What to get my best friend and her husband to be for their wedding?
September 25, 2008 5:17 AM   Subscribe

WeddingGiftFilter: My best friend is getting married in 2 weeks and I'm kind of at a loss about what to get them. I'm quite close with the groom as well, knowing him for the last several years. In fact, I became an ordained minister and will be officiating their marriage on the wedding day. Help me pick out a gift! Details follow.

Previously, previously , and previously.

The couple: Silly, random, and lovely people who enjoy the closeness of their friends. They also just moved to a new apartment this month after living in their last one for the past 6 years.

Her: Dominican immigrant moved to NY, An avid mac user, online message board runner for soap operas and other snarky commentary. Trash novel reader but also appreciates good lit (e.g., Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges) and magical realism. Recently got a large fish tank and in love with fish, but her interests will ebb and flow.

Him: White boy who moved from California to NY, Hacker (modded PS2, PSP, PC Case / Subscription to Make), Linux user, guitar player, movie watcher (recently grabbed all of MST3K), weird t-shirt (ala T-Shirt Hell) wearer, beer drinker, cappuccino appreciator

Looking to spent somewhere between $100-$200, but less is okay. They do have a registry from Williams-Sonoma, but I think that's more for non-close friends and family. Again, I'll be officiating their wedding, so something that ties into that could be fun.

Doesn't hafta be big, could just be random and silly.

posted by miasma to Shopping (17 answers total)
They do have a registry from Williams-Sonoma, but I think that's more for non-close friends and family.

Have they actually said this? Sometimes people register because it's the "thing to do" in their family and they really don't need/want a lot of those things. Otherwise they're gently letting their guests know what they really need/want.

It's always nice to get "random and silly" gifts from your dearest friends, but multiply that by 100 or however big the wedding is, that's potentially a lot of random and silly gifts that they need to find a place to keep, especially if they have a small apartment.

Why not ask your friends, "hey would you prefer something off your registry, or is there something else a bit more quirky that you really want but couldn't register for, or would you prefer a crazy surprise gift?!" If the last one is their answer, then you can explore the options and come up with something awesome. I wish a few more of my close friends had asked that - instead we've ended up with all kinds of odd things that are now sadly in storage until we can afford to upgrade from our tiny apartment in X years!
posted by hibbersk at 6:40 AM on September 25, 2008

If they have a Willams-Sonoma registry, it would appear that they enjoy cooking to at least some extent and if they just moved after 6 years, it's past time to toss old kitchen crap that they've had. How about one of Penzey's spice gift crates or boxes? Having gifted people with these in the past, I can say that they are nicely-packaged and tend to be one of those "hey, this is really useful, but also somewhat unique" sorts of things.
posted by stefnet at 6:47 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

Your gift is officiating at their marriage - that's what they will remember about you and that day. Just get them something from the list. It doesn't matter what.
If you don't like that answer ... make sure the photographer gets a snap of you and the couple, rush it into a silver frame and give it to them the next day.
Some meaningful message engraved on frame if you want.
posted by Xhris at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2008

If they enjoy spending time with their friends how about a multiplayer board game like Settlers of Catan? My friends and I play this and we really have a good time. Crack open a bottle of wine or two, enjoy the game and the good company, and you're set for a nice evening! If you have a games store in your area you could go their and ask for recommendations if Settlers isn't something you/they would be interested in.
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:58 AM on September 25, 2008

hibbersk makes some good points. I have to 2nd stefnet's suggestion of hte Penzey spice box. We got one of those for our wedding and it's wonderful. I had never heard of them before, but a friend got us the wedding gift box and we've had a lot of fun with it. It was a gift that stood out, and is massively useful. Especially good if they like to cook, or have a desire to learn.
posted by dog food sugar at 8:05 AM on September 25, 2008

if they have a porch or balcony, get them rocking chairs.
posted by warriorengineer at 8:08 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

As someone who recently got married, I have to say that the gifts we appreciated the most were those of cash.
posted by sid at 8:46 AM on September 25, 2008

My most appreciated wedding gift was a custom oil painting made from a picture of us together that brings back fond memories. The gift came from a relative who lives in China and had it made at a Chinese oil painting workshop. It is completely absurd and yet at the same time will be really nice to have in 20 years.

Someone asked about custom oil paintings before on AskMe. There are a couple outfits that do it over the Internet for a hundred bucks or so.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:57 AM on September 25, 2008

This is quite a silly gift, but they might enjoy a customised romance novel? We gave one to a set of friends when they got married, and it was good fun phoning them up all mysteriously to ask what brand of aftershave they used and other highly-personal questions. The writing isn't bad, the hardcover is quite nice, the paper quality isn't the best but it's quite a fun wee gift, and probably quite unexpected. Our friends loved it!
posted by ukdanae at 9:29 AM on September 25, 2008

I'm getting married. I want stuff off my registry or I want cash/checks. I don't want anything personalized that might be a wide miss because I'm too polite to say I want to return it, and it will sit in my closet forever.

