You're wonderful, you're getting married, I got you....??
October 7, 2009 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Another-gift-idea filter: Two wonderful people, getting married. I want to get them something they'll really appreciate. Stuck for ideas. Help?

The couple are both in their mid/late twenties. They're both photojournalists, both pretty adventurous people. They want to make the world a better place, they're spiritual, that kind of thing. They both travel to exotic places on occasion. They're not very materialistic. I know the groom better, and he's artistic, musical, fun-loving and not very serious. From what I can tell, she's similar: they're both pulling faces in most of the pictures I've seen of the two of them.

They aren't registered anywhere, and I think the wedding will be pretty informal--they didn't even ask for RSVPs in the invitations. I get the feeling that smallish gifts will be more appropriate than, say, a fancy china set. I'm planning on writing and giving them a letter about why I think they're such great people and how happy I am to see them together, but I want to give them something else too. Any ideas? What gifts have you received/given/seen that were really neat? I'm torn between trying to think of something that'll have a lot of sentimental value and something eminently useful.

I know there are about a million gift-idea questions on here already. Sorry to add to the pile.
posted by aka burlap to Grab Bag (21 answers total)
I just got married and one of the nicest things we got was a hand made (by the giver) cutting board. It is so beautiful, I think it will become a serving tray because I am not sure I'll be able to actually put knife marks on it. Other nice things we received were a sample of local foods/soaps from the givers area and a garlic braid (love braid? I think they said it was). We got a number of other really meaningful and personal handmade gifts that will be treasured.
posted by sulaine at 4:40 PM on October 7, 2009

mix CD with hand-drawn cover. Or offer to help with the wedding.
posted by debbie_ann at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2009

Well, to be honest, the most eminently useful thing to give at a wedding is cash, and people that don't register are often hoping for it. I think cash plus a heartfelt letter would be pretty neat, and greatly appreciated.
posted by sickinthehead at 4:42 PM on October 7, 2009

How about donating a goat or a share of an alpaca in their names to needy people around the world? It would certainly be memorable and meaningful. Not exactly a traditional gift, but they don't sound like traditional people.
posted by DrGail at 4:53 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fireworks sampler package?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:59 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding cash. I've never been clear on what the etiquette for requesting/giving cash is, but for folks who you suspect would probably not want a whole lot more "stuff," I think it would be just fine and most appreciated.

Having said that, I have been patiently waiting for another pairing of friends to get married so I can gift this Tree-to-Be Kit from Uncommon Goods. It's economical, it's green, and depending on whether you think they'll be settling in one location soon, it would be a beautiful commemoration of their wedding. (The one in the link is for a Tulip Tree, but in the store's "Garden" section you can also pick out a ginkgo or apple tree.)
posted by hegemone at 5:09 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Set of all clad pots.
posted by zia at 5:13 PM on October 7, 2009

The best presents we got were: a set of totally amazing knives, an outdoor George Foreman grill (!) and cash. Cash is a really awesome present because it not only gets to buy awesome things, but it can buffer you from financial woe, help you put a downpayment on a house or be donated to make the world a better place. There's a great amount of freedom in cash.
posted by saturnine at 5:21 PM on October 7, 2009

Paint a couple of plates at one of those ceramic shops. Be sure and sign them with a message on the bottom. They will remember you every time they use them.
posted by srboisvert at 5:32 PM on October 7, 2009

When I give cash I put it in a really fun box and glamourous wrapping - so part of the fun is opening the gift. If I know they're traveling to another country I exchange the currency and give them cash in the currency of the country they're visiting. Many small denominations is fun. It's great to go to another country and already have currency.
posted by dog food sugar at 5:41 PM on October 7, 2009

I don't love to give cash as a gift, so in situations like this I trend towards creative packaging of a small physical gift + related gift certificate.

For example, since they like to travel, I might put together a kit of travel-size toiletries (shampoo, aspirin, shaving cream, razors, etc.) and include a gift certificate to a cool store like Flight 001.

Or if they like to cook, I might purchase a great knife, or a couple of my favorite cookbooks, and include a gift certificate towards a class at one of the local culinary institutes.
posted by lalex at 5:43 PM on October 7, 2009

Good quality spices
posted by FergieBelle at 6:36 PM on October 7, 2009

Le Crueset! I use the 5+ qt pot on a daily basis, and it will last a lifetime.
posted by kestrel251 at 6:57 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cast Iron Cookware
Camping Equipment
posted by wcfields at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2009

Maybe you could package cash in a personal way. Buy anything, really -- a pitcher, a set of glasses, a mixing bowl -- and then crinkle it up with fifty $1 bills or something. That way they get a little cash, a little something, and you can still make it personal by picking a container that's in sync with their styles & hobbies.
posted by motsque at 7:10 PM on October 7, 2009

A really beautiful photo album, starting them off with a few pictures you take at the wedding. You can get these at places like Kate's Paperie. I gave one of these to a graphic designer friend once and she loved it. Nobody else got them a photo album.
posted by DMelanogaster at 4:58 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I second a nice letter, cash, and something handmade. If they're both into photography perhaps you can get them a nice framed photo of one of their favorite travel spots. Or better yet, a spot they've been wanting to see!
posted by wandergeek at 5:59 AM on October 8, 2009

I recently heard someone say they bought a set of 3-4 board games for a wedding gift and I thought that was a great idea - everyone likes to have some games in the closet for a rainy day and they'll probably have them forever and play them with their kids.

I recently got married and a friend of my parents gave us a $100 gift certificate to a fancy restaurant in town, which was a great gift that we can either save for a special occasion or use on a whim. We had a seriously limited registry because we honestly didn't need or want a bunch of stuff.
posted by jrichards at 7:16 AM on October 8, 2009

If you have time, and know how to get in touch with some other friends of the bride and groom, you could expand your letter into a wish box. Have everyone write something to the couple on a small piece of stationery or a small card, and put them all together in a nice box. I got one of these once, and I treasure it.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:21 AM on October 8, 2009

I've had good luck with handmade, stoneware pottery (though it helps that my uncle is the potter). The stuff he makes is made for everyday use, functional, and beautiful.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:00 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the ideas! I think I'll end up giving them something small and handmade, plus some cash.
posted by aka burlap at 12:55 PM on October 9, 2009

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