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Shopping for a wedding gift isn't always easy. While most couples have a wedding registry, sometimes you want to branch outside the box. (Or all of the good items on the list have already been claimed.) There's also the issue of budget. Luckily, the best wedding gift doesn't have to be expensive to be meaningful—or useful.
Practical gifts like a new vacuum or a serving platter are great, and home items are always a no-fail option, especially when you can personalize them with a monogram. There's also something to be said for a gift that helps the newlyweds create memories together, like a cookbook for at-home date nights or a journal with date ideas. For expert insight into finding the perfect gift for any couple, we consulted Kristin Sullivan, master wedding director of The Bridal Retreat.
"Many couples already live together and have most everyday items, and traditional registries are now uncommon," says Sullivan. She suggests gifting a unique experience for the couple, such as a picnic in the park or a day visit to local botanical gardens. Etiquette Design Company founder Victoria Della Torre also recommends considering the couple's habits and interests. And she loves to gift monogrammed items if the couple incorporates personalized touches into their home décor.
Meet the Expert
To help narrow your search, we rounded up the best wedding gifts, starting at just $12. After hours spent researching items to find standouts based on uniqueness, thoughtfulness, and price, we brought our top picks to our testing Lab to evaluate everything from personalization details to quality. For something unique to elevate their home, we suggest favorites like the Greyling Post Personalized Couples Print or the Shop Home Maven Mr. and Mrs. Door Mat. You can also never go wrong with practical kitchen essentials like the Karibe Knives Set.
Read on for the best wedding gifts for every type of couple.
Greyling Post Personalized Couples Print
The range of personalization options
The colors and design elements
The digital nature (versus hand-torn paper)
This customized print is right up an adventurous couple’s alley. Personalize everything from hair color to headwear, and even add furry friends! Top it off with the newlyweds’ names and the date they’re getting married, and you’ll have a sweet little keepsake to make them smile every time they look at it.
"I feel like this print is much more sophisticated than many other of the personalized art options out there," says tester Kate Donovan. "The quality and weight of the paper was better than I expected, and I love the vividness of the colors and the design."
"I personalized this print for my brother and his fiancé, along with their two dogs. I was so impressed with the likeness (even details like my brother's backwards baseball hat and camping backpack!). It's the perfect gift for an outdoorsy couple-- it really expresses the joy of being in the wilderness and going on adventures together." – Kate Donovan, Senior Commerce Editor
Shop Home Maven Mr. and Mrs. Doormat
No shed, high-quality material
No gripping material on the bottom
There's not a lot of font variety available
The newlyweds will be able to welcome everyone to their new home with this adorable outdoor doormat, which boasts their last name and the year they were married in a 3D velour embellishment. It’s crafted to withstand all kinds of weather and comes in three different sizes to accommodate various door types.
Tester Maggie Kreienberg was impressed by the quality: "There's nothing worse than when the brown fibers shed all around a doormat, and this one doesn't seem to do that at all." Kreinberg was also pleased with the variety of personalization options—the mat can be made with all lower case or all caps—but wished that there were more opportunities to play with scale in the size and style of the fonts.
"I love the design on this doormat. It is pretty, neutral, and would complement any couple's aesthetic."
– Maggie Krienberg, Senior Editor
Mark & Graham Wood and Marble Appetizer Serving Platter
From chips and guac to cheese and jam, any appetizer will look enticing when served on this platter. It features three handcrafted marble condiment bowls that sit on a marble and solid acacia wood platter. You can even get it customized with an engraved monogram of their first initials or last name.
Pottery Barn Providence Woven Picnic Basket
The quality is a little lacking
This preppy picnic basket will come in handy for a weekend date at the park. A navy-and-white striped canvas interior, coupled with woven willow and faux leather handles, lend a classic nautical vibe. Inside is a picnic set for four, complete with plates, wine glasses, cutlery, and a corkscrew for a nice bottle of red.
"I love the look of this basket," says Editorial Director Gabriella Rello. "It's a great size for two people and would make a nice gift for an engaged or newly-married couple. And if you were giving it to a couple who really likes to picnic, it's great that it has everything you need for a day—there's silverware, plates, wine glasses, plates, and a corkscrew."
