Wedding gift for older marrying couple?
May 30, 2013 8:47 AM   Subscribe

What's a good generic wedding gift for two older people? Details inside.

My dad, 75, is getting married in a couple weeks. It's his 3rd marriage, her second. You don't know my dad, but frankly neither do I. I've met his fiance only once.

I need a good generic wedding gift for them.

A couple of things:

They both own a house full of shit. They don't need a new toaster or anything like that.

They're not the most sophisticated people around. Membership to a museum will be lost on them as would a donation to just about any charity. Art, unless it's done with black velvet and includes Elvis, is out.

I don't have too many photos of him and none of her so I can't put together an album of memories.

We're not artistic, so I can't make anything for them. My sister-in-law has the "Needlepoint thing commemorating their special day" covered.

They're computer illiterate and don't have internet access. They take their camera to Wal-Mart and have them "develop" the pictures.

They're having a surprisingly traditional wedding, considering their age and place in life. DJ, photographer, a meal of bland chicken (I assume), a cake, etc. She's sorta into the whole Big Wedding thing.

Cash might work, neither of them are wealthy, but that doesn't really sit right with me. It's my dad, not my son.

They're going on a cruise to the Caribbean (?) for their honeymoon but I don't know which cruise line. I don't expect they'll be SCUBA diving or hiking much.

So, older couple? Getting married. Don't really need any stuff but would probably enjoy getting something and might be offended if they got nothing.
posted by bondcliff to Human Relations (19 answers total)
I'd find out what cruise line they're going on and gift some onboard credits. They can use those for drinks, spa treatments, shopping, shore excursions, etc.

Otherwise a gift certificate for a nice local restaurant they'd like.
posted by bizzyb at 8:50 AM on May 30, 2013 [8 favorites]

If she's into the big wedding thing I would consider going with a fancy traditional gift like a crystal vase.

Alternatively maybe a gift certificate for a nice dinner out? You get around the money issue but still give them something enjoyable.
posted by brilliantine at 8:51 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you can find out which cruise line, you can call and arrange for a "Romance Package" I did this for my parents Anniversary this year. They got a flower arrangement in their cabin, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate covered strawberries and tea sandwiches. My folks LOVED it! Shipboard credits are good too.

You can also give them some gift cards for restaurants in their area.

My folks are in the same age range and they really enjoy experiences rather than more stuff.

Depending on how much you want to spend, a "Fruit of the Month" or something like that might be nice.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:53 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like to give a sterling silver (or silver plate) picture frame. They can use it for a wedding photo, their wedding invitation, or something else if they have those covered. It doesn't take up much room in their home. It's fancy and sentimental and also tangible, which might matter to them.
posted by payoto at 8:55 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

My go-to answer with regard to gift questions is experiences, not things.

Maybe tickets to a show they would enjoy (even if it's not soon; for instance, we love going to see the Nutcracker every December at our local theatre).

If that's not really their bent, how about gift certificates for one or two restaurants? Costco even has these now. It sounds like they would enjoy a more mainstream restaurant than say a "special" dinner at a Michellin-rated restaurant for instance.
posted by vignettist at 8:58 AM on May 30, 2013

Gift certificate for a fancy meal out when they get back, paired with a nice bottle of wine (or whatever they drink-- nice beer, whiskey, etc.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:59 AM on May 30, 2013

What about a personalized wedding plate or a set of personalized coffee mugs with their names and wedding date? It's kitschy and a nice keepsake.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 9:02 AM on May 30, 2013

A local restaurant gift certificate with a note saying "For your first married meal out together."
posted by DarlingBri at 9:10 AM on May 30, 2013

Traditional big weddings usually include a registry. Ask Dad where they've registered. If they haven't, this could spark an offhand remark from him as to what they would like. Or you could say that since you don't know his intended well but would like to express your welcome to the family, you wonder if he knows what she would like. That way it is more about opening your arms to her than simply opening your wallet. :-)
posted by janey47 at 9:26 AM on May 30, 2013

I agree about getting an experience. My first thought was a restaurant gift certificate, though the gift package for their cruise would be nice, too. If they're into wine, you could get them a nice bottle of wine, or treat them to some other getaway (weekend at a scenic hotel somewhere) to be used over the next year sometime. If they're activity people, you could treat them to cooking classes, or some other kind of lessons, to do together. Or hire a chef to come to their home and make them a romantic dinner.
posted by pompelmo at 9:30 AM on May 30, 2013

Is there a movie theater in their area? If yes, gift certificate to the theater. They sometimes sell them in booklets so it's good for something like two movie tickets, two drinks, two popcorns.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:42 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

A bottle of wine or whisky or similar? Matching engraved wine glasses? Little bathroom hand towels monogrammed with their newly-combined initials? One of those shadowbox frames for her wedding bouquet or something like that?
posted by Houstonian at 9:51 AM on May 30, 2013

Boy, Ruthless Bunny hit all the best ideas, and experiences in general (as opposed to more stuff) would be best.

Flowers & wine & goodies in their cruise ship's cabin;
Upgrading their cabin on the cruise ship;
Take them and a few friends/family out to a fancy dinner;
Organize & pay for their wedding photos, or
Ditto a limo to take them to and from their wedding or the cruise.
posted by easily confused at 10:05 AM on May 30, 2013

You know, in the past I've been to events where every table had a disposable camera on it for people to take "candid shots". You could offer this as your gift, get the cameras and put them on the tables with a little sign or something explaining that people should take photos with the camera for the bride and groom, and leave the cameras behind. After the wedding, collect the cameras and take them in to have the film developed. Put the photos in wedding album, include maybe the invitation and a few other things, and add a separate copy of the all the photos for the bride and groom to mail out to their friends.
posted by Houstonian at 10:11 AM on May 30, 2013

My usual default gift for weddings is a bottle of champagne. Judging by my sister's wedding last year, a lot of people do the same. Otherwise I'd say honeymoon cash/credits or restaurant gift certificates. I've also seen wine tasting vouchers, hot air balloon rides, and cookery classes given.
posted by plonkee at 10:26 AM on May 30, 2013

Gift certificate for a hotel weekend away? Theater tickets (for a show you think is dumb but that they would like)? Heck, gift certificates to the movies ("date night")? Gift certificate for a house cleaning service?
posted by Kololo at 10:31 AM on May 30, 2013

If you want to do something like theater tickets: for folks this age, go for DINNER THEATER tickets.....they'd only have to park once, they get dinner AND the show, and most dinner theater shows are tend to be old favorites and/or musicals, familar stuff like Camelot and such. And yeah, you can arrange with a dinner theater to get a bottle of wine or champagne sent to their table.
posted by easily confused at 10:40 AM on May 30, 2013

What about something that comes in installments, like six months of a wine-of-the-month club (or a cheese of the month club, if that runs more to their tastes)? Festive and indulgent, but also consumable. Just another thought -- you could always throw in one piece of gear (fancy cheese tray or wine pump set) to scratch the "traditional vibe" itch...
posted by acm at 11:31 AM on May 30, 2013

How about nice luggage for their trip and future travels together. I bought 2 carry on rollers and 2 medium (26" iirc) for my mom 6 years ago that they still use.
posted by saradarlin at 5:07 PM on May 30, 2013

« Older Um...I invented Post-Its   |   Data overload Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.