May 6, 2009
Picking the perfect wedding gift that is both useful and pleasing to the couple can be a difficult task. Once upon a time, a bride prepared for marriage by filling a hope chest with hand-sewn linens. Today, couples traditionally register for gifts, mainly household items. One rule of etiquette that has not changed is that the couple should never mention gifts on their wedding invitations.
If you're at a loss for an appropriate gift, Emily Post has a few ready suggestions:
For the couple just starting out:
- Carving set
- Microwave cookware
- Food processor
- Mirror for entry or hall
- Crystal vase
- Set of folding tables on rack
- Wooden salad bowl
- Large pepper grinder or salt-and-pepper set
- Items of the silver or china selected by the bride and groom
Second-marriage gifts, for couples who have already set up house:
- A plant, tree, or shrub
- A selection of fine wines or champagnes,
- A picture frame containing a meaningful picture
- Ceramic or copper molds for cooking or decorating
- A painting or print (if you know their tastes)
- If either one has small children, sitter service for a specified period (either yourself or hired)
How Much Does the Thought Count?
We asked readers of The Old Farmer's Almanac to share stories of wacky wedding gifts they received. Here are a few:
- A yard ornament that reeked of mothballs, from an older couple who are friends of our parents. It must have been a “re-gift” from their own wedding.
- A bottle of Jim Beam whiskey and two glasses. I wondered if the guests thought that we were alcoholics or that my husband would need a stiff drink after the wedding!
- A life-size statue of a seagull. Where do you display such an item? In a dark space in the closet where no one can find it!
The 1997 Old Farmer's Almanac