Sentimental or useful wedding-day present for friend abroad
March 22, 2014 2:41 PM   Subscribe

My best friend - the loveliest, dearest, most wonderful of friends - is getting married in London and I can't be there. What can I send for her to open on her wedding day to let her know that I am there with her in spirit?

We have been the best of friends for over a decade. She is the kind of friend who once flew across the country to see me when I went through a terrible break-up; who lamented the pains of dating (and not dating) with me for 9+ years; who flew 10 hours to be at my wedding and host my bachelorette party; who I would jump in front of a bus to protect from harm. Which is all a long way of saying: I feel like a part of myself is getting married next month in London - but I won't be there.

She is getting married to her lovely, British partner, whom I adore. They are keeping things simple and doing it at the wedding registry with just their parents and siblings. I cannot go, due to my job and finances [they only got engaged a month ago, I didn't have time to save up, and they planned it this way so people wouldn't fly to attend.] Later on, they will come to the U.S. and have a party here, which I will help with in whatever way I can.

I want to send her something (either through the mail, or delivered via her sister) to open on her wedding day. I don't want a typical wedding present - I will get them one of those too. Instead, I want something sentimental and/or useful that she can open on her wedding day to know that I am there with her in spirit. She's not wearing a traditional wedding gown and she is not into the bridal regalia, so those little bridal kits are out. I'd like something a little more personal or thoughtful, but I'm out of ideas. She's pretty picky about jewelry, and has the wedding stuff picked out, so that's not an option either. Help, Me-Fis, I need my best friend to know how much I love her!
posted by leitmotif to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about a beautiful nightgown or some lingerie for her to wear on her wedding night (for five minutes at least)?
posted by orange swan at 2:46 PM on March 22, 2014

Seriously, write her a letter. Handwritten, nice stationary, maybe with a framed photo of the two of you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:46 PM on March 22, 2014 [22 favorites]

A cute notebook filled with photos of the two of you through the years, scrapbook memory type things (ticket stubs, brochure cut-outs, etc) if you have saved any, plus handwritten notes and/or full on letter over the pages detailing the memories and what you love about her.

I received such a thing from my closest friends during my bachelorette party, and I can imagine it would be the best thing to receive from a close friend to know they are thinking of you.
posted by atlantica at 3:03 PM on March 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Be smart with the gift. No use in spending $50 additional dollars for shipping to London, when you can have something locally shipped in London.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:41 PM on March 22, 2014

2nding a long, heartfelt, handwritten, meandering letter. Feel free to take several pages and let your thoughts wander, include the toast you give if you were there, make a list of things you have to look forward to together, etc.
posted by amaire at 3:57 PM on March 22, 2014

I'd avoid the letter, actually - on my wedding day (albeit under very different circumstances than you describe) I didn't have time to read a sentimental letter, and I was feeling so emotional myself that I actually stopped my mom and dad from having a sentimental moment with me, on the grounds that I was about to completely weep and mess up my makeup.

I'd go for something cheerful and intensely personal, even funny. Did the two of you have a crazy nigth where you got drunk on some awful liquor? A bottle of that. Or is there some American candy she's been missing while she's in London? A bag of that. Or…the American tabloids, or a waterproof mascara because you think she might be weepy? Or a DVD of that movie the two of you have already watched a million times?

Something that could only have come from you, is what I"m after. May only be worth 50c, but seriously this is all about the sentiment.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:24 PM on March 22, 2014

Videotape yourself squealing over the dress, giving her a pep talk, taking over from awkward family members etc. send it to her with different headings "play me for a pep talk!" Or "play me if you're feeling scared" etc.

And of course videotape a wedding speech to be played at the reception.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:58 PM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love the idea of a set of short videos (like 30 seconds each) of you that she can play for a laugh / a pep talk / a benediction / whatever. You can make them private on Youtube so only she can see, or whatever.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:33 PM on March 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" (is that a UK thing or is it a US thing too?). Only you can know what items would fit those, but it would be fun to use those as a guide and send her 4 items for her day, with that as a little note. One of them is an item of yours she has to bring back to you, the others could be consumable or wearable.
posted by Joh at 5:33 PM on March 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

The best-gal-pals stuff is better suited to the hen party, or the reception. If you want to send something on the morning of the day itself, why not just a beautiful card with a simple message that shows you are thinking of her and celebrating her happiness, but not trying to shift focus to the two of you rather than her and her finance.
posted by freya_lamb at 7:45 AM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yikes...'fiancé' not 'finance'!
posted by freya_lamb at 7:21 PM on March 23, 2014

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