All brides want for Christmas is…
This week’s blog post is not quite so much for brides and grooms, as it is for their family and friends. If you have a soon-to-be-wed person in your life, and on your Christmas shopping list, why not buy them a gift that will be helpful for their wedding? Here are some tips on buying Christmas gifts for brides and grooms.
If that soon-to-be-married person is someone you already intend to buy a gift for, giving a wedding-related present is a nice opportunity to relieve the couple – even in just a small way – of the financial costs of their special day. It also makes wedding accessories that have to be bought anyway so much more significant! For example, the bride will most likely buy some kind of veil or hair bling for the wedding, but it would be far more meaningful if it was received as a Christmas gift (or birthday gift or early wedding gift, for that matter) from a loved one. In my own case, it still means so much to me that my parents-in-law gave me my wedding shoes for last Christmas, and that my sister gave me my bridal handbag and our wedding cake topper for my birthday and Christmas respectively. My grandmother also offered to pay for all our wedding cakes as an early, extra wedding gift.
There are two ways to go about giving a wedding-related gift to a prospective bride or groom. Firstly, if you want to surprise the gift recipient, keep in mind that they might not have the same taste as you in shoes, handbags and so forth… so you would be better off to give cash, a check or even craft up a home-made IOU with an offer to buy or put money towards something you know they will need (like photography or catering) or something they’ve been hesitant to buy or hire because of the expense (like a fancy wedding car or professional make-up artistry). This is what my grandmother did with offering to buy our wedding cakes. Do be careful with this approach though; if you give a $100 IOU expressly as a contribution toward a live band (which costs far more than $100), but the couple are actually planning a DJ for their reception music, or even Spotify to really save money,, they may then feel obligated toward you to spend more money than planned to fit in with your gift.
The second way to go about giving the gift of wedding help, if you prefer something you can wrap, or you don’t mind not having your gift as a surprise, is simply to ask the bride or groom directly if there’s anything for the big day they might like as a present. This might be something they need to choose themselves, to ensure your gift fits their style – a veil, guest book or bowtie are very much up to personal taste – but at least then you can be assured that they have exactly the one they want. With the shoes, handbag and cake topper that I received as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, all were items that I picked out myself that the givers simply bought for me.
Alternatively, if the bride or groom in your life has now finished hosting their wedding and you’re stuck for gift ideas, consider giving something from their wedding registry. It is unlikely that all the items there were purchased, and by buying something from their registry you can be sure that you are getting them something that they would really like to have.
And for the bride or groom who has everything…
• Pampering: Planning a wedding is stressful, so why not spring for a massage or relaxing dinner out for the bride and groom? Great for the final weeks of wedding preparation, or as a newly- wed treat.
• Custom coathangers (see right): Check out Etsy for coathangers made in the bride’s name (or future name!). A great keepsake, and a wonderful photo opportunity on the wedding day.
• Family tree: Draw up a family tree of the bride and groom’s relatives, show- ing how the two families have come together with their wedding.
• Re-appropriated jewelry: For a quirky twist on the bride’s “something old”! As well as designing their own vintage-style bling, Made With Love can update and re-purpose a customer’s vintage jewelry, like a necklace from a mother or grandma, to wear on the day.
• Personalized gifts: Anything customized with the bride and groom’s names/ monogram and wedding date will certainly be a treat! Think towels, wine glasses, bathrobes, photo frames, mugs, slippers, coasters and more.
• Starlettos: These high-heel protectors stop your shoe heels sinking into grass or sand… perfect for the bride (or bridesmaid) at an outdoor wedding.
• Wedding post-its: These wedding-themed sticky labels from K TWO let the couple mark up pages in wedding books and magazines (in a prettier way than reglar post-it notes), to better keep track of ideas and nuptial inspiration!
• Time: Cash-strapped this festive season? Consider an IOU for the gift of time – offering to give your time and effort on DIY activities, running errands and helping with set-up on the day. (If you’re a bridal party member or immediate family, it might be assumed you’ll help anyway… so this gift may go astray!)
Best of luck with Christmas shopping for the engaged and newlywed in your lives! Happy holidays!
(First image from mrs2be.ie)
What wedding accessories or help would you most like Santa to leave under the tree for you this year? Have you received any wedding items as a gift already?