Wedding gift for my BFF?
July 4, 2014 10:12 AM   Subscribe

One of my best friends is getting married to a totally fantastic awesome guy. They already live together and don't have a registry yet. We are all artsy types (read: broke). I want to get them a kick-ass gift. Drown me in ideas, hive mind!

My friend is an amazing cook but she has a pretty well-stocked kitchen already. We both enjoy puns, especially stupid ones. They are musicians. They like board games. Not super sporty. I'm thinking maybe super fancy kitchen knives, but I don't know of any, so recommendations for that is welcomed too.
posted by atetrachordofthree to Shopping (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I made my friends a book of quotes, cartoons, and poems on the subject of love, outdated advice on marriage, and messages from all of their loved ones. Admittedly it was quite a bit of work and you have to be pretty close to a couple in order to get the tone right, but to this day I'm pretty sure it was the best gift I've ever given as a wedding guest.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:19 AM on July 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Depending on when the wedding is, could you video-record couples of all ages who are close to the couple giving their advice on keeping a happy marriage alive? Sometimes you see this happening at the ceremony itself but doing it in advance would allow the recordees to prepare better.

Or you said you both enjoy puns -- how about a book of crowd-sourced marriage puns with pictures from each friend who submitted them?

Is there a type of cuisine your friend loves that she doesn't know how to prepare, that you could buy classes for?

Are they planning on a registry? If they have one, just sticking to the registry could also be a good bet. From personal experience, the wedding experience is so crazy and busy that I didn't really have enough energy or time to focus on any one person's gift and people who spent a ton of time vs. people who just got something off the registry got the same amount of good-feeling from me. In that vein, paying for massages a couple days before the wedding ceremony might be a cool gift too. As will just being a supportive friend during the wedding itself -- helping with prep, allowing your friend to vent, volunteering for extra tasks, etc.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:47 AM on July 4, 2014

Give them a West Bend 2-Slice Egg and Muffin Toaster.

I have one and it always impresses my guests. Your egg(s) cook while your toast toasts, everything is ready at the same time. It's super yummy and quirky.
posted by myselfasme at 10:57 AM on July 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

A food dehydrator
posted by parmanparman at 11:21 AM on July 4, 2014

I came across some cool cutting boards on Etsy just yesterday, and was thinking of that for some friends of mine who are getting married soon too. They custom engrave designs (think "Bob + Sally 8-9-14"). If you're creative, you can create the design you want. I haven't investigated enough to link to any particular shop, but a quick google search will get you started.
posted by hydra77 at 11:52 AM on July 4, 2014

Custom paint some plates for them. That way they will use your gift all the time. It's cheap and quite fun if you do it with a bunch of other people and you reserve the shop and drink wine.

Bought gifts just become things over time. Custom made things from friends become treasures.
posted by srboisvert at 12:17 PM on July 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are there thrift shops where you live? I often see beautiful china, sometimes very expensive originally, for cheap. Same with crystal, and sometimes silverplated cutlery. Your gift is taking the time to find something special that may be affordable.
posted by theora55 at 12:31 PM on July 4, 2014

Since they live together, their first year might not feel as special as if they were just moving in with each other so maybe items in amounts that makes sense for their first year - 12 bottle of wine, 12 gift cards to 12 different coffeeshops in their city so they can have a new place to go each month and grab some coffee (or 12 restaurants depending on how much you want to spend).
posted by dawkins_7 at 1:11 PM on July 4, 2014 [6 favorites]

Do they have any cast iron/Le Creuset cookware? I get so much use out of my dutch oven, although sadly it's not nearly as high quality as the kind of stuff Le Creuset makes. Granted, this kind of cookware is very expensive, but maybe a group of you could go in on the present. If it were me, I would much rather get one high quality, very useful gift as opposed to a bunch of cheaper, small things with limited utility.
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:30 PM on July 4, 2014

Since you mention that you're artsy and the couple likes board games:

Two friends of mine got married, a bunch of their other friends worked together to make a custom edition of the couple's favorite board game, one that they also often played with the group of friends, with their interests and in-jokes reflected in it. To this day one of those friends refers to the board game as her most prized possession. It went over so well that they did the same thing (but with even higher production quality) for another member of the group who got married a few years later.
posted by phoenixy at 4:16 PM on July 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

As a variation on phoenixy's board game idea: how about Making a board game about them? Starting square is when they were single; then it moves through when & where they met, stuff they like or do together; their engagement; the lead up to the wedding and of course happy-ever-after.
posted by easily confused at 4:41 PM on July 4, 2014

They are musicians and your name suggests that you might be too...if there are other musicians in your circle of friends, perhaps organize a "We Are The World"-style recording session of a song you write about them?

But I like the kitchen knife idea too, a lot. I think fondly and often of the old boyfriend who gave me my set.
posted by lakeroon at 5:05 PM on July 4, 2014

If they drink alcohol, barware can be a really fun thing to buy for foodies. You could go with something like a unique kitschy vintage martini set (usually available in totally decent and affordable shape from many a local antique shop), or else you could go classic with a quality wine decanter, special bottle of whiskey, or wine/champagne that is suitable to either enjoy immediately or to age. Champagne flutes, quality/engraved flasks, or even mixing classes or tasting experiences - there are lots of specialty items that can all be sourced locally on the cheap.
posted by juliplease at 11:16 PM on July 4, 2014

I made my best friend a framed cross-stitch design last year, and am doing another one for another friend as it was so well-received. You can get patterns for not too much online, then find embroidery thread cheap on ebay. They can be personalised with the couple's name and the date etc.
posted by Dorothea_in_Rome at 1:04 PM on July 5, 2014

Cards Against Humanity? Possibly a personalized version, with in jokes from your group interspersed? I know they make blank cards.
posted by mazienh at 7:47 PM on July 5, 2014

My very best gifts have always been ultra-nice versions of things people use every day. For example: towels. SUPER NICE towels are so much more expensive than regular towels that most people never buy them for themselves, but they are definitely within the range of "this is a reasonable amount of money to spend on a present." And then, you've made a palpable tactile difference in a part of their daily routine.
posted by KathrynT at 9:41 AM on July 6, 2014

I got friends antique maps of the cities they had lived in together before getting married. You can often get interesting late 19th century maps off Ebay for around $30. Basic custom frames ( or are another $30 or so.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:41 AM on July 7, 2014

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