Q. Hi Jordan!
I remember you responding to a reader question about getting wedding gifts outside the registry and you said ‘Meh…not unless you’re really close to the Bride and Groom.’ I totally agree with you, [but] here’s the thing – I am REALLY close to this Bride and Groom. I played matchmaker to my brother and best friend, and voila! 3 years later, they are getting married!
I want to get them a great, special, personal gift, but money is tight (I mean, when is money not tight?!? Do you ever get questions that begin with “I have limitless funds and…”?!) I want the gift to be special, because both of them are so special. Maybe spend between $100-$150, if possible. I decided to Etsy it up, but I guess I don’t have the same skills as you because I got nothin’…so I ask…WWJD, What Would Jordan Do?
A. Hey Kristen!
How cool that your brother and best friend are getting married…that’s SO exciting.
OK, so ordinarily I think that it’s best to stick to the registry (plus a small additional gift if you want to do something more personal)…but you’ve got a totally special case.
My favorite personalized wedding gift is a reproduction vintage map of either the town where the couple met, the town where they live, or the town where they’re getting married. If you put it in a gorgeous frame, that should fall right within your budget constraints (but FYI, if you get it matted and do all that fancy stuff, the price can go up very quickly).
A lot depends on how well you feel like you know their taste – for example, would you feel comfortable getting them a piece of art? I love Larry Carlson’s work; he does digital photo and mixed-media art, and his stuff is pretty reasonable (I bought a gorgeous piece – it’s hanging in our kitchen – at the Union Square Greenmarket for $75).
Also, how crafty are you? You might want to consider something like a hand-knit blanket or a personalized wooden chest (they can keep everything from blankets to photo albums and mementos to baby things in it). You can get beautiful wooden chests on Etsy if you’re not a woodworker, and of course there are tons and tons of cozy, hand-knit blankets for sale – just be sure to pay attention to their color scheme.
You could also do “A Year Of Dates” – come up with one special thing for them to do every month for the first year of their marriage, and arrange it for them. This can be anything from a picnic in the park to a concert to a night at a video game parlor…it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune if you get creative, and I bet they’d be blown away. It’s best to be flexible re: time for most of the events, so that they don’t feel obligated to work their schedules around the dates – for example, you can give them a coupon for a homemade picnic lunch on any weekend in May, and then when they tell you when they’d like to go show up in the morning with a loaded picnic basket and send them on their way.
Let me know what you decide to do!!