What more does the
girl want--wasn't that diamond ring enough? Yes, that's right you're
expected to produce numerous gifts throughout this whole being
engaged/getting married process. Start saving you money for . . .
You many want to send your friend or
the happy couple something right after finding out that they're engaged
or wait until the engagement party, if there is going to be one.
(Actually, according to etiquette guides, guests should not bring gifts
to an engagement party. But since most people don't make a habit of
reading etiquette books . . . that doesn't mean gifts aren't expected.)
If you sent a gift immediately upon hearing of the engagement and a party
then follows, you are not required to bring another gift. Some possible
engagement gifts are:
- A bottle of champagne and glasses.
- A picnic basket filled with picnic gear.
- A subscription to bridal magazines.
- A blank scrapbook to document the
- A wedding planner.
- A manicure-now that everyone's looking at
her hand she'll want to keep those cuticles trimmed.
- Gift certificates.
- Wedding planning books.
- Send flowers.
- A vase.
- A donation to a charity that has special
meaning for the couple (visit our partner site, MarriedForGood.com,
Getting What She Wants
Registering is a common procedure where the couple selects the gifts they
want from certain stores and the stores keep updated lists of what has
been purchased, so there arenít any duplicate gifts. This is probably the
only time in one's life when it is acceptable to request a $500 set of
knives. Most stores now offer access to a couple's registry and the
ability to order gifts on-line or can fax you the gift registry. Of
course, you can always go to the store and pick something out in person.
Itís easiest to have the gift sent directly to the couple and most stores
will even take care of shipping for you.
Keep in mind that people register
because they want specific things. (Yes, she really wants those
fruit-shaped everyday dishes and the Great Buildings of the World potholders.)
It doesn't show a lack of creativity or thought to order a gift from the
registry. That being said, some of you may want to branch out and on your
own, so here are a few suggestions for the independent gift-giver:
- Bottle of fine wine from a particular year
(the year the couple met, the year of their wedding).
- Bottle of great champagne.
- Wine holder with several bottles of wine
and notes indicating that they're for 1, 5, 10, 20 year
- Gift certificate for an activity-hot air
ballooning, helicopter ride, weekend at a bed and breakfast, dinner
at a great restaurant, theatre tickets, swing dancing classes, etc.
- A maid (couples always fight about
- Personalized scrapbook about the couple.
- If you've got talent . . . a special poem or
song written for the couple or a painting of/for them.
- A subscription to the dessert of the month
club-keep the treats coming!
- Pool your resources with some friends and
go in on a big screen TV or new stereo-something you can enjoy when
you go over to their place.
- A beautifully framed photograph.
- Gift certificate to an erotic/adult store.
Keep the magic alive.
- Magazine subscriptions.
- A picnic basket with a blanket, dishes,
and some fancy food/wine.
- A honeymoon kit: books on the location,
things they might need such as sunscreen, travel dictionary.
SHOWER VERSUS WEDDING
Frequently, the theme of the bridal
shower will dictate your gift (click here
for great bridal shower ideas). In any case, it is completely
acceptable and probably almost expected that you will give shower gifts,
as well as wedding gifts, from the registry unless the theme of the
shower prevents it. For example, no one registers for a black leather bra
and panty set, however, at a lingerie shower this suddenly becomes an
acceptable gift. As with wedding gifts, if you have a great non-registry
gift, you should feel free to give it at the shower. The most important
thing is that you give a thoughtful gift . . . that's returnable so that
she can complete her set of silver after the wedding. Just kidding.
Sometimes you'll be asked to bring a
gift for the wishing well at a shower. These are small inexpensive ($5 -
$10) random items, typically small housewares such as a can opener, a
spatula, a pizza cutter . . . you know the all stuff that little girls
wish and hope for-Mr. Right and a slotted spoon. It's a little-known fact
that right after Prince Charming slid the glass slipper on Cinderella's
foot, he provided her with a melon-baller and an ice-cream scooper of her
very own. Now that's romantic.
But wait! You might just get a present
too . . .
GIFTS FOR BRIDESMAIDS
Good news-it's also traditional for
the bride to give all of her attendants special presents!
You've flown all the way across the
country for her, you're wearing a pink taffeta ball gown for her, you've
even agreed to dance with her13-year old cousin at the reception . . .
you'll feel appreciated when she presents you with a little something
special. You'll almost forget all about that $80 that you shelled out on
those uncomfortable dyed-to-match shoes. Things you might get include: a
sterling silver key chain, jewelry box, picture frame, jewelry that you
can wear to the wedding, a day at a spa, a vase, candle and holder,
scrapbook, a purse to use at the wedding (and hopefully beyond), a book,
a hair accessory, gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure, bottle of
champagne/wine, or luxurious bath products.