How to find cool wedding gifts for couples
Weddings are usually joyous occasions, but they tend to lose their gleam when we are forced to scratch our heads in thinking of the perfect wedding gift.
Formally, couples or someone in the wedding party will fill out a registry with desired gifts from which the guests can choose from, and we strongly urge you consult it if present. Sadly, not all people are following etiquette very closely and the registry might be either missing, difficult to find, too short, or already filled when you receive your wedding invitation.
Even if there is an accessible registry you just might want to surprise the happy couple with something they probably haven’t thought of. Unexpected presents are, after all the most delightful.
If you are willing to go through the trouble of finding an original gift, then we are here to help you through it with some general directions regarding the price, personal significance and functionality to consider when choosing your present.
Traditionally, wedding presents are supposed to be seen as a sort of home starter kit. They consist of kitchenware, bathware, beddings and everything else a young couple might need around a house. These are basically the type of items you’ll be looking for and we recommend you don’t veer off course too much unless you’re particularly close to the couple.
How we chose the coolest wedding gifts
This is the first problem to be tackled since, for the most part, the amount of money you spent on the present tells the ones being gifted how important you find them as friends. This might not be true in any present-giving circumstance, but it is when it comes to weddings.
Since starting a marriage is a pretty big event in someone’s life, going for presents in the 20$ range simply won’t do, unless it is a gift of high emotional significance from someone close.
Even if you find something extremely tasteful in this price range, of which you are sure the couple will like, our recommendation is to keep searching until you find something equally tasteful at around 50$.
Fifty dollars is the minimum sum to spend, according to etiquette, and the range goes all the way to 150$. Feel free to go a little bit higher, or even a lot higher if you are a close family member.
When it comes to saving money, such as when an item is on sale and it shows on the price tag, there’s no rule telling you not to. So if you find something on the registry that’s 30% off, go for it!
What would make for a cool gift?
While your choices are somewhat restricted by tradition, there are still a lot of cool things to be found in or around a home. Not every household item has to be boring, a liquor cabinet or a pendulum clock, for example, can add a little class and prestige, not to mention something pretty to look at.
Besides aesthetics, you should think of what the couple will use the item you bought them for. Try to go for something that has an exciting activity associated with it, like a cocktail making machine that the bride could use when holding parties.
This is doubly important because modern couples tend to live together for a while before tying up the knot, so they most likely already have a full set of household appliances. Why risk buying them a second toaster (albeit a nice one at around 100$) when what they lack is a coffee maker?
The best gifts for weddings also have an extra element of interest attached to them, something to makes them stick out among other items. For example, instead of buying a set of regular stainless steel kitchen knives, why don’t you go for those Japanese extra-sharp ceramic knives all the cooking shows are talking about?
It’s become increasingly popular in later years for wedding gifts to be personalized. The most common way to do this is by adding a monogram of the bride and groom to a regular item, but there are other, more original ways to do it.
Nothing says “personalization” like a set of matching portraits. Sadly, due to the poor state of artistic training in the US right now, most painters tend to charge ridiculously high amounts of money for works that wouldn’t really pass scrutiny 50 years ago.
This solution is limited to those that are friends with an artist, or have the wherewithal to hire a graphic design student (they are still held to acceptable standards) to do the job for around 100-150$. Anyway, if you have the means to do it affordably, go for it!
A more accessible solution will be framing photos of the couple or some other item that holds importance for them. Also feel free to use something that underlines your relationship with the couple, if this can be done in proper taste. Best friends should have this option, but work acquaintances, army buddies, and the likes would do good to stay away from it.
Are experiences a good idea?
Another thing that’s getting into fashion as of late is giving the young couple the possibility of enjoying a pleasant activity together– giving them tickets for an organized excursion or event, that sort of thing.
This is pretty risky if you aren’t well acquainted with the couple because not everybody actually enjoys organized “pleasurable” activities. Outgoing people could very well be enthusiastic at the prospect of a fun day out but a more phlegmatic couple might find this type of gift intrusive and get annoyed.
After all, when you get down to it, proposing experiences does constitute an attempt at scheduling someone’s time and people of certain temperaments tend to be very fond of their absolute freedom.
In our opinion, vacations are best reserved as anniversary gifts, for when the giver knows the couple well enough to safely make such decisions.