Despite the fact that weddings these days seem to be more personalized and well-thought out than ever (thanks, Pinterest!) gift-giving as a wedding guest seems to have take the opposite turn. With the predominance of jam-packed registries and the growing popularity of simply enclosing a check in a card, it can start to feel like there is little thoughtfulness left in giving a couple something special on such an important day. Go on bigboxstore.com, choose a present from a list, and voila, gifting done!
Of course, this practice ensures that the happy couple will love whatever you give them, since they picked it out themselves, and there have been many times a registry has saved us from an all day shopping excursion wondering whether to go with the red Le Creuset or the blue. But, if you’re up for the challenge of gifting a couple something unexpected and beautiful that they’ll cherish forever, we say it’s time to get creative. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for personalized, heirloom wedding gifts.
Vintage serving pieces. Instead of simply purchasing a set of china directly from the couple’s registry, try giving them a complementary vintage piece instead. Something that will go with the set they want, but will add a bit of personality and gravitas to it. Look for items the couple hasn’t registered for, perhaps a water pitcher, a salad bowl, or a set of dessert dishes.
Antique decor. True, giving decor can be tricky. But here’s another reason we think registries are helpful: they’re a great indicator of a couple’s style. If you can pinpoint their look to “French Country” or “Neutral and Modern” you can find something completely unique that will surprise and delight. The key is to err on the side of simplicity, since accent pieces can be highly personal: give a beautiful antique mirror instead of wall art, for example, or a set of candlesticks over a table lamp.
Collectors Pieces or Designer Items. New couples shouldn’t be relegated to starter furniture. If you know the pair well, gift them something they can truly decorate their new home around and love for decades. If the bride is a modernism fan, an authentic mid-century piece might wow. Or if the couple met in Paris, perhaps something straight from Hermes, or straight from Lec Puces is in order.
What do you think of going off-registry?