Let’s talk wedding gift ideas. Sure, nine times out of ten, you’re probably popping a check in an envelope with the cutest seriouslysofun card you could find at Papyrus. Or, ordering that thing from that one place (yawn) off the wedding registry and putting all your creative effort into the prettiest gift wrap you can find at Target. Yes, it’s semi-heartbreaking not being able to buy that heart-shaped Le Creuset Dutch oven for your to-be-wed babes. That would be nice, but so is being respectful of your friends’ actual wants and needs.
But then, there are those golden times when it’s all up to you. The couple is blasé about the gifts, couldn’t be bothered with a registry (or it’s all been snapped up, weee!), and doesn’t really need the cash, tbh. (You know—those friends.) Those times when it’s socially sanctioned and actually downright encouraged to get any gift we want? To get daydreaming on the coolest wedding gift ideas on the planet? GET IN, WE’RE GOING SHOPPING.
We’re not going totally hog wild here (I left that to the bridal shower gift roundup), so we’re going to try to stick mainly with items to help the couple build up their “new home,” as tradition goes. After all, even if they’ve been living together for a decade, chances are they don’t yet have a pair of ultra-luxe, sleek-AF, Scandi pepper and salt grinders that are basically works of art. Or hand-hammered brass serving spoons. Or a cooking pot with a little piggy for a handle! And they need it, obviously. I’ve also included travel-themed items, because honeymoon! And wanderlusting life together!
And then of course, there are just the Fun and Awesome Wedding Gift Ideas. But a warning: These may not apply well to some, or even most, friends. But if you do have that one couple in your life that actually would appreciate the magic of getting an absurdly expensive duo of action figures that look just like them, trust us, no amount of Farberware is going to top that in their book. You just won the gift-giving game. *high five*
Now, let’s shop. (And if you’re still building your own registry, boy do I have some ideas for you.)
Wedding gift Ideas for the kitchen
Take your friends’ kitchens to the next level with all those things they want to buy but never actually do, AKA blossom bundt pan, designer Smeg appliances, and OMG: Cheese. Vault.
Blossom Bundt Pan via Nordicware ($40)
This pan takes the idea of a plain bundt cake and makes it 1,000% more beautiful and seductive. That’s right. I said a seductive bundt cake.
Picnic Time Picnic Basket Set via Amazon ($139.95)
Planning the perfect picnic? Go all out and bring along the perfect picnic basket set. Stand out in a sea of sub par picnic basket.
A local CSA membership! Like Chelsea CSA in New York City, which runs ($17–$24 per week)
CSA deliveries are like a present full of vegetable and fruit surprises delivered to your home. Weekly. For a great rate.
Walnut Compost Bin via Food52 ($175)
You may think you need a compost bin, but have you ever seen a compost bin that looks this beautiful? Probably not. Okay, definitely not.
Smeg Dolce & Gabbana kettle via Neiman Marcus ($600)
Give me a B! Give me an ‘eautiful’! Because that’s how you describe this artful kettle from SMEG.
Smeg Vintage Chrome Toaster via Crate and Barrel ($149.99)
Sometimes you don’t want your toaster to be able to cook an entire roast chicken and bacon at the same time. Sometimes you want your toaster to just make damn good toast.
Cast-Iron Cocotte via Sur La Table ($319.95)
There are people that say you don’t need a cast iron cocotte by Staub. Those people have never owned and used a cast iron cocotte by Staub.
Wooden Sauté Utensils via Earlywood Designs ($35)
Make your regular wooden utensils of these new wooden saute utensils. Shhh, they’re not only minimalist and utilitarian, they’re also elegantly modern.
Glass Tea Pot via Amazon ($59.95)
Stop messing around with those single serving tea diffusers. Go big time and get yourself an entire pitcher tea diffuser.
Cultivate Hawaii Tea Towels via Owens & Co. ($18)
Move away from the staid floral prints on your tea towels. Get these and fill your kitchen with gnarly colorful radness.
Cheese vault via Food52
Good cheese is a national treasure no matter which nation you’re talking about. They need to be adored, protected, and eaten. Get several of these cheese vaults and you can make little cemetery of cheeses. Trust me it’s a thing.
Lavender Provence Le Creset Cocotte via Saks Fifth Avenue ($200)
Plain round shape cocottes have nothing on this flower shaped one. ALSO, it’s purple.
Luxe DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima Machine via Best Buy ($595)
You NEED an espresso machine for your home, and your office, and probably your car. Go ahead, buy three of these.
Wedding gift Ideas for the HOME
Your friends are married, so why would you let them continue existence with a buffet that isn’t a carved woodland creature, or sans diffuser spouting NYC fashion folks’ fragrance du jour, Le Labo Santal 26? I mean, don’t you love them? (Price points, um, vary.)
Animal Carved Buffet via Anthropologie ($2,998)
If I had one of these in my house I would name the deer Horace and every morning I would tell Horace that he is a good boy, and then thank him for holding up that end of the buffet.
Custom Illustrated Portrait Art via Rifle Paper Co. ($350)
You can have these prints from Rifle Paper Co. customized with your names or the names of other people if you’d like. Or even the names of your pets. They probably deserve this more than you anyway.
Salt and Pepper Bottle Grinder set via Food52 ($75–$140)
Stop using those one-time temporary non-refillable salt & pepper grinders from the grocery store. Elevate your salt & pepper grinding to an art like the nouveau modern adult that you are.
