No gifts. That’s what my husband and I stated on our wedding invitations. We’d already been living together for a couple of years before we got married, so there wasn’t really anything we felt we needed once we tied the knot.
Of course, our generous friends and family showered us with beautiful presents anyway. They weren’t your traditional gifts, though. There were no fine china sets, vases, or salad bowls. The gifts we received were personal and came straight from the heart.
What touched me most about all of the special gifts we received was that they were all very representative of who my husband and I are as a couple. Our guests really took the time to learn our love story, consider our personal tastes and passions, and even snoop around in our parents’ old photo albums (more on that later) so they could gift us something truly meaningful.
So, if you’re feeling stumped when it comes to choosing a wedding gift that doesn’t feel generic for a special soon-to-be-married couple, don’t fret. I’ve put together some of the best ideas for personalized gifts for a wedding to inspire you to find the perfect gift for the love birds in your life.
Personalized Keepsake Gifts for a Wedding to Surprise the Happy Couple
Some of my favorite gifts from my own wedding have become precious keepsakes for me and my husband. Little did we know that our families and friends were conspiring to create some of these gifts together!
Months before our wedding, my sister-in-law reached out to friends and family members to gather photos of my husband and me for a beautiful handmade photo album she put together for us. Every time we look at it now, we can’t believe how much love and hard work she poured into the project.
If you want to surprise the bride and groom with a thoughtful keepsake gift that will help keep their wedding day memories alive, here are a few ideas inspired by ones we received at our wedding:
- A childhood photo book: This one is going to require a bit of stealth, but I promise it will be worth all the secrecy when you see the bride and groom’s faces as they open it up. Months before the wedding, reach out to the couple’s families to collect cute and funny childhood pictures of each of them. Once you have all the pics, use an online program like Shutterfly to put together a photo book chronicling the love birds from when they were wee little chicks to when they spread their wings out of their nests and met. They’ll love seeing their once separate lives come together before their eyes as they flip through the pages.
- A “love will find a way” print: This is an especially cool gift if the happy couple is from different states or countries. Find a creative Etsy artist and request they create a custom print mapping their journey to one another. For my wedding, a dear friend gave us a framed print of our home countries (The Czech Republic and Canada) with a little heart on the very cities we were born in. Between the two countries were dotted lines showing where we’d met and the phrase “love will find a way” in cursive. It also had our wedding date and our names on it, which was a lovely touch. I tear up just thinking about it!
- Engraved or embroidered registry items: Some couples have wedding registries for guests to choose gifts from, and if this is the case with your happy couple, there is a way to make a registry gift personal—get it engraved or embroidered with their initials, wedding date, or a sweet message! Engraving a gift turns a generic item into something extra special that will always be linked to their special day. Whether it’s handmade coasters, a throw blanket, or a set of serving spoons, add a personal touch that will bring a smile to their face every time they use it.
Any gift can be a keepsake, really, but I think the important thing is to really put thought into what will be meaningful for the couple. Think of the things they love to do together, the story of how they met, their backgrounds, their values, and then let the creative ideas come to you! My sister-in-law knew that my husband and I both really cherish our childhoods, so having photos from when our lives growing up was the perfect gift for the two of us.
Intangible Personalized Gifts for the Newlyweds
Sometimes, the best gifts are the ones that can’t be put into a package, box, or bag. One of the most meaningful wedding gifts my husband and I received was a trip to our friend’s lake house in Washington state. They let us choose a weekend that worked for us, handed us their keys and a map with directions, and sent us for a quiet post-wedding vacation. When we arrived, we found that they had filled the fridge with yummy food, a beach-themed gift basket, and little chocolates on our pillows!
If you think the soon-to-be married couple would prefer an experience over a material gift, here are a few out-of-the-box ideas they’ll be sure to love:
- A trip to the spa: The gift of relaxation and rejuvenation is just what the newlyweds will need once all the excitement is over. A couple’s massage can be great for relieving tension and restoring the body after a big event. Or, if they love water, a day lounging in mineral baths at a Scandinavian spa or Turkish bath house could be just the ticket.
- A gift certificate to the restaurant where they had their first date: Help the couple keep the romance alive by sending them to the place where the magic began! This is such a sweet gift because it shows that you know the details of their story. Plus, they’ll love reliving their first date and reminiscing about the early days of their relationship.
- A pass or membership to a place they love: Some of the best marriages I see are the ones in which the couple really enjoys spending time together and exploring common interests. Think about what the lovebirds like to do and give them a gift that allows them to pursue it together. Annual passes to their favorite museum, season’s tickets to local baseball games, and a membership to their favorite rock climbing gym are a few stellar ideas.
If you give a non-material gift, be sure to make or buy them a pretty card. In the card, explain why you chose the gift for them and what you hope they will get out of it. They’ll be so excited for the wonderful experience that lies ahead for them!
Last Minute Personalized Wedding Gifts that Won’t Break the Bank
Sometimes it’s little things that make the best gifts. I truly believe that you don’t have to spend a pile of time or money on a wedding gift to make it great. If the cash flow is tight or you don’t have much time before the wedding to find a gift, here are some cheap and cheerful gift ideas that still have a personal touch:
- Matching Mr. and Mrs. mugs to make coffee time super cute
- A decorative box to fill with their wedding memories and keepsakes
- A recipe tin with a few of your favorites and a bunch of blank cards for theirs
- A charitable donation in their name to a cause they care about
If none of these options tickle your fancy, I suggest looking at a wedding gift guide for inspiration. A few minutes of browsing could give you some great ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
No matter what gift you end up getting, the most important thing to remember is not to overthink it or stress too much about it. There can be a lot of pressure to find the perfect wedding present, but remember that the best gift is your presence on the happy couple’s special day.
For more personal Elfster wedding gift ideas for the soon-to-be newlyweds, check out our Happy Couple Gift Guide or start an online gift exchange for a fun and unconventional way to celebrate a bridal shower, bachelorette party, or wedding! You can also connect with Elfster on Facebook, on Twitter @Elfster, or on Instagram @Elfstergram.
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