best options- and better pricing than big- box craft shops.
- Speaking of crafts, are you a creative craftmaker yourself? If you have a skill, now is the time to use it. Knit a wedding afghan, create a painting, make something!
- If you aren’t into making crafts, but you’re looking for that personal touch, turn to Etsy. There are plenty of artisans who make personalized gifts that bring extra warmth. Art prints can be purchased in a couple’s favorite colors, and move from romantic to pop culture references. Many artisans are happy to work with clients on custom items, too!
Thinking outside the box with your gifts can be a little scary, but it’s definitely worthwhile. You'll feel great gifting the happy couple with a present that genuinely reflects how you feel about them- and your hopes for their shared future! What are the best, unexpected, non- traditional gifts you’ve ever received?