Both wedding newbies and pros have a hard time deciding on what wedding gift to furnish. We all strive to choose the best gift out there but, in reality, we are often left rueing our selection. The psychologist Barry Schwartz explains this doubt as the paradox of choice. We, on the other hand, are here to give you some ideas for wedding gifts, ranging from ones that could be anticipated, to ones found on a couple’s wish list, to the weird gifts out there that would surprise anyone.
Things to Consider
Start by analyzing the bride and groom. Take your time and think about what they have bought together and what vacations they have had. Then write them all down. Try grouping them into categories that make sense to you. Once done, you will notice that a comfort zone emerges. This is your best bet for a wedding gift that is safe and will be appreciated.
Next - your budget for wedding presents. It sounds pretty straightforward but we overlook basic things. If you are the best man or bridesmaid, you should step it up a notch. Their presents should be a bit more substantial, so if you haven’t been chosen for best man or bridesmaid, make sure you don't go over the top and leave room for that special present.
What about sticking to the gift registry? Remember that comfort zone? If the couple in question is laid-back or even conservative, try going for something on the registry. This is a safe bet that will save you a lot of worries and will come in handy for the new family. However, for the adventurous and open-minded ones, you can go with something more outside the box. Keep in mind that these are not set rules. Feel free to bend or completely break them in order to make a gift that will make the couple feel special.
The Usual Suspects
The present that wouldn’t surprise the newlyweds doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. Even kitchen appliances can be a great present in the right situation. Going beyond them, however, guarantees more fun. So dig up some old photographs of the bride and groom, find a good framing shop and make the best personalized gift out there. Get the newlyweds a dinner in a cozy family-owned restaurant that suits their exquisite taste. Just make sure you do your research in order to pick a good spot.
Don't overlook wine tasting opportunities. Even if the couple aren't the biggest fans of wine, this will help them explore and most likely rediscover it. Bistros that offer wine tasting have a romantic atmosphere and make for a nice relaxing night out between the wedding and the honeymoon.
Extra Special Wedding Gifts
These are almost a must for best men and bridesmaids. These are the kinds of gifts that will surprise and it’s up to you whether it’s going to be pleasant or not, so be considerate. Making the newlyweds' honeymoon extra sweet is an excellent idea. Find out where they’re going, what’s there and take action. The dinner will impress them even more if it's in a romantic restaurant under the stars. Alternatively, you can get them one of those retro or instant cameras that are coming back into fashion. Most of them are pretty simple to use and will ensure that the couple records their special time together in a unique way.
If you are the best man, go the extra mile and throw in a day out with the groom. Find a good barber shop and treat yourselves to a stylish trimmed beard. This is an excellent opportunity to get them a nice grooming kit. Grab lunch together. This will give you some time to rehearse the agenda not just for the wedding, but the honeymoon too if you plan it well.
Borderline Weird Gifts
Don’t play this card unless you have shared the idea with a friend and you are convinced that it will work out. Forbes have said it quite well - experiences matter more than possessions. New Yorkers, for example, might not be aware of the trapeze school in their city. A class there is an excellent opportunity to impress your sport-loving friends who don’t mind the adrenaline rush. If NYC seems a bit far, look for similar experiences locally. You’d be surprised by the things you find.
If the new family is moving in together, what better opportunity for some personalized art? Get them a trendy comic book portrait that will give you the opportunity to put them in a superhero situation of your choice. References to memories from the good old days bring a ton of extra points. Also, don’t be afraid to play it a bit safer and split the present into two parts. Personalized jewelry makes for a fine gift for her, especially if you have memorable pictures that they might have forgotten about. The new hubby will surely enjoy something for his man cave.
Whatever you choose, be cautious. References to sensitive moments from the past are a no-no. Go for something you genuinely believe will make them happy. Last of all, don’t forget to spend enough time on writing the card. Think about the message as well as some explanation if you have prepared a more thoughtful gift.