Wedding present suggestions for a 22 year-old...
August 13, 2004 1:41 PM   Subscribe

What's a good wedding present for a young person? [MI]

A friend from high school is getting married at the tender age of 22. I'd like to get her something that is useful, not too expensive (<$50) and not your usual run-of-the-mill toaster over or martini glass set. Any suggestions?
posted by sid to Shopping (27 answers total)
Best answer: A really good bottle of whiskey or vodka, quite truthfully, is a great gift. A nice looking bottle they'd never buy themselves.
posted by Peter H at 1:48 PM on August 13, 2004

i gave my friend (who was married at 24) cash as a wedding gift.

it's not the most inventive gift in the world, but he really appreciated it, being that paying the rent, etc, still represented quite a burden in each of their lives.

there are ways to do it that make it a little more inventive than just handing over a jackson, too -- i gave my friend $100 in $1 coins. You might also try to get $25 two dollar bills from the bank, or something similar. Be sure to plan in advance, if you decide to do something like this, because banks don't tend to keep that kind of currency on hand.

i can't think of any other gift that's universally useful to someone who's 22 (and heck, even cash might not be particularly desirable if say, she's got a massive trust fund).
posted by fishfucker at 1:49 PM on August 13, 2004

Money. Everything else is problematic
posted by ParisParamus at 1:50 PM on August 13, 2004

er. that'd be 25 two dollar bills.
posted by fishfucker at 1:56 PM on August 13, 2004

22!? A coupon for a divorce lawyer? sorry. but I'm actually kinda serious. :\

Money. As much as you can give. Or ask them. Be pragmatic and practical, and forget romantic notions. They'll need housewares and stuff, too. So, maybe a coupon for a shopping trip to Big Lots or WalMart.

Hopefully they've already learned the value of a dollar, and have developed suitable tastes, if needed.

The last thing they'll need is a bunch of useless, gifty cruft in their lives, and chances are they could probably use the money in a bad way.
posted by loquacious at 2:01 PM on August 13, 2004

22!? A coupon for a divorce lawyer? sorry. but I'm actually kinda serious.

HA!! absolutely true.
posted by Peter H at 2:05 PM on August 13, 2004

I got married at 22, and money was definitely the most appreciated. Aside from that, practical stuff - do they have a registry? Another cool gift was a big laundry basket filled with cleaning essentials - that stuff gets expensive really quickly. Or find out where they're honeymooning and arrange to pay for a great dinner - that was a nice surprise. Gift cards: grocery, home improvement, or "general," like Target.

Skip the vases and picture frames and such. Nice, but you get a lot of them at weddings anyway.
posted by ferociouskitty at 2:08 PM on August 13, 2004

A helicopter ride.
posted by the fire you left me at 2:14 PM on August 13, 2004

Pizza stone. I've bought it for 3 different weddings now, and it's gone over pretty well each time. $20 or so, you can throw in a nice pizza cutter if you want to spend a bit more.
posted by davebug at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2004

The most luxurious bath towels imaginable.

A set of solidly good cookware.

A Belgian-style wafflemaker. Waffles are god.

A mini-dishwasher, just right for two people, and easy to move from home to home. Or a mini-deepfreezer.

Those kettles that are removable from the powerbase, so there's no cord dangling all over.

A BBQ. Heat output is more important than size. Replaceable parts is also important.

A gift cert for new tires.

Supima cotton 300+ threadcount bedsheets. Or downfill (not featherfill) pillows.

Really good kitchen knives. Or good cutlery.

Raku. You can never go wrong with raku.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:44 PM on August 13, 2004

Are they registered anywhere? That's always a good guide. If not, I'd suggest a gift card for a basic housewares kind of place, like Target, or heck,

I think there's some superstitious thing against giving newlyweds knives.

I second the advice against vases, picture frames, and candlesticks. But often, the best gift is something that the recipient would really enjoy, but never splurge for themselves, so something like really luxurious towels, nicer than what they might spend on themselves, but certainly useful and practical, might be a good bet.
posted by ambrosia at 3:16 PM on August 13, 2004

Speaking from a recently married standpoint (almost 2 months), of all the gifts we got, I appreciated the cash the most. All the checks and cash paid for tuxes, hotel rooms, meals with longlost friends and family, etc. Best of all, it was put to use on the honeymoon to NYC.

Of the real gifts we got, the bar set with glasses, shaker and other tools was much appreciated. Some wine glasses and other drinking devices replaced our inherited glassware. Everyday plates were nice - I go through bowls as if they were candy.

