It’s wedding season! Hurray! It’s that magical time of year when brides and grooms say “I do” and head into their happily ever after. They’ve been showered with gifts, partied like rock stars, and been toasted and roasted by their best friends and favorite relatives. And after the honeymoon, if they’re lucky enough to get to take one, they’ll be at home with all of their shiny new toys they registered for when they were newly engaged and clueless, joyfully shooting targets with those handy little guns at Target, or Bed Bath and Beyond, or Crate and Barrel.
And in a few years, they’ll realize that half of what they registered for, and maybe purchased with gifts cards is useless and unnecessary. I struggle during wedding season, waffling between giving the happy couple what I think they really need, and giving them what THEY THINK they really need. I usually cave. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that most of the wedding gifts I’ve given over the years have ended up in their first garage sale.
So if you’re like me, and would LIKE to give them something functional that they’ll still use or something beautiful to show off for years to come, read my advice:
Here’s some things NOT to give:
- Decor that’s really trendy. Seriously. Remember avocado green everything in the 70’s and blue geese in the 80’s and mauve bunny rabbits in the 90’s? I’m just gonna leave that one right there.
- Think seriously about small appliances. They take up so much space, and hardly get used. For example: Food Processors, Soda Streams, milkshake makers, juicers etc.
- Electronics – how many electronic items have come and gone in the 35 years we’re been married? Televisions, radios, dvd players, vcr players…..etc. etc. I’ve seriously lost count.
Now that that’s out of the way, Here’s my suggestions:
- Crystal pieces. Classic and beautiful and never goes out of style. I still have and use a beautiful crystal vase, crystal pitcher and crystal bowl I received as wedding gifts. Some of the ladies who gifted me with those items are in heaven, but I remember them whenever I use them!
- Beautifully simple objects like candle holders or frames. Remember to stay away from “trendy” and think simply. This lovely blown glass votive holder was given to me on my wedding day. I still remember opening it! It’s traveled all over Texas and Arkansas and Oklahoma and was one of the first things I always unpacked. It’s now at home in Louisiana! Thanks Chris!
- If you’re going to give linens, think neutral: White or Ivory. And give quality!
Now for the practical ideas:
- Cookware. You can’t beat a good old fashioned cast iron skillet! Stove top or oven, it’s the best!
- Utensils: Measuring cups and spoons, whisks, wooden spoons, spatulas etc. I still own and use the wooden spoons my sister gave me as a wedding gift. I am now using my Mom’s measuring cups, because mine started breaking after 30 plus years! The garlic smasher and the microplane are two of my favorite kitchen gadgets. (Lemon juice and garlic are a heavenly combo!) Kitchen shears are a must! And I just love my little whisk from Pampered Chef. The cookie scoop delivers perfectly sized scoops of cookie dough for evenly baked cookies. A good quality chef’s knife will last for years. A really good quality waiter’s wine bottle opener will come in handy too. Don’t waste your money on one of those rabbit gizmos. Trust me.
- Food storage: Glass and pyrex people! Please don’t give plastic. Just don’t. Even if she asks for it. Just don’t. It’s bad for the environment, not safe to microwave in and will eventually end up in the trash. Yuk!
- Other basics: mixing bowls, good quality baking sheets and multi purpose casserole dishes. It’s a no-brainer if the bride’s registered dishes come with baking pieces.
- Small appliances they DO need: Coffee Maker, Toaster, KitchenAid mixer, and a Crockpot. I used my Crockpot for almost 30 years until I broke the lid. Everybody needs a Crockpot. (and now I use my Mom’s, and it’s about 30 years old too)
And finally I leave you with this. Weddings are wonderful, and beautiful. But I think too many people get so focused on “the wedding” they forget what it’s about. It’s more than a photo op and a beautiful cake. It really is about living forever with the person God sent you. Love takes action every single day. You will wonder how in the world this person can possibly still love you when you’re grouchy or you keep gaining weight or look like something the dog pooped on when you wake up in the morning. You’ll cry when your nest is suddenly empty. You’ll grieve together as your parents and loved ones pass away. But, you will laugh, hopefully often. So get ready to ride the roller-coaster of life, throw your hands in the air and enjoy the ride!
With love from John’s bride.