Thoughtful Wedding Gifts

Why not take advantage of the lazy days of August and do some present-planning for the future? With several friends getting married this fall, I’ve got wedding gifts on the brain, and I bet I’m not the only one.

While the Registry is the ultimate go-to Gift Guide, there are certain instances where you want to go off the registry. These vary with each individual case; perhaps it’s a very close friend whom you’d like to give something more personal, or perhaps the couple’s registry was limited and all the “good gifts” are taken. Maybe you’re the maid of honor and want to give something extra on top of that soup terrine. For whatever reason, if you’re looking to go off the registry (and you feel that the bride/groom would approve of you doing so), here are two thoughtful ideas for that Big Gift to celebrate your friend’s special day.

The “Honeymoon Add-On” Surprise

If you know where the couple will be spending their honeymoon, call ahead to the hotel/resort and arrange for a special “Add-On” to be presented to them when they arrive. This will vary by location. It might be a couples massage at the local spa, or a romantic dinner for two, or a water-sports adventure like Parasailing. They key is to surprise them with something they hadn’t planned (or budgeted) for, and something you know they’d enjoy doing together. When you call the hotel/resort they’ll be staying at and state your intentions, the manager or concierge should be able to let you know what special activites the couple has not planned for yet, and also which things the hotel/resort won’t be throwing in as a complimentary honeymoon treat for the newlyweds.

The “Reprieve from Reality” Night Out

No doubt the newlyweds will have to return to reality sooner than they’d like. After months of wedding planning, a thrilling (and exhausting) ceremony and reception, and (hopefully) a few days or weeks spent celebrating their marital status on a honeymoon of some kind, they will return to jobs, bills, and taking out the trash like normal folks. Give them the gift of quality time set aside (once the honeymoon is a distant memory), and an indulgent night on the town (minus the guilt) to feel like Newlyweds again. Arrange for a (mini) second-honeymoon of sorts – by means of a gift certificate to the best restaurant in town. Call ahead to make sure the restaurant knows that when the special couple comes in to redeem their certificate, they should be given the star treatment.

Got any thoughtful wedding gift ideas to share? Have you gone off the registry before? Did it work out well? Or was the couple less than thrilled? Let me know in the comments below!