Groom needs a gift for his bride
April 1, 2011 2:07 PM   Subscribe

What should I buy my wife-to-be as a wedding gift?

I want to get my soon-to-be-wife a great wedding gift, but am really at a loss of what to get. I want it to be something lasting, not something that will be used up and gone at some point.

She's really into food and photography, but I'm thinking something less hobby-related and more symbolic or meaningful. But at the same time, nothing cheesy or kitschy (ie a "you and me forever" plaque or such). Difficulty: no jewelry.

What did you get your spouse as a wedding gift? Or what did you receive? What's meaningful, what's not? The wedding is still a few months away, so I have time to do/make something as well.
posted by anonymous to Shopping (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What about a beautiful picture frame for your wedding photo? This is crazy expensive and might not be her taste, but you get the idea. You could put a current photo of the two of you in the frame for now, and leave a lovely note about how excited you are to replace the picture.
posted by ukdanae at 2:19 PM on April 1, 2011

I don't know whether it would be out of your price range, but an original framed photo from one of her favorite photographers would be nice.
posted by whoaali at 2:20 PM on April 1, 2011

jchaw --> "no jewelry"

A really fantastic chair?

I had a friend with a really fantastic chair. "I couldn't afford it, I didn't eat for three days, but I had to have the chair." That sort of chair. Interesting, unique, comfy.

You could keep it going over the years, too -- 1st anniversary 'paper' gift would be a subscription to something to read in the chair; 2nd anniversary cotton would be a throw for it, 3rd is leather, so there's an ottoman coming...
posted by kmennie at 2:22 PM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Art. Specifically, a painting. Something that will be attractive in your home for many years and maybe even get handed down one day.

My answer is Fine Art.
posted by jbenben at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

What about a really nice watch?

Or, if she's into cooking (I wasn't sure if that's what you meant by being "into food") consider getting her the ($500) set of Modernist Cuisine cookbooks. The photography is stunning, and it is supposed to be truly fantastic.
posted by egeanin at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

I think the ring and maybe a "thanks for marrying me" card is enough- you will both be getting tons of gifts and cash and I think it would be more romantic and symbolic of your new life together to buy something you both like together with your gift cash.
posted by rmless at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2011

I received jewelry; I gave a framed page from an illuminated medieval manuscript. 'Twas well-received and unique; husband is a history buff, specifically when it comes to the middle ages. So, yeah, I agree on "art." But a broad definition thereof. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:24 PM on April 1, 2011

Long story short, my husband gave his friends a set of matching engraved pocketwatches, and I surprised him (sort of... I said it was a long story) with a matching watch. I think it was a great gift because it ties him to his friends even though we live far away, and is sort of a bridge between his life pre- and post-wedding.

So if your fiance has bridesmaids and is getting them a gift that's not jewelry, maybe there's something that you can give her that ties in with that.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 PM on April 1, 2011

What if you gave her a trip or experience or something that would improve her skills or knowledge?

I went to shoemaking camp once, and not only was it awesome to be in a new and different place (Toronto), it was a skill that gave me a great understanding for the structure and construction of shoes and other leather things. Even though I haven't done it since that trip in 2005 (and not for lack of trying -- the instructor sadly shut down her school), I always have fun remembering the work that I did and the friends that I made. And, of course, it's always great to be able to pull something unique like that out at parties. "Yeah, I went to shoemaking camp."

If she loves food or photography, I bet there are loads of cool experiences that she could have. An intensive pastry workshop? A wine and yoga retreat? Fantasy camp at the French Laundry? (Okay, maybe that doesn't exist... but MAYBE IT DOES.)

Anything can last a long time if you take a camera :) Plus you're really supporting her and the things that she finds meaningful on her own, not just something fun to do while you're together on your honeymoon.
posted by Madamina at 3:12 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

My husband got me a set of hardcover Laura Ingalls Wilder books to replace the well-loved paperback books from my childhood. I got him a Bible with his new married name stamped on the cover (he's in Seminary).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:24 PM on April 1, 2011

I didn't receive a wedding gift from my husband. We were so poor at the time. I love cooking, and I think if he had given me something culinary that would last a long time, like a cast iron pan, I would love it. It's something you can use and appreciate all the time. Or a really nice serving platter or similar piece. My husband bought me my first slow cooker (I have five now...heh) and six years later I still think it was the most awesome gift. Congrats on your nuptials btw!
posted by Calzephyr at 4:50 PM on April 1, 2011

It was something we bought after the wedding and not really a gift from one to the other, but my wife took one of her favorite photos from our wedding and had an artist do a really nice pencil drawing of it. It has become one of our favorite decorations in the house.
posted by JibberJabber at 5:01 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

How about some high-quality kitchen knives? Or a cast-iron dutch oven and skillet? The knives will last a really long time, and the cookware, properly cared for, could be passed on to your grandchildren.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:48 PM on April 1, 2011

A friend of mine got a camera strap made custom (Swanky Stitch) and I thought it was really cute. Perhaps you could get something like that but get a custom message put on it? A line from your first dance song? Something cute you say to each other?

Other than that, is she pining over any camera lenses? It wasn't a wedding gift, but my fiance bought me a prime lens I really wanted out of the blue and I thought it was the sweetest thing ever.
posted by groovesquirrel at 6:28 PM on April 1, 2011

My hubby and I decided on a vacation timeshare as a mutual wedding present. You know, as in "vacations for the rest of our lives". It's awesome, but you do have to do your homework to know what you're getting into.
posted by nadise at 8:35 PM on April 1, 2011

We couldn't afford to get each other gifts for our wedding, but a year later we took a trip that we could only sort of afford to England and Scotland, and it was our favorite trip ever. (I'd been, he was a huge Anglophile and history buff but hadn't been). We stayed in B&Bs, had amazing vacation sex, bought odd food at the grocery stores, and got very grubby living out of backpacks. Marvelous.
posted by emjaybee at 8:58 PM on April 1, 2011

I would steer away from anything that would blend in with the other gifts - so, if you registered / are expecting household gifts from folks, I think you have the right idea in staying away from cooking (not sure about photography). I love the art idea - it's hard to do well since you really want to make sure it's something she'll love, but that's part of what makes it amazing.
posted by Lady Li at 11:56 PM on April 1, 2011

Something from this website.
posted by cynicalidealist at 5:01 AM on April 2, 2011

These are just data points to explain how we chose what we chose - I realize you said "no jewelry", but I hope the thought process might help.

My husband studied physics and astronomy, and on our first date he took me to a dark, spooky place to watch a lunar eclipse. We've always marked time in our relationship in terms of the number of moons we've seen together, not the number of years. We chose our wedding date because there was a full moon that night. My wedding gift to him was a bad ass telescope; his to me was a lovely pair of long earrings with stars dangling from them.
posted by ersatzkat at 8:02 PM on April 2, 2011

« Older 72 hour rule for online dating?   |   Just one html answer can help prevent premature... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.