I asked a handful of my long-time married and freshly hitched friends, as well as our faithful Facebook fans, what the best wedding gift you received was. From the splurge-y to the sentimental, you all shared the gifts that made the greatest impact on you. Some were experience gifts, some were just registry items that get used on a daily basis, and some were boudoir-related — always appreciated by newlyweds. Besides the always practical but not-too-exciting monetary gift, which a lot of our Facebook fans seemed to love the most, here are the top wedding presents our friends and readers received. And be sure to take notes for the next time you receive a save the date!
We asked our Facebook fans what you'd like to receive as an experience gift in lieu of a traditional wedding registry gift, and you gave some great ideas. While the gift of "eternal happiness" may be out of reach (although nice idea, Sarah!), we can at least provide newlyweds with some momentary romantic bliss with these presents that are more about making memories than making dinner in the kitchen. With our Facebook fans' help we came up with these tips for experience wedding gifts.
- The honeymoon — I loved these ideas from Facebook fan Rebecca: "I would LOVE to have different 'experiences' bought for us for our honeymoon like a special dinner under the stars, or a couples massage on the beach . . . the cheesy kinds of things that we could never or would never get ourselves because we're too practical." On sites like Traveler's Joy and Honey Fund, guests can not only put money toward paying for the couple's honeymoon, they can also buy honeymoon activities like snorkeling, spa days, and tours.
- Daredevil date — You know how in every Bachelor and Bachelorette season there are a handful of adventurous dates that result in the couple bonding over the experience and learning how to trust each other? Well, you can make that happen for a newly hitched twosome! One site that specializes in these types of excursions is Cloud 9 Living, which offers everything from hot balloon rides to sky diving to race car driving.
- Museum membership — Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. On sites like NewlyWish, you can give a couple the gift of art for a whole year with a membership to their local museum. Many museums, like our neighborhood San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, offer gift memberships on their sites.
A gift registry can sometimes feel quite limiting, so some of you may opt for giving some cash to the newlyweds. It's nice to know that the couple will be able to use the money towards their new house or even to cover some of the wedding costs. There are so many rules out there on how much to give, so I'm wondering what wedding gift money rules work for you. If you tend to give money to newlyweds instead of giving a present, how much do you usually give?
You're happy for the two lovebirds, but the gifts on their wedding registry are way out of your budget. Drop the old tradition of resorting to the cheapest gift on the registry when you're strapped for cash! instead, take a more modern, savvy approach and pick a personalized gift that'll portray your thoughtfulness and give your wallet a breather. Dana LaRue, from The Broke-Ass Bride blog gives us some tips on the smart way to give below.
- Check Out Coupon Codes: Never hit "purchase" on an online order without checking RetailMeNot.com for a coupon or promo code. You can score percentages off, free shipping and more by doing some stealthy searching around the web, which adds up to big savings!
- Go With the Gift of Experience: Sometimes experience is the best gift of all. Rather than a novelty gift or trinket that will just sit on a shelf, show your gratitude by taking your giftee out on an adventure that suits their interests. A fancy gourmet dinner out (or cooked at home with love) will satisfy your foodie friends, a hike and picnic out in nature will tickle your hippie-buddy's heart, massages at the spa for your luxury-loving sister, or tickets to a concert or play could be just the thing for your cultured crew. Personalizing the gifts for each recipient is a very special touch that will not be soon forgotten.
A close friend of mine lives out of town and wasn't able to make it to my bridal shower, but she sent a gift. A while back after my engagement party, she made a comment that still doesn't sit well with me — she said I didn't have enough nice things on my registry. I feel very secure with what I've chosen so I ignored her, but when I opened my shower gift, I was completely taken aback — she gave me an accent pillow with an embroidered comment about sports that felt like a gag gift! To set the record straight, money is no object for this friend, and after her rude remarks and uncharacteristic behavior over the past few months, I can't help but feel slighted that she spent less than $20 on something so thoughtless! Am I overreacting?
To see the Savvy Bride's advice, read more
Most engaged couples can hardly wait to get their blinged out hands on the registry guns at Crate and Barrel. While I admit to beeping my way through a few major stores as part of my pre-nuptial preparations, some of my favorite and most precious gifts were those that I didn't even think to add to my bridal wish list. A massage table (funky but fun!), an air mattress (for guests), and our wedding invitation framed with a note all make the top of my list, though I do think my Anna Weatherly china still holds the top spot. It dresses up my dining room table for special occasions and adorns the walls, too!
What's your favorite wedding gift — to give or that you've received? Tell me and I'll make a list for us all to share!
Playful and provocative underthings are a bridal necessity. So, do the bride-to-be a favor, and gift the sexiest kind. What's in store is ultra hot — cutout teddies, lacy little bikinis, and lace-up corsets. It's super sultry lingerie at its best — and it's not limited to wedding whites. Click on to get some inspiration and show up to the bachelorette with something spectacular in tow.
In a sea of white and beige Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma registry boxes, a select few gifts for newlyweds will stand out from the crowd. While you can argue that what's inside is most important, there are three wedding gift shops with gift boxes as iconic and display-worthy as the finest sterling silver serving dishes or porcelain figurines. Not only will their heavyweight cardboard shapes stand the test of time displayed proudly on your bookshelves, but their rich, captivating colors may just inspire the couple's décor.
My sister and her husband received one of the most thoughtful wedding gifts from his sister that definitely tops the "clever and memorable" list. During the wedding and reception, Kelly took photos of the lovely couple on a separate media card that she'd bought. After all the photo ops, she put the media card in a chic digital photo frame, wrapped it up, and somehow managed to sneak it into the bride and groom's suitcase before they took off for their honeymoon. Of course the newlyweds had hired a photographer, but they wouldn't see those developed photos for weeks. So it was fun for them to be able to look back at their wedding from the comfort of their honeymoon suite in Capri.
It's a great gift idea for close friends or family members of yours. And even if they're not taking a honeymoon right away, they'll be pleased to have it in their home. I thought I'd round up a few stylish digital photo frames to help you shop. One of my favorites is the luxe Grand Specchio Digital Frame ($650), which becomes a mirror when it's turned off.
Stay tuned for all our wedding coverage! Get involved with our awesome wedding community groups and find tons of useful tips and tricks to help you with all your wedding needs — find out how to get involved! Found Mr. Right? Be sure to download our free wedding registry checklist!
In my day I've received plenty of strange gifts, but weddings are one occasion where it's hard to go wrong, if you follow traditional etiquette and shop from the registry. Some people still manage to wind up far, far astray in their gift choices, though.
I reached out to everyone here at Sugar HQ and a bunch of friends and asked for the weirdest, funniest, or worst wedding gifts they (or their friends) received. I whittled down a lot of seriously strange submissions to a few of my favorites, which are highlighted with some pretty priceless quotes describing the presents. Take this collection of totally weird wedding gifts as a lesson in what not to buy!