Brass tea set via Third Drawer Down ($92.39–$250.22)
If it’s good enough for Gatsby then it’s for sure good enough for you right? I’m not saying Gatsby used a brass tea set but if he did it could’ve looked like this one.
Sateen Sheet Set via Parachute ($109–$149)
I know you’ve been tempted by those cheap-o t-shirt fabric sheet sets in the past. They feel so soft and comfortable. Don’t believe it! You don’t want cheap-o bedding, you want luxurious bedding!
Bamboo Bluetooth Speakers via Amazon ($199.99)
Did you know that Bamboo actually makes music sound so much better? I don’t know about that either but these speakers are probably more elegant than the rubber and plastic ones you were considering.
Forged Brass Serving Set via Terrain ($128)
You may not think that having a forged brass serving set will be the catalyst to a life time of fabulous parties. But maybe you need to reset your thinking.
Custom Constellation Map via Craft Oak ($60)
Remember when you were a kid and you wanted those glow in the dark star stickers to put on your ceiling? Well this is the adult version of that.
Metal, Wood, and Leather Bar Cart via Target ($119.99)
Sure you might have all of the essential ‘bar tools’ to make those very special cocktails from that book you own. But if you don’t have a bar cart, can you even say you’re serious about making drinks?
Framed untitled Rothko print via MoMA Design Store ($200)
It’s not just black and white clouds on a pink sky. It’s art and you love it and want it.
Smoke Grey Coupe Cocktail Glass via CB2 ($4.95)
You want a martini glass that looks like a martini glass and is a BIG martini glass. Like this one.
TRAVEL-THEMED WEDDING GIFTS
Honeymoons are only the beginning of a life of destination-hopping (hopefully), so they’ll definitely need a set of swank luggage + all the travel tips. Here are our best wedding gift ideas for the traveler (or aspiring globetrotter) in your life.
The Alchemist Metallic Luggage via Steamline Luggage ($230–$630)
This is not just for steampunk or anachronism enthusiasts. This is also for you because you like belts, and buckles, and old (looking) things.
Aluminum Carry-On Luggage with Battery via Away ($495)
Some people don’t like suitcases that double as a battery charger for your phone. Some people don’t like suitcases that are useful and nearly indestructible. You are not those people.
The New York Times’ 36 Hours: USA & Canada via Taschen ($40)
There are 150 weekend trip itineraries in this book and even if you only complete 56 of them, you won’t regret it.
Treats as wedding gifts
It’s always a good time for treats, but weddings call for a very special brand of them, like panettone from America’s resident panettone master or, the obvious: 100 oysters. (Imagine your friend’s face when they get this gift and try not to immediately rush out and order them.)
Moscow Mule Gift Crate via Olive and Cocoa ($98)
If you’re running low on Moscow Mule supplies than you definitely want to get this gift crate to restock, replenish, and start drinking again.
Gold Champagne Marshmallows via Wondermade ($24)
The USDA doesn’t think that gold is an appropriate part of the food pyramid, but what do they know about our basic needs as human beings?
Adopt an Olive Tree Gift Box and Subscription via Food52
I think once you adopt an olive tree, you can officially add Olive Oil Vineyard owner to your list of job titles.
Olympia Provisions Pickle of the Month Club via Food52 ($195)
Don’t think about all of the tiny little bowls and plates you’ll need to buy, think about all of the great and varied pickled foods you’ll get to eat.
100 Island Creek Oysters via Food52 ($150)
Living by the ocean has it’s benefits. But now you don’t need to live by the ocean to eat fresh oysters tomorrrow.
OTHER WEDDING GIFT Ideas
Hi, fellow weirdos and eccentric-gift-givers: Welcome to your section of wedding gift ideas! Where we have custom-made perfume, online photography classes from Annie Leibovitz and, well, backgammon. (Yes!)
Custom Fragrance via Waft ($79–$99)
Custom fragrances used to be the only way to go. Everything was custom and nothing was mass produced by machines that one day will rule the world. Go back to those days when machines didn’t rule the world and order a custom fragrance.
A Class from Masters like Annie Leibovitz via Masterclass ($90–$160)
Learn how to finally use your camera to make artful masterpieces like the ones that Annie Leibovitz has been making for 50 years. Yeah, you’ll be able to do all that and more. Probably.
His and Hers Matching Leather Jackets! via Wilsons Leather ($80–$695)
You can be matchy-matchy if you want but these matching jackets will also allow you to be matchy-not-cheesy.
Title of Scottish Laird, Lord, or Lady and a Mini Plot in Scotland via Highland Titles ($46–$770)
We all want to be royalty and now you can finally BE royalty.
Colorful Backgammon Set via MoMA Design Store ($89)
Forget chess, backgammon is the game of kings and strategy. Now it’s also the most colorful game of kings and strategy.
Love Letters of Great Men via Amazon ($29.95)
We all know that you can send emojis and they have the same impact as any words you could ever write. Right? Of course not.
Custom Illustrated Stationery via Rifle Paper Co. ($85–$280)
Don’t just settle for the stock stationary from the bargain bin at the big box retail store. This is your name, and your business, and you deserve the best.
What’s the best wedding gift you received? And if you’re in a situation where you can buy off registry, what’s your favorite wedding gift idea?