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Wedding Gifts: Think Outside the Registry

by Dana Miller

Dana is the author of the blog, House*Tweaking, where she shares the never-ending journey of transforming her underdog house into a stylish and livable home. Recently, she quit her reputable job as a pharmacist to be a stay-at-home mom and pursue a career in design. Her handy hubby is her sidekick and they have three young kiddos who keep things interesting—and LOUD.

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    Photo: Waringis
  • Summer is wedding season. My sister is getting married later this summer and I've been thinking about what to gift her and my future brother-in-law. Of course, there are always needed/desired items listed on the registry and I plan to gift them something from their list of must-haves. But I like to give a little "surprise" gift, too. Something not on the official wedding registry. Something unique, thoughtful, non-traditional.

  • 1. Encourage the happy couple to keep anniversary journals. 

    In the past, I've gifted blank journals to the bride and groom. I include a note telling how my own husband and I keep anniversary journals. Each year when our wedding anniversary rolls around, we take a little time to recap the year and make note of special events, funny things or whatever we want to remember about that year. Then we exchange journals and read each other's entries. It's a great way to stay connected and focus on the things that matter most.

  • wedding gift idea
    Photo: Abadova

    2. Give a paper-made gift to be opened on the bride and groom's first anniversary. 

    Another idea is the "don't open until your first anniversary" gift. The traditional first anniversary gift is something made of paper. What about a tabletop star made from paper to put on display in the newlyweds' home? They can open it on their first anniversary and keep it for years to come. Of course, any item made of paper would work.

  • wedding gift idea

    3. Celebratory wine for the lovebirds!  

    If the bride and groom are wine lovers, you can ask around to find out what their favorite brands are. Include a bottle or two with their registry gift to be enjoyed on their honeymoon or ten years down the road.

  • 4. Put together a game-themed gift. 

    Marriage is not the end of fun! Many couples like to entertain and host game nights. Create a game night-themed basket that includes various games, a deck of cards, popcorn, pencils, and a gift card to a local pizza joint. If you're lucky, maybe you will be invited to play!

  • wedding gift idea

    5. A homeowner's guide for the newlyweds is a gift that keeps on giving. 

    Finally, if the newlyweds are also going to be new homeowners, how about a fix-it-yourself guide? Not only will you be saving the happy couple money (they won't have to call in professionals for DIYable repairs) you might just save their marriage. Kidding! Sort of.

    What are you gifting this wedding season?

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