Nontraditional Wedding Gifts

Jun 8, 2011 at 2:02 p.m. ET

Sometimes, when a bride and groom are older or they’ve already lived together for quite some time, they don’t really need the kitchen gadgets, bedding, and appliances typically given as shower and wedding gifts. When shopping for a couple like this, you may want to skip their wedding registry and give them something that’s truly unique.

Here are a few suggestions:

A Custom Designed Wedding Suite from ThatTiaGirl Design on Etsy.comA Custom Designed Wedding Suite from ThatTiaGirl Design on

If you wish to cover some of the couple's wedding expenses, giving them a gift like this is one of the most thoughtful ways to do so.

After you purchase a wedding suite from ThatTiaGirl Design, the bride and groom will chat with Tia Perkin, an Emmy-nominated graphic artist. Perkin will go on to create an entire paper wedding suite based on the couple's vision or theme for their wedding. For example, Perkin is currently working with a couple who wants a film noir-themed package with coordinating save-the-dates, return address stamps, mailing labels, invitations with tickets, and thank-you cards. Perkin has also worked with a jazz music poster theme and an elegant Old West theme.

Although a gift like this is a big investment, and one you'll have to give almost immediately after the couple becomes engaged, it's a gift that's one-of-a-kind. Plus, this suite will relieve the bride and groom of many expenses and errands so that they will have more resources and time to devote to other aspects of their wedding, as well as to each other.

A honeymoon excursion

Find out where the couple will be vacationing after their wedding, including the hotel or resort where they'll be staying. If you don't want to ask the bride and groom for this information, talk to their parents or someone in the wedding party.

To select an excursion for the couple, call the hotel or resort, or visit its website. You're likely to discover a wealth of activities, trips, and tours the couple can enjoy during their honeymoon. One thing you'll want to be mindful about when making your selection, is whether the bride or groom have any phobias that can hinder their excitement about your gift. For example, a bride who's terrified of heights probably wouldn't be too keen on parasailing.

A cooking class

Introduce the couple to meals beyond the frozen foods section and fast food drive throughs. Not only will a cooking class educate the bride and groom about how to prepare savory meals, it is an activity the couple can enjoy together.

To find cooking classes in the couple's area, look online or in the yellow pages. Then, package the gift certificate you purchase with "his" and "her" aprons or kitchen utensils from the couple's registry.

Photo canvas artPhoto canvas art

Many couples invest in engagement portrait sessions, but don't really enjoy their photos after they've posted them online or distributed their save-the-dates. Don't let these fabulous photos go to waste! At Things Remembered you can have a gorgeous photo canvas created that depicts one of the couple's engagement photos or any others that might be especially meaningful to the bride and groom. You can further personalize the photo canvas with a message for the happy couple.

Monogrammed stationery

The bride may seem like she's got it all, but she probably doesn't have everyday stationery that features her married name or new initials. At you will find a wealth of high-end stationery that can be monogrammed with initials. Papeterie allows customers to select one of their many playful and sophisticated designs or create their own.

A world traveler map

A world traveler map

This gift is ideal for a couple who loves jet setting around the world. Available at, this map includes a metal crest plate that can be personalized with the names of the bride and groom. The couple can then mark all of the destinations they've visited. This map makes a great conversation piece, and may even motivate the couple to get out of the house and travel more often.

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