If you’re one of those people who prefer to give actual wedding gifts, then be sure to check out this list for thoughtful ideas that would please any bride and groom. (You’re welcome!)
Though we can all agree that weddings are a lot of work for the bride and groom, their families, and their suppliers, the average wedding guest usually encounters a couple of puzzles along the way too. There’s always the dress code to decode. The additional color palette always increases the difficulty to the I-have-nothing-to-wear level. Then there are the wedding gifts, which are sometimes as easy to figure out as Manila weather.
Deciding what to give the couple can be tricky, which is why many guests usually choose to hand over envelopes instead of wedding gifts. Let’s face it, giving the bride and groom a check is not only less complicated, it’s also usually what they want the most! But if you’re one of those people who insist on getting wedding gifts for sentimental or financial reasons, or if you were personally raised by etiquette guru Emily Post, then we’ve got you covered.
We asked couples to clue us in on the unexpected and unwished-for wedding gifts that turned out to be their favorites. There are options for every budget, so read closely and bring this list with you the next time you’re shopping for a friend’s wedding!
4 Surprisingly Good Wedding Gifts
1. Making memories as Mr. and Mrs.
“My hubby and I received plane tickets to Palawan! They asked us when our honeymoon would be and booked the ticket for us.” —Kates Esplana-Rodil
“We were given matchy matchy travel kits which were very useful!” —Marga Mercado-Tullao
“Matching rashguards! We just found it super thoughtful. We love going to the beach.” —Justine Senturias Caparaz
“Using the Accor membership we received as a wedding gift, we claimed a free night in Sofitel Manila, then got a discounted rate in a hotel in Bangkok. We also ate at Spiral every time there was something to celebrate because of the discount.” —Aiza Riz Perez Mendoza
For a truly sentimental wedding gift, give the gift of new memories! Many of the couples we asked really appreciated it when friends and family sponsored 5-star or boutique hotel stays, or memberships that they could make use of throughout their first year as a married couple. But new experiences don’t always have to cost a fortune. If you know the couple well enough, you can select travel kits for their adventurous life together, or maybe a painting date at Sip & Gogh.
2. Gifts in kind
“Someone gave us Hershey’s Kisses, enough to give away to guests at the wedding. Every three Kisses were packaged separately and came with handwritten messages about love We really did end up giving them away as wedding favors.” —Chariza Roasa
“Transportation for all of our things to where my spouse and I would be living.” —Lilibeth Celestial
Why not give an advanced wedding gift for the couple that they’ll be sure to use? You could sponsor anything from the giveaways, a specially beaded wedding cord, or even the gold wedding bands themselves. But be sure to ask them what they want before you start picking out swatches as if for your own wedding! You don’t want your gift standing out for the wrong reasons.
3. A bit of soul
“A book about marriage.” —Mia Porras
“Our two-feet high image of the Blessed Virgin is still with us to this day, ten years after our wedding. When I was pregnant with our first child and feeling scared, I looked upon that image and drew strength in knowing that Mary was praying for me.” —Michelle Siaotong-Laban
“We received a ceramic image of the Holy Family that we brought with us when we moved to Australia, even though it was heavy and we had limited luggage space.” —Jacqui Acop-Paraguya
Now don’t go trying to convert the bride and groom! But marriage is admittedly no picnic and the newlyweds will surely need some help along the way. Read up on reviews before selecting a book for them, whether it be self-help or a book of love poems. Or if you know them to be the spiritual type, they might even appreciate receiving holy images (depending on their denomination) for wedding gifts, as some of our readers have.
4. Especially for you
“A DIY cork board designed with our beloved photos—it was a simple gift that took a lot of effort! —Dessie Brazil-Dela Rosa
“Since we live overseas, the wedding invites suggested monetary gifts, but family and friends gave personalised gifts like mugs, couple shirts, and pillow cases. We were able to put these in our luggage and bring them back to the UK.” —Aphrill Macale Espinosa
You can hardly go wrong with heartwarming wedding gifts. You can load the couple’s photos onto a digital frame (or a real photo album), or perhaps frame a map of all the places they’ve been to together. There’s something you can give no matter what your budget. Make use of all your knowledge about the couple so you can give them a truly one-of-a-kind present that they’ll appreciate.
Whether you choose to give the bride and groom something from their registry, surprise them with one of the gifts above, or give them good ol’ dependable cash, what matters most is your support and happiness for them. So don’t let your worries about what to wear or what to give them stop you! As cheesy as it sounds, if they invited you, then they must really want you to celebrate with them. Just don’t drink up all their champagne—unless it’s an open bar of course. (Written with Jeun Davila-Cordon.)
Got any other surprisingly good ideas for wedding gifts? Share them with us in the comments section below! We beg of you!