Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 Wedding Gift Guide

Did you know that June is the most popular month for weddings, followed by August, then September and October? June and August have held the top positions for as long as I can remember, but I think April used to hold September's or October's position. Must be a surge in fall themed weddings. Blame it on Pinterest and pumpkin ideas.

With wedding season upon us, you probably have at least one wedding invitation in hand, if not more. I have been invited to multiple wedding annually since my friends started getting married in the late 90s. This year looks to be no different.

The perennial question then is, what to give? Money is popular, but boring. Or you can buy something that the bride and groom want-something off their registry. What a novel idea!

Or you can give something that is uniquely you, or uniquely them. You can give something they will use forever. You can give something practical or something eye catching.

I should give the caveat that it is helpful to know the couple when straying from the registry. Don't buy them something they will absolutely hate. Pink flamingos are still not a good idea.

We, Barefoot Hippies, were given several wedding gifts that we use on a very regular basis. They are special, or memorable or practical. Every time I use them or see them, they bring the giver back to mind. I think that is awesome.

I have assembled a gift giving guide for you. These are my top 11 picks. It was supposed to be 10, but I miscounted. Consider the 11th a bonus. Maybe this will get your wheels turning for a gift beyond the registry. The price range varies from about $20 to $400. The bigger ticket items make great group gifts if $400 isn't exactly your budget. Some are practical, some are ascetic and some are both.

1. Statement Decorating Piece. (source) This can be anything from candle holders and lanterns to an amazing wall clock or piece of art. Again, here is where it would be good to know the couple. Go with their tastes. But, your gift may be the basis of their future decorating scheme.

2. Thermal Coffee Carafe. (source) Not everyone are devoted coffee drinkers like the Barefoot Hippies, but chances are, everyone will want to serve coffee to guests at some point in time. A thermal coffee carafe makes a much nicer presentation than just plopping your coffee pot on the table.

3. Wine Subscription. (source) NOT a good option for teetotalers. But, actually a very affordable and fun gift. The classic option I linked to came with a red and a white every month, for $21.00. This encourages trying new things, and may come in handy for date nights.

4. Glass Pitcher. (source) This is my go-to wedding gift. This very model. Nowadays registering for china is not as popular as it used to be. People just don't pull out all those stops much anymore. But anyone can use a beautiful pitcher. For guests or for every day. I should buy stock in this line-that is how much I have given them.

5. Mixing bowls. (source) Whether nice ceramic bowls or shiny stainless steel or practical melamine, mixing bowls are amazing. And, I didn't get any. No joke. Me, the cooker girl that I am, ended up with a cheap-o set that came with my first dish drain.

6. Unique Casserole Dish. (source) Again, a couple may not be into cooking, but they may as well have something awesome to put the mac and cheese in.

7. Vase. (source) Rarely registered for, but definitely a winner. I use the vase I was given for our wedding almost weekly. A nice vase is key-for holding all those flowers the groom is going to buy his bride.

8. Luxury Bath Towels. (source) Very little speaks comfort as much as a fluffy towel. Buy a higher grade towel in the colors the couple registered for.

9. Knives. (source) Good quality, sharp knives are not a luxury item, they are a necessity. Very practical gift.

10. Board Games. (source) Every couple needs a game or two for themselves or company. Buy their favorite or yours.

11. Vacuum cleaner. (source) Hoovering is fine household art, and you may as well get a good vacuum. It is worth investing in a Dyson or the like, otherwise the happy couple will be purchasing a new model every couple of years. 

So, that is my all inclusive (snort) gift guide. What are your favorite gifts to bestow on newly weds? What was the best gift you received? How about the worst? Leave me a comment.