If you really want to go off their registry, look at it anyway and pick something that fits in with it that they may not have thought of or that Williams Sonoma doesn't sell. Let's say they registered for a set of martini glasses. Get them an engraved martini shaker and expensive bottles of whatever goes into a martini. This is just an example, but you get the idea. OR, replace someting they already have with something really nice. Let's say they have a Mr Coffee cappucino maker. Go out and splurge on a much nicer brand.
posted by desjardins at 9:38 AM on September 25, 2008

I just got married, and our favorite gifts were the ones that people bought us from our registry. We registered for the stuff because we wanted it, and we were so happy to get it.

We had people ask us if we really wanted the things we registered for, and we weren't offended that they asked. We were happy to tell them to get us something from our registry. So I would recommend asking the couple if you aren't sure.
posted by mintymike at 10:11 AM on September 25, 2008

Williams Sonoma is not your average every-day place that couples getting married think of when registering; it's for very specific tastes in cooking, baking and serving. I'm inclined to believe they want what is on that registry. You can personalize the gift as desjardins suggested, or include some cash along with it in the card. Couples getting married, no matter how laid-back their ceremony is or how simple their tastes, need cash.
posted by misha at 10:56 AM on September 25, 2008

Xchris's idea about the photography would be tricky because most professional wedding photographer's are not going to have the photos ready in a day. 2 weeks to a month or longer on that one.

Funny, they are registered to Willams and Sonoma. When I saw your question, I immediately thought that you should get them a very high quality chef's knife (150ish bucks for the knife). It will last them many, many years and is one of the most important tools in the kitchen.
posted by captainsohler at 11:16 AM on September 25, 2008

Speaking as a married person who is/was equally eclectic. (We all are, btw.) I've received these kinds of "unique" gifts -- and given them. They are, alas, a bad and cringe-worthy idea.

Instead, give them a nice, fat check -- a little more than you think you can afford -- or buy the equivalent off their registry. They will love you as a sensible, generous adult. And you will feel great.

If you go off the reservation, you will forever feel slighted if/when you visit and don't see your "unique" gift displayed, or ask about it and get a puzzled look. And they'll feel equally bad when they sell it at a yard sale, or give it to Goodwill.

Best solution may be a check, plus a small, unique token of your friendship. (Disposable/edible is best!)
posted by turducken at 11:58 AM on September 25, 2008

Nobody remembers checks unless they're insultingly small or lavishly large.
posted by yellowcandy at 12:33 PM on September 25, 2008

Nobody remembers checks unless they're insultingly small or lavishly large.

Bullshit. I got a small check from someone at my bridal shower and I knew that was all she could afford. It's enough for an entree at a decent restaurant on our honeymoon and I promise you I will be thinking about her then.

While I also appreciate the lavishly large checks, most of them have come from people who could unquestionably afford it and probably won't miss it at all. To me, these are more forgettable. It's much more memorable if you know someone has sacrificed a bit.
posted by desjardins at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2008

I totally don't agree. I've been married for almost 14 years - if someone bought me something off my registry or gave my money at my wedding, I can't remember at all. I vaguely remember that my SISTER gave me some china, but I don't remember exactly what. The registry was for 2nd cousins and my parents' friends who don't really know me or know what I like to get me something. To this day I can tell you LOTS of presents that people got me that were not from my registry. I still remember that my mother's coworker saw me looking for Fiestaware at a flea market and got me a green Fiesta pitcher - but have NO idea who gave me those expensive demitasse cups I asked for. And I barely know her - my close friends certainly knew what I'd like. I remember two bad gifts - one of them, I sold on ebay for $150 when I was particularly broke - didn't hate that lladro sculpture that week. The other one was only a problem when writing the thank you note - thanks for the pottery...thing.

I want money from people who don't feel like going shopping, etc. From my closest friends/family, I want things that will make me think of them years later when I use them. The money's gone - I still have the damask tablecloth from my maid of honor and the blue teapot from my friend from college. The good friend who is officiating at their wedding should give something memorable - not the fab stainless steel trashcan they registered for at Target, or 2 of the 12 plates they're going to get.
posted by artychoke at 9:08 PM on September 25, 2008

« Older Hive Mind, Make My Internet Go!   |   Tips/Tricks to subconsiously sell my house! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.