Root beer floats + bicycles = best wedding gift ever?
March 18, 2008 12:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me pick out the best wedding gift ever for my almost-husband.

We're getting married in a few weeks, and I want to get him a really awesome gift. He is a photographer, an avid cyclist, a watch/timepiece geek, and loves root beer and chocolate. He doesn't drink, so fancy booze is out. Past gifts that have gone over quite well have been a gift basket of gourmet root beer and snacks, items made from recycled bicycle chains, photography-related items, watches, and Edward Gorey art and books (he's a fan).

So, what I'm looking for, you sexy, smart, and talented Mefites, is an awesome wedding gift, from the bride to the groom, for a really wonderful guy who has pretty much everything he needs and wants as far as his preferences go. I mean, I can just feed him a root beer and some ice cream and he's happy; I need some help finding a creative gift that appeals to one or more of the categories of things that he loves.

We are located in NYC, and local items are a bonus, but online ordering is also fine. Suggestions for making things are also welcome as long as they are small projects that can be easily hidden and don't take much time to complete - we live together, and as you can imagine with an NYC apartment, space and privacy are at a premium, so I can't build him a 6 foot tall sculpture to represent our love. He is, however, at work during the day and I work from home, so something that takes a few hours to make is feasible.
posted by bedhead to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I like timepieces myself, and I would love a wall mountable Berlin Clock.
posted by bigmusic at 12:16 AM on March 18, 2008

Also on the timepiece front, Nixie Clocks are some of the coolest ever.
posted by barnacles at 12:53 AM on March 18, 2008

Maybe a Rootbeer Clock?
posted by amyms at 12:54 AM on March 18, 2008

What is your budget?

Do you cycle? Do you think you understand his cycling? Is road cycling? Long distances? Mountain biking? Urban bike-messengering? Because Velo Orange (outta Maryland) is a purveyor of awesome bikey things, like beautiful fenders, gorgeous luggage, minimalist racks, quality lighting and the like. Not a shill, honestly, I just love their stuff. But you'd have to really know what his thang was, as it were. There's a function and aesthetic involved, and obviously you want this to be extra-special.

I Googled about some, thinking that perhaps there's a world of antique cyclometers that you might delve into, but I'm not finding much older than the 50's (and those seem to go for about $15 on eBay). Pity, as it woulda been nice to target the intersection of bicycle and clockwork.

Nixies are cool, but rather different from watches. Is it the gears and flywheels aspect of watches that turns his crank, or just time itself?

Have you/he ever made root beer? It's really easy to do. Maybe you could mix up a batch at a friend's place, design some labels, and present him with cases of your own special marital root beer. I say a friend's place just because it might be hard to hide the bottles, along with the equipment you used to make and bottle the stuff. Alternately, if you've got a few K to spend, perhaps he'd prefer an in-home carbonated beverage dispensing system.
posted by mumkin at 1:14 AM on March 18, 2008

Does he already own a pocket watch? I got my now-husband a pocket watch with a clear back so all the mechanisms were visible and it's a very neat – as well as full of gears and such. It doesn't take up much space, but he'll have it for a long time (which was important to me).

I also got him a nixie for our first anniversary and it seems to garner him mucho geek cred at work.

Does he have a nice camera bag for his gear? It'd be lovely to get him a really good bag and then sew a label on the inside with a nice note/reminder the size of a fortune cookie message or so that you love him that he sees when he lifts up the flap or similar.
posted by Gucky at 3:17 AM on March 18, 2008

I got a nice watch for my wedding present, but this might be too hard if he is already serious - don't want to get him something he doesn't love but feels obligated to use.
How about an antique mantel clock? It would last forever, and if you get one that chimes, it announces itself.
How about a leatherman or similar multi-tool? Practical, quality and long lasting, plus small enough to pocket on a ride.
My advice would be to stay clear of stuff that will wear out or is too everyday like an appliance. The best gifts are something that is something he would love, but is nicer than he would buy for himself.
posted by bystander at 4:26 AM on March 18, 2008

For some reason, the dual interests of "time" and "images" makes me think "bad ass telescope". Do you have somewhere you can use one?
posted by ersatzkat at 5:44 AM on March 18, 2008

I vote watch. That's what I got my husband for our wedding, and coincidentally, he got for me. I got him a Victorinox Swiss Army one which he had admired long ago. He bought me a Tissot from the same jewelry store from which our rings came. I LOVE it because a.) he picked it out and it's awesome, and b.) I get to use it constantly and think about that moment when we realized we both got each other watches. :) If he already likes watches, is there a special one he has mentioned? If he's a bigger guy, Invicta has some nice choices and you can find sale prices online ($250 normally, $100 on sale). I love my Tissot-- not something you see every day. I also love the pocket watch idea mentioned above.
posted by orangemiles at 5:48 AM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: Budget is negotiable; I wouldn't mind spending a few hundred on the perfect gift.

As for cycling, I am not a cyclist so I don't know too much about it, but he commutes daily on a converted single-speed Spooky with a flip-flop rear hub (fixed on one side, free on the other). He has a nice road bike and a mountain bike (he loves mountain biking, but doesn't get to do it as often as he'd like). So his cycling is a combination of urban commuting, some road cycling, and some mountain biking.

He really digs watches with exposed gears - he has lots and lots of watches, but only one or two really nice ones. Clocks are a good idea, as are pocket watches. He probably wouldn't carry the pocket watch with him daily (see: urban bike commuting, above) but a really nice one where he can see the gears working would probably be something he'd carry for special occasions.

Great suggestions so far, everyone! Keep 'em coming!
posted by bedhead at 6:15 AM on March 18, 2008

An old-school film camera off ebay. Digital is all well and good, but i would love to get a gift like that...
posted by chromatist at 7:11 AM on March 18, 2008

How about cycle accessories? If he likes clock-type things this retro speedometer is quite nifty. Maybe with some swanky gloves...

Bike computers are great too, if he likes digital gadgets.

There's basically cob loads of stuff you can get around cycling. Does he have friends who cycle too? If so they might know about any killer gear he's lusted after.
posted by freya_lamb at 7:12 AM on March 18, 2008

You can do home carbonation cheaply, btw.

Also, getting married to him is a pretty fantastic gift.
posted by mecran01 at 7:13 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've been married for nearly 8 years and the absolute BEST gift my wife ever gave me was a skydiving trip. We went together which made the experience even more incredible. A nice touch would be to get another photographer friend of his/yours to go along and document the entire experience. By the way, congratulations!
posted by stuboo at 7:51 AM on March 18, 2008

Seconding stuboo on giving an experience as a gift. It'd be a little more expensive, but since you'll get to do it as well, you can factor it in that way. Or if you needed time to save up, you can give him a certificate for an experience to redeem on your one-year anniversary.

I've given my husband a cooking class, a weekend canoeing trip, season tickets to the local play company and a fly fishing weekend. He has almost the same interests as your husband-to-be (minus the not loving booze part!) and each of these has, without fail, gone over way better than any material item I've ever given him.
posted by missjenny at 9:06 AM on March 18, 2008

I would try to get him something that ties into photography and you. Does he have access to studio lighting equipment or space? See if you could rent a studio space for a few hours and offer to be his model for the time. That could end up being as vanilla or naughty as you want. Or if that doesn't suit your fancy, get him a really nice piece of portrait gear like a new lens, flash, or something and again offer to model.
posted by Silvertree at 10:15 AM on March 18, 2008

root beer float plushie?
posted by kidsleepy at 11:36 AM on March 18, 2008

A clock made of chainrings?
posted by mingshan at 2:32 PM on March 18, 2008

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