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Top 10 Best Wedding Gift Ideas 2015
Wedding Gift Ideas
When a family member, friend, or loved one announces that they’re engaged to be married, it's very exciting. Typically, people who are invited to the couple's wedding give wedding presents, as a sign of their support for the happy couple’s plans. You aren’t absolutely obligated to give a gift, but of all types of invitations, a wedding invitation is the one where gifts are most expected.
You’ll want to find out if there’s a gift registry. It’s quite likely that the couple has set up one or more registries at stores or online. Ask their parents or close friends. The good thing about registries is that they suggest useful gifts and prevent people from buying the same things. The earlier you take a look at the registry, the more likely you are to find an item that appeals to you that is in your price range.
But, if there's nothing left on the gift registry that calls out to you, or if you would like your present for the engaged couple to be more individual and meaningful, you may want to stray from the official list.
You can browse unscheduled wedding gifts at specialty stores, or special wedding-gift sections found in some stores.
What if You Are Invited to a Bridal Shower or Engagement Party?
Attending these other happy occasions doesn’t relieve you of the obligation to give a wedding gift if you can afford it. An engagement party is more intimate and less formal, and usually only smallish gifts are given. A shower is often given by and for women friends and relatives of the bride. Since the shower's purpose is to “shower” the bride with gifts, it’s natural to give a smaller gift there as well as at the wedding.
Top Ten Wedding Gift Ideas
So, what can you give? Here are some guidelines:
- Give something you can afford. No one wants you to have your heat turned off or miss the mortgage payment because of this happy occasion.
- But if you can afford it, give something significant; a very close friend or family member might give a gift worth $100 or more.
- Give something they both can use. A gift for just the one person you know well—clothes, jewelry, a personal item, or tools for a pastime or job—won’t do.
- Give something to help the couple in their new situation, whatever that might be; buying a house, traveling to a new area, decorating a new living space, entertaining in a new space, sleeping in a new bedroom, sharing a new bathroom, cooking in a new kitchen, or digging up a new yard.
- No knives. Though cooks really enjoy good knives, it’s said to be bad luck to give knives or knife sets as a wedding present.
1. Cash or Checks
It has always been okay, according to Emily Post’s great-granddaughter Anna Post, to give cash or checks as a wedding present. Money is utterly useful and versatile. Sometimes the couple would actually prefer money because they are beginning some expensive enterprise like buying a house; you may be able to get a sense of this by word of mouth. If you bring your gift of money to the party, rather than mailing it, it’s best to hand it to someone who's not too stressed, for example the bride's or groom's parent, so that it doesn’t get mislaid in the excitement. If you write a check, write it to either the bride or the groom, in case they don’t have a joint account. Include a note expressing your heartfelt best wishes.
2. Gift Baskets
A gift basket includes great scope for creativity, because you can include small items that might please either partner or both, or items you have some experience in choosing.
Gift baskets are easy to make yourself: find a sturdy basket with a handle, line it with some scrunched-up tissue paper, cellophane, or clean straw, and buy some things to go in it. If you aren't up for putting together a gift basket on your own, you can purchase almost any kind of birthday gift basket from companies that specialize in them.
The baskets that are most fun include food. Choices could include:
- coffee or tea
- condiments, sauces, ethnic foods
Food should not just look good, but taste and smell wonderful. Candy and cookies should be fresh and made with real butter. Fruit should be ripe, fragrant, in season. Cheese should be real, not just "processed cheese product.” Coffee should smell wonderful. Sausage should be dense, well-aged, and spicy, not rubbery. Crackers should be crisp. Nuts should be this year’s crop. Jam should be tasty. Spices should be from a store that turns its goods over quickly.
A little bit of nice food is generally better than a lot of ordinary food. But if you want to make sure that your happy couple is going to eat well whatever happens, you could give them a gift certificate to their favorite food store instead.
Other gift basket ideas:
- A basket of kitchen gadgets: potato peeler, cheese grater, lemon squeezer, meat thermometer, bottle opener, things any newly married couple might need to start a household.
- A basket of little, informal eating utensils: chopsticks, coffee cups (firmly wrapped in lots of paper to cushion them), snack dishes, a popcorn bowl.
- A basket of fancy soaps, shampoos, conditioners, or skin lotions that either partner might use. Add incense and candles, if you like.
You really can't go wrong with a gift basket. Add a card, a candy bar, a lot of love and happy wishes, and a pretty bow on top.
