The wedding gift dilemma

By: May 13, 2011
wedding gifts

Can't think of a great gift idea for the happy couple?

What exactly is a wedding all about? A wedding marks a union between two people, who love each other enough to take that next step together. It marks the end of an era in their lives, and the beginning of a new one. The couple’s identity as two separate people is set aside to form one, new, shared identity. A wedding is time of celebration and sentimentality, filled with tricky liminal spaces to navigate and lines to tiptoe. The wedding couple is about to set out a new adventure, full of challenges and changes that they will face together. So where does that leave you – the loved one, trying to find the words and wishes to send along with them on this journey? What gift can you give to show them your support and love during this important milestone in their lives? No pressure, right?


Feel It Out

How original and creative your gift is may depend greatly on how well you know the couple. You need to feel out the marriage to know what’s appropriate. If the marriage is deeply emotional or spiritual, with roots deep in tradition and ritual, some funky or silly gift wouldn’t fit the tone quite. On the other hand, a fun-loving couple who’s wedding is a bit unorthodox may find some traditional wedding gift, like a blender or fine china, a bit boring – though they would never complain about it. If you know the couple well enough to describe them in an adjective, use that adjective as a starting point and work out from there. Below are some ideas for couples who are romantic, traditional, fun loving, and creative each to give you a few ideas.



The romantic couple is all about being sentimental, whether it be in relation to the hundreds of roses playing a key role their wedding plan or the custom designed cake toppers that look exactly like the two of them. Couples like these really go for the “fairy tale” aspect of the whole thing. If you are a close friend of the bride and groom, you may offer to make a video or slideshow chronicling their relationship to show at the reception. Though some people get these professionally done, a slideshow coming from a close friend may be more personalized and therefore better in their eyes. A scrapbook about them would do the same trick.

Otherwise, pretty much anything with both of their names on it will do. Personalized bride and groom T-shirts, his and hers honeymoon toiletry kits or engraved poetry sending them on their wedded way with blessings for their future would all score major points with a couple like this. An easy T-shirt idea would be to make a list of famous couples throughout history, “Romeo and Juliet,” “Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy,” “George Burns and Gracie Allen,” “Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler,” “Brad and Angelina,” “Anthony and Cleopatra” and so on, and then end the list with their names. They will wear them until they fall off in shreds. Make your gift about the special undying bond between them, as that is what they will make their wedding about.



A traditional couple is basing their wedding in rituals and tradition – whether these are from their religion, their family or culture. It will be all about doing everything just right by whatever book they are following. If you know this to be true, read up on the traditions they are following, so you can help them celebrate in the way they desire. Perhaps it is customary to buy them something like china or appliances to show support in their new life together or perhaps something seemingly stranger. In China, it is a traditional for the groom’s family to present the bride’s family with a whole cooked pig. How is that for a wedding gift?



A fun loving couple will seemingly use their wedding as an excuse to throw a huge party with all of their loved ones, celebrating the awesomeness of being alive and in love. Gift certificates for skydiving, dance classes or exotic restaurants they can try together will show your desire for their marriage to stay as fun for their entire lives as it is now will be extremely appreciated. Personalized labels for bottles of upscale alcohol, expensive spices or fancy cooking oils encourage them to keep throwing parties and being the social butterflies the undoubtedly are.



A creative couple, no doubt, will have a unique and fun theme for their wedding, something like a masquerade, costume ball or perhaps some ceremony of their own invention. Couples like this will appreciate handmade gifts that fit their lifestyle, like paintings, photos, cards or other decorations they can put up in their home that remind them of you. They are as interested in your individuality as you are in theirs. This is not to say to make your gift about you and not about them, but handcrafting something that embodies the wishes you want to send with them will mean more than silverware ever could. Try a making shadowbox or collage wall hanging, or even a quilt or pillowcase – something to warm this couple’s home with love and warm wishes for their union.