And when in doubt, check their registry. We had many people buy us gifts that weren't on the registry that were, well, either returned, re-gifted, or hidden under things to pull out when company comes over.

(I'd agree to good cookware and other kitchen stuff, but I'm really picky about that, so the registry might be a good idea to follow. But if you had to, a nice cast iron skillet from Lodge that is preseasoned can be a great tool, and dirt cheap.)

May I also recommend asking their parents for advice? We had family friends ask which gift or store to pick from, and appreciated the forethought and interest.

I'm wishy-washy on the gift cards to stores, though.
posted by fijiwriter at 3:38 PM on August 13, 2004

Will the couple be moving into a new place? I nice wedding gift if this is the case - trash can full of cleaning supplies & utensils.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:49 PM on August 13, 2004

Acrylic glasses -- if things get really vicious, you can throw them and they don't break.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:56 PM on August 13, 2004

Donate to a charity in her name.
posted by transient at 6:54 PM on August 13, 2004

Cash. A co-worker spent a lot of money on the wedding and setting up the home. They borrowed (with the credit card) against the money they'd get at the wedding. But they got gifts instead. Deep in debt six years later.

Or a free dinner in town somewhere. If their money is tight (and they don't spend money like no tomorrow) then they get a free splurge which can encourage their budget consciousness.
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:34 PM on August 13, 2004

You could probably give them just about anything. When I was 22, I had nothing, and appreciated whatever I was given. I suspect most 22 year olds are in a similar boat. I would advise that you think useful. Cash, gift certificates, high quality practical items. That way you don't give them something that is not to their taste, and avoid the absurdity of their having say, crystal when they're sitting on the floor due to lack of furniture.
posted by orange swan at 8:58 PM on August 13, 2004 [1 favorite]

A hammock.
posted by Wet Spot at 9:30 PM on August 13, 2004

I'm going through the "friend's wedding" thing now.
Wood salad bowl set for the Bridal shower. Wood lasts forever.
Kinky gift set for the Bachelorette shower.
"1001 Ways to be Romantic" book for the Wedding reception.
posted by sadie01221975 at 9:56 PM on August 13, 2004

Booze. Cash. Dope.

One of the above three will satisfy absolutely anyone. Really. There's no shame in giving cash. Think of it as a material manifestation of your emotional and spiritual support for them and their decision. Visualize all those mob movies where the wiseguys stuff wads of bills in the groom's breast pocket at the wedding. Cash is traditional. Cash is universal. And seriously, $50 will be better remembered than some salad bowls.

You don't have to give the groom little slaps on the cheek and kiss him afterward, unless you're, uh... actually a wiseguy, or something.
posted by scarabic at 10:38 PM on August 13, 2004

Sid, if they have a registry, either give them cash or something from the registry. They registered for a reason, so people know what to get them without duplicates or unwanted items. The wife and I have had to return gifts from our wedding reception and a baby shower because people ignored the registry. It is a pain in the neck to go to ten different stores to return ten different items.
posted by Apoch at 10:55 PM on August 13, 2004

They won't use the breadmaker. The grandmas will give the dinner set. Young people need money!
posted by crunchburger at 11:00 PM on August 13, 2004

posted by Frasermoo at 12:12 AM on August 14, 2004 [1 favorite]

Personally, I wouldn't give money. The kids can always scratch together enough cash or find enough cast-offs to furnish their home with the essentials, but it will be quite a while (I am assuming) until they can afford to splurge on certain high-quality items which, even years later, will still be useful and beautiful. As somebody suggested, great wooden salad bowl, or a Calphalon pot, a down comforter, or fabulous teapot. Anything that's useful and so nice that it just adds pleasure to daily life.

Also, five fresh fish mentioned a cordless kettle. I can't believe I ever went without one of these things. It's one of the few appliances that I use every single day, and you can find one in every price range.
posted by taz at 12:55 AM on August 14, 2004

posted by Kwantsar at 2:58 AM on August 14, 2004

If you want to give livestock, please do it through Heifer International, a charity that seems to have its head on straight when it comes to helping third-world folk get out of the hole.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:13 AM on August 14, 2004

If they don't need the money (first choice...) then figure out what their favorite charety is and make a donation in the name of the couple. They'll appreciate it.


P.S. I know I misspelled "charety" up there but the spell checker is down...
posted by pwb503 at 7:10 PM on August 15, 2004

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