3. A Blanket
Few people say they have too many blankets. If the couple doesn’t use the blanket themselves, maybe a guest will at some point, or maybe even a child.
A good down comforter will always be useful. To choose one, eBay says to consider these features:
- The higher the “fill power” (500-650 is recommended), the warmer and fluffier the comforter will be.
- The higher the “thread count” (at least 200 per square inch), the less allergenic the blanket will be (down will be kept in, and dust out).
- Comforters with “baffling” (internal walls) are better; they keep the stuffing from shifting around.
- If the comforter is designed to be used with a duvet or cover, include that piece: it makes the comforter last longer.
A synthetic comforter can be cost-effective and useful. Make sure it has stitching at regular intervals to keep the stuffing from shifting around.
A wool blanket can actually make a good heirloom.
4. Real Cast-Iron Skillets and Enameled Iron Pots
Iron pots will most likely be instant heirlooms. Aluminum or stainless steel skillets and pots with thin bottoms are no substitute; they burn too easily, and the coatings put on skillets to make them nonstick will burn or scratch off eventually, with possible health effects according to the Environmental Working Group. In cooking, the technologies that have been around for hundreds of years are often best.
You might be able to find an iron skillet used (and used right, with a bottom cooking surface that is smooth, not pitted). Le Creuset, of course, makes wonderful enameled iron saucepans and casseroles, pots that handle thick soups and sauces without sticking or burning. They are xpensive, but you get your money’s worth.
5. A Cutting Board
Again, this is an old cooking technology that works quite well. A thick, high-quality wooden chopping block will last for years despite daily use.
But again, don’t give a knife or knife set to go with it; it’s said to be bad luck.
6. "The New Best Recipe"
An encyclopedia of recipes from Cook's Illustrated magazine, this revision is almost double its previous size and includes more than 1,000 recipes. Cook's Illustrated is known for careful (some would say compulsive) testing of recipes with a focus on foolproof technique; detailed line drawings that take readers step-by-step through recipes; and opinionated guides that assert that their way is the best way.
Now fully revised and expanded, this new edition offers more than 1000 recipes for all your favorite dishes from roast chicken and mac-and-cheese to creme caramel and chocolate chip cookies. There are also expanded tutorials on grilling, baking, stir frying and much more. The ultimate cooking resource for novice and experienced cooks alike.
7. The Old "Joy of Cooking"
Again, in cooking, the old ways are often the best. Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker compiled a century’s worth of wisdom on how to plan menus, prepare any animal or vegetable for cooking, and how to can and store food. The sixth (1975) edition is still the most popular. The eighth (2006) or 75th Anniversary edition is said to be the next best, restoring recipes and chapters taken out in the 1996 (seventh and too drastic) revision.
8. "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"
The How to Cook Everything series is another encyclopedia of food wisdom, by Mark Bittman: it's eclectic, adaptable, modern, and aware of different ethnic (especially Asian) ingredients. Now, if it should happen that one of the happy couple is vegetarian or vegan and the other isn’t, get this book. That way, one partner can cook for the other.
Bittman is a flexitarian, not invested one way or the other in meat-eating or veganism; he’ll cook whatever you want the way you like it. If you are new to vegetarian or vegan cooking, his cookbook guides you through many happy, successful experiments. Many of the recipes can be made either vegan or non-vegan; all are worth trying.
9. Little Bamboo Wine Rack
10. Personalized Keepsakes and Mementos
So many different things can be embroidered or engraved with people’s names that you’ll have no trouble coming up with something unique, something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world, at least not with your friends’ names on it. Items like this are available at personalizationmall.com and no doubt many other places.
- Bath Towels. A pair of big thick bath towels, one for each, embroidered with the partner’s married name.
- Recipe Box. If they've already been living together, they probably have some favorite dishes they like to cook by now, and would appreciate a personalized recipe box, especially if it was filled with everyone's favorite recipes.
- Clocks. They say that time means nothing when you’re in love, but a newly wedded couple might appreciate a little gold-trimmed glass mantel clock engraved to commemorate their wedding.
- Wine glasses. if they like wine, you can get, for example, a pair of Reed & Barton champagne flutes, engraved with their first names and the date of the wedding.
It's Up to You
I hope this article gives you some ideas! Every couple is different, and you know this couple well enough to make a good guess at what might help them on their way in life.