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Choosing the perfect wedding gift… on a budget


We’ve reached that age where everyone is finding their true love, and some are taking the plunge to commit to spending the rest of their lives with that person. As this is no longer high school and adult relationships are taken a little more seriously, those our age are more likely to actually put a ring on it, sign the proper paperwork and have a hoo-ha of an event.

If you’re invited to the big day, you may be at a loss of what to buy the happy couple, especially if you’ve never been married yourself.

Instead of  finding a toaster or blender or buying an in-your-price-range useless object, try to find something that has some sentimental value. The couple will already be overrun with home stuff as they’re combining their stocks and receiving all the silver tea sets in the world right now, so something that is more than just the latest in small appliances will be welcomed and appreciated.

I’m going to a wedding in three weeks and, as I don’t know the couple very well (I’m merely a plus one at this occasion), finding them a gift is going to be particularly challenging. In my hours of thought about what I could possibly get them (it does bother me a little bit, I don’t want to totally mess up after all), here are the creative and budget-friendly ideas I’ve come up with.

If you’re needle and thread inclined, sew them a pillow, blanket or something else that will commemorate the event in a unique way. Include the date of the wedding somewhere and perhaps their initials or names as well. Also include a heart somewhere–they’re married after all; love must be in the air. A homemade gift is also much more special and is more thoughtful than a store bought one. You can keep that gift karma going for whenever you get married (or some other occasion that warrants gift-giving).

Make the couple a honeymoon emergency pack. A bottle of champagne, bottle-opener, a pack of condoms, sunscreen, sunglasses (you could even go a little crazy and take a sharpie to them with their initials and wedding date), chapstick, a disposable camera, candles and nice lotion as basics. Anything else is up to you; I recommend any dollar store for wacky little things.

Get the couple a Starbucks gift card. I know this may seem like a cop-out, but hear me out. Every Saturday, my parents go out for morning coffee and talk. No matter what has gone on during the week or how crazy things get, they always make time for this morning coffee ritual to reconnect. This weekly date has kept their marriage strong and communication open between them. Include this little description in the included card (you don’t have to mention it was my parents that inspired you, I won’t tell) and say that you hope it’ll keep them close as well. They might thank you for it. Either way, they get free coffee and no one’s going to whine about that, especially after they’ve gone through their crazy wedding week.

If you can afford it, register the couple for a cooking class. They’re fun and will help bring the newlyweds even closer together, as well as provide them with a meal that they know they can cook.

On that note, compile a list of good basic recipes for them. Dishes like mac and cheese, various casseroles, meatloaf and all those other typical dishes that are in everyone’s repertoire should be included. Be sure to actually check that these are accurate recipes because you wouldn’t want the couple having to struggle through making food–they wouldn’t be thanking you for that.

Weddings are an exciting time for a couple and those involved. Give them a gift they’ll appreciate and actually have a use for–they’ll love you for it and you’ll feel like you made a difference.


About the Author

Julie Winsel

With a background in magazine and newspaper publishing with a splash of business-sense, Julie (Eckardt) Winsel is re-pursuing her passion for writing. Now living in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and cat, she likes vodka-crans and getting caught in the rain.


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