Spring and summer are high season for weddings, and if you have several to attend between now and September, you might find yourself racking your brain to come up with a unique wedding gift for each one. If wedding showers have already thinned out the gift registries, you’ll have to strike out on your own to find the right present for the lucky couple.
Don’t fret. We’ve got 8 fresh gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on the newlyweds’ faces when they return from their honeymoon. We’ve also got some advice about how much you can expect to spend on each gift. Finally, we’ll share an excellent new wedding registry opportunity for brides and grooms to consider that will help take the guesswork out of choosing something you’ll love for years to come.
Crunching the Numbers
Ever wonder what the going rate for a wedding gift is currently? Well, according to a recent survey, the average gift costs $120. This price varies widely, though, depending on the cost of living in a given region, so expect to spend more to keep up with the Joneses in New York and Connecticut than you would in the Southwest. Your costs will also vary based on your relationship with the bride and groom. For example, siblings and best friends warrant gifts on the higher end of that scale, while more distant relatives and coworkers clock in on the lower end. If you have to go to six weddings this year and can’t afford to spend $100 on each one, you can focus less on buying a top-of-the-line item and instead choose a more sentimental gift that can be personalized to show you care. The beauty of giving a gift that’s not on the couple’s registry is that no one will know how much you spent.
Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Very few couples think to register for an ice cream maker, but what could be more fun? Making homemade ice cream is always a festive event, so your gift is sure to be responsible for lots of smiles and great summer memories. It’s just the thing for the couple who has it all. $69.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
BloomsyBox Bouquets. Odds are good that the couple will receive at least one vase as a wedding gift, so give them something to fill it with. BloomsyBox offers “bouquet of the month” subscriptions that will arrive at the couple’s doorstep to brighten their home. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. $34.99/month at BloomsyBox with 3- and 6-month options available.
A Couple’s Massage. Choose a spa near the couple’s home and get a gift certificate for a relaxing couple’s massage. Be sure to cover the tip, too. They’ll be able to save this gift for a romantic weekend — or for an S.O.S in a time of stress, like their first post-wedding lovers quarrel. $80-$200 at your local day spa.
Cooking Classes. Make sure the newlyweds get the best use out of all that new kitchen gear by sending them to cooking school. Most cities have at least one culinary school, and many are happy to provide gift certificates for their courses. A quick internet search is all it takes. $75-$200, depending on the locality.
A Cake Carrier. Ever try to carry a cake or pie to a party, only to ruin the icing with foil before you got there? A sturdy cake carrier is one of the most useful gifts you never knew existed, and it’s also one of the most inexpensive. $19.99 at Amazon.
Beach Towels. Most couples register for bath towels, but few remember to ask for a beach towel. A big, luxurious beach towel will be appreciated every summer, and since you only have to buy two, you can afford to splurge a bit. To make these towels a gift to remember, add a monogram of their new initials. $29.50 at Pottery Barn.
Custom Framing. A gift certificate for a local frame shop along with a note to use it for a favorite wedding photo is a thoughtful gift, and one that’s sure to find a lasting place of honor in the couple’s home. This is a great choice if you’re a little late sending the gift, since the couple won’t be able to use it until they get their wedding photos printed. Starting at $100 at a local frame shop.
Matching Passport Holders. The perfect gift for a destination wedding — or for any couple that loves to travel. You can rest assured that they won’t receive a duplicate of this item. Make sure they open it right away so the jetsetters can enjoy using this fun gift on their honeymoon. $40 at Flight 101.
Registry Ideas for Brides and Grooms
If you’re the lucky one getting married this year, do check to see if your registry is growing thin. If so, try using Zola, a website that allows you to add items from any online store at all, so you’re guaranteed to get exactly what you want without making things difficult for your generous wedding guests. They also allow you to add classes and experiences, so you don’t have to feel pressured to ask for items you don’t actually want just so Aunt Mildred can get you something.
With more online shopping options available than ever before, it’s easy to ask for — and to purchase — just the right wedding gifts. So go ahead and get creative as you give a gift guaranteed to help the lucky couple get their married life off to a great start.