January 13th, 2014 by Liz Francese
The invitations are in the mail, the bridal expo is just around the corner and this Valentines day will undoubtedly turn out plenty of men on one knee. What does all this mean? It’s almost wedding season and as, I have finally reached that gag-inspiring time in life when all of my peers are getting married, it’s time to do my part. As much as I balk at the developments taking place between my peers (“she’s marrying WHO?!”), I have to relent and rejoice for those I care about outside of the Facebook. Though each marriage is original, the wedding registry can be a pretty apathetic affair. So, if you’re looking to order off the registry for once or if you have some special newlyweds in your life with birthdays or housewarmings coming up, here are five, off-the-registry, gift ideas.
Out of respect for the gift-givers, most wedding registries are limited to the essentials-yes, a stand mixer is essential-with the mildest bit of unique taste. Beyond the color of that essential stand mixer and the pattern on their bed linens, there is little room for the soon to be completely broke newlyweds to foster their personalities. Gifting a piece of art can not only lighten up a home but draw the newlywed’s attention away from that vacuum cleaner that cost more than its inevitable use.
If you feel uncomfortable picking out décor for someone else’s home, a simple chalkboard can allow the receiver to decorate any way they please. Or, if you have a particularly gifted recipient, a gift card to their local craft store may be the most welcome (and needed) gift for a bare-walled home.
Perhaps this item is just forgotten when signing up for a registry, but it seems highly unlikely newlyweds will have an affordable handy-man on speed dial for every household malfunction. Even if the Mr. is a fairly handy man himself, he may still benefit from some new tools or replacement parts. If you’re not sure where to start, AmericansWorking.com features a page completely dedicated to tools made in the USA.
I was impressed when my sister requested a tent on her registry – not only because I knew her fiancé had changed her from a spider-fearing princess to a rugged camp mom, but because it was out of the ordinary. Thankfully the family of her now husband had respect for the request because my mother certainly wasn’t eager to contribute to another generally expensive, photography/scuba diving/architecture/floral art -esque hobby she might drop one day. Either way, it is nice to think of the utility behind a present and it’s longevity of use.
Miscellaneous Kitchen Supplies
The bride may have thought those flower printed, coral plates were going to match everything from her curtains to her shoes but now they’re the only thing she has in that suddenly wretched color. In kitchens new and old, things may never quite match but having a few out of the ordinary pieces to love can make it all come together.
Vermont Woods Studios features an array of unique kitchen items made in Vermont. The Cricket Table Riser or a lazy susan (in slate or hickory) will come in handy for their first housewarming. A unique wine or pot rack is also desirable but will likely be put on the “after we pay our mortgage” list or purchases.
Give the gift of a night on the town! Tickets to the theater, a movie or a concert could be just what the doctor ordered for the cash-strapped, home-confined couple. Better yet, offer them a new experience by gifting a day pass to a rock climbing gym or a local motor coach tour.
Whatever you decide to give, these unique ideas can be both personable and purposeful!