I’ve finally realized I’ve reached that really special age in life: My friends are starting to get married. The only thing that concerns me in this situation is not that I need to start fiancée hunting, but that my bank account is going to slowly deplete for the next five years until I’ve bought every steak knife set at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Engaged friends, I love y’all, but this sister is on a budget! I’ve got two weddings back to back next weekend, so I decided to do a little bit of browsing for less expensive – but unique – gifts* for the bride and groom (disclaimer: since I am not crafty whatsoever, I have included very minimal DIY suggestions). Check out these five ideas:
Unique Wedding Gift Ideas: Special Experiences or Memberships
Let’s be honest: Your newlywed friends are going to be face deep in piles of linens, fine China, and cantankerous kitchen gadgets that they’ll be sorting through for weeks. Sure, you could get them the wine opener they requested on their registry, but why not shoot for the stars with something really cool? I’m all about Groupon and LivingSocial, so I frequently see interesting deals for experiences and memberships that even I’d be interested in trying. Deals are everywhere – on and offline – so get creative! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Sushi making class
- Gym membership
- Netflix membership
- Yearlong pass to a local museum
- Hot air balloon ride
- Concert tickets
- Magazine subscription
Unique Wedding Gift Ideas: Gift Baskets
Ah, gift baskets. I tend to think of these as something I see at the mall at Christmas time – and they’re always filled with a cheese and summer sausage assortment. But a gift basket for the bride and groom can be a really fun way to be thoughtful and frugal. They dig a little barbecue? Find some awesome sauces, his and hers aprons, and a 6-pack of craft beer to make it a fun night of grilling. Or how about a movie night basket? Seek out gourmet popcorn, a fabulous bottle of wine, a classic movie, and a giant bowl to wrap everything up in. This is a little bit too DIY for me since it likely involves getting crafty with some cellophane or tulle to wrap everything together, but I suspect you guys will be able to pull it off!
Unique Wedding Gift Ideas: Plants
Not a silk plant. Not a Venus flytrap. And please, not an Obama Chia Pet. In all honesty, a plant can be an awesome gift that keeps on giving year after year! This might not be the greatest idea for your apartment-dwelling pals, but if the newlyweds are calling a nice little house with a lawn home, go for it! I bet you’ll be the only one showing up at the wedding with a planter filled with cherry tree seeds, but you won’t be forgotten each spring when it blooms! Consult your local nursery to find out what type of tree, shrub, or plant might be best in your friends’ yard. Throw in a gnome to stand guard next to it for good measure.
Unique Wedding Gift Ideas: Personalized Anything
I’ve been into personalized stuff ever since I was a 10-year-old with my own business cards. Wouldn’t you know; people are still into stuff with their initials and names on it! Maybe the happy couple already received their set of everyday drinking glasses, but did they receive beer mugs with their initials? Surprise them with a spiced up welcome mat for their front door, complete with their last name on it! Or even a super cool mailbox that’s just for them (granted it will only last long enough for a kid in driver’s training to run it over). Get your creative juices flowing: the possibilities are endless when it comes to engraving, monogramming, and personalization!
Unique Wedding Gift Ideas: Frame Something
As long as it’s not a framed picture of you or your cat, this is a totally acceptable gift. Would I give a friend a framed picture of my cat? Probably, considering my cat, Mischa is the coolest creature in the metro Detroit vicinity. Since that’s neither here nor there, let’s explore some framing options. How about the couple’s invitation, save the date, or program? You could save mementos from the reception and put all of those in a nice little shadowbox as a collage. Put in some candid pictures of them you snapped that night, and voila! You’ve got a gift they’ll be more than ecstatic to hang on the wall.
The weddings I’m attending are just a week away, so it looks like it’s time for me to step up my unique factor with their gifts. I’m thinking the lawn gnome idea is something I’m going to be sticking with. Have more ideas for out-of-the-box wedding gifts? Share with us!