In general, we are big believers in the wedding registry. People have told you what they want for their wedding or engagement; it’s a good idea to listen. We all have a story of some well-meaning person who bought something that, sorry, was regifted almost immediately. But it’s also true that the best gifts are often those we didn’t register for; those we didn’t know how much we’d love. To wit, we present our list of unique wedding or engagement gifts, but these are gifts the couple will actually use and remember.
1 - A gift that gets better with age
Photo: Label with Love, via Etsy
While wine can be a cliché hostess gift, adding these labels makes a case of wine a truly special wedding gift. We love the idea of a wine for a wedding because it suggests longevity. But also, by attaching personalized labels, you’re painting the picture of the beautiful milestones they’ll share together, from “Buying our first home,” “Birth of our first born,” “Getting our kid into college,” “First date night post baby.” If your handwriting is better than ours, you can write them yourself. Or, check out these pre-printed ones we found. Just make sure you consult your local wine merchant to make sure the vintage you’re buying can stand the test of time.
2- For their wedding memories.
Savor’s elegant wedding keepsake box provides that one-stop place to preserve, organize, and enjoy your memories. Because these handcrafted, custom-dyed book cloth boxes look like coffee table books, they’re beautiful to display and look through. The “books” hold folders and drawers that can be customized with individually illustrated labels that guide you in what’s worth keeping. It’s heft and craftsmanship show it’s a gift that’s built to last a lifetime and be handed down to the next generation. Detail we love: Check out the first anniversary surveys for couples to fill out and seal in included envelopes for reading on a future date.
3- Monogrammed pillows, bedding, or towels
Photo: Mark and Graham
Especially if the couple is changing or sharing a name, monogrammed linens mark the transition clearly. Plus, for many of us, getting non-hand-me-down or luxury linens feels like an adult thing to do. Precisely because most folks don’t splurge on such luxuries for themselves, it’s a perfect gift.
4- For the couple who travels, a way to mark the memories
Photo: Conquest Travel
In those pre-kid days, we considered ourselves itinerant wanderers. This world map would have been a wonderful way to plan our next getaway and reflect on the places we’d shared together. The slate color matches almost any décor. And we love the clever “Yet to Explore” pins that help us plan out our wish list.
5- For the couple who entertains
Photo: Junglee New York
I know it seems less romantic than some of the other gifts on this list, and maybe some people already register for it. For us a big part of married life is entertaining people at our home. Our ice bucket gets a lot of use. But when I was registering, I don’t think I would have chosen to have a nice one, and I certainly wouldn’t have splurged to get one on my own. These from Tina Frey are gorgeous, and, really, we could just say anything from Tina Frey would make an elegant, unique wedding gift.
6- For the gamers (or even the non-gamers)
These handcrafted four across games are carved from birch and are suitable for display. Each is custom-made in North Carolina and can be personalized so the wedding couple regularly remembers their special day. And make no mistake: No one can resist a good Connect Four game. This is one of those wedding gifts that is both beautiful and would actually get used all the time.
7- For the foodie
Photo: by Mouth
We aren’t the biggest fans of the whole subscription box thing (yes, apparently, we’re the only ones who aren’t.) But the range of choices and the quality of artisanal foods from Mouth make it a big exception. It’s the gift that gives all year. These can be pricey, but it’s a perfect gift from a bunch of people, like the folks at the office, to go in on together.
8- A romantic evening
A night in a local hotel room or dinner for two at a restaurant you know they’ll love, which allows a treat without the guilt of the expense, makes a wonderful wedding gift. Especially when you know their favorite spot, this shows a personal touch that impresses.
9-Nothing better than homemade
Even if you don’t have a ton to spend, sometimes the most valuable gift to a young married couple is time. A home-cooked meal – or better yet a series delivered every other month – whether it’s a lasagna or a brisket, can be a lifesaver. This allows them some quality time over dinner instead of throwing something together or having yet another takeout meal. (And you can repeat this one when the first baby arrives!)
10-A portrait of the couple
Photo: Happy Bear Design
Art is usually recommended as a unique wedding gift for a couple, but we love the ones that capture the memories of the couple themselves. Etsy has a ton of personalized portraits in a range of styles for often very affordable prices. They’ll even let you include the family pet!