Rello found that the overall quality is a little less impressive than she imagined it would be: "For the price, I would prefer real wine glasses, a better corkscrew, and for the details to be a little more polished (like the top lining being straight). It would also be nice to be able to choose your lining/napkin color for further personalization." But, she still would recommend the basket. "Since it's not a huge investment, I don't think that would stop me from buying this as a gift for someone who really loves to picnic."
"This picnic basket is great price point for an engagement gift and it's small enough that you wouldn't have to worry about it taking up too much space in someone's home. It could also be a nice option to pair with a gift card to a favorite restaurant or store if you wanted to go off-registry for a bridal shower." — Gabriella Rello, Editorial Director
Monogram Selection Mr. and Mrs. Champagne Flutes
The modern design
Very delicate and feels like they could easily break
It's hard to read the text when the glass is empty
Modern champagne flutes will help any couple fashionably toast to their wedding day. Made of hand-blown glass and featuring some sweet personalization, they’re durable enough to last for years after the wedding, making them perfect to pull out for every anniversary.
"These champagne flutes are absolutely beautiful," says Social Media Editor Araziel Jackson. "They're super lightweight and clear, and the contemporary flute shapes gives them a modern feel." Since the glasses come packaged as a set of two, they're gift-ready for the happy couple. "My favorite part is the minimalist personalization of the monogrammed last names," says Jackson.
"This set of two personalized glasses is a great gift set for a couple and makes for a luxurious champagne toast on their wedding day, date nights, and beyond." —Araziel Jackson, Social Media Editor
Tinggly Gift Box of Experiences
Give the couple the gift of an experience so they can hang onto memories rather than objects. Choose the amount and the experience you think they’d like the most, and they can redeem the gift whenever they like—it never expires. They can choose to use it on their honeymoon or save it for their next getaway.
Uncommon Goods Intersection of Love Photo Print
The frame feels sturdy
It feels unexpected
It's a bit large
This unique print captures the couple’s love with a customized street sign that features both of their names, as well as the year they met and the year they married. You can opt to buy it unframed or framed, with five different framing options to choose from, including wood and gold.
Editorial Director Jessica Mahgerefteh personalized the print with her maiden and married names. "I like how it has both names, along with the dates my husband and I met and got married. I love the symbolic ode to our union," she says. Mahgerefteh was surprised by the size of the piece and would have preferred a smaller version to hang on her wall. But she felt that the piece was well-priced, considering the scale and sturdiness of the frame.
"As a gift, this print is a touching tribute for a couple. It's a great way to reflect on an important milestone and remember it for years to come." – Jessica Mahgerefteh, Editorial Director
Minted Watercolor Venue Portrait
Looking for a way to memorialize the venue where they're tying the knot? This custom print— one of the unique custom products from the Minted + Brides collection—offers an opportunity to do just that. Simply upload a favorite photo of the location (either with or without the couple) and Minted will create a digital watercolor rendition of the scene, complete with the couple's names, venue name, and event date.
Select from sizes ranging from a petite 7" x 5" print to an oversized 54" x 40" statement piece. There is an option to purchase the unframed artwork by itself or to choose one of 12 elegant frames for a wall-ready gift.
While the digital watercolor technique works for most venue images, consider selecting a photo with a graphic, neutral background. This is especially important if the couple is being featured in the foreground—it will help the figures pop and keep the overall look feeling modern and less fussy.
Do One Thing Every Day Together: A Journal for Two
Lots of prompts
Eye catching design
Some language isn't inclusive
Some of the quotes are tone deaf
Couples will continue to be surprised by one another with this journal for two. Filled with daily prompts, it offers couples tons of ways to connect and ideas for spending time together. Cute, fun, and inspiring, this journal will keep the communication going—essential for any relationship.
"The cover design of this book is eye catching and cute," observed tester Erika Reals. "It also seems high quality, but is affordable." Reals felt that some of the content in the book featured outdated quotes and some non-inclusive language that gave her pause. But overall, she felt that many people would enjoy this type of activity gift, especially as a budget option (that keeps giving).
"Lots of prompts means that these pages will last you and your partner awhile, making this affordable book a fun activity and good value." – Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor
Uncommon Goods Etched Skyline Glasses
These wine glasses are sure to make a couple swoon with nostalgia. Pick a city of significance to them—where they met, live, or are getting married—and its skyline will come to life etched on these wine glasses. They’re sold separately, so you could even gift a few different ones if the couple has several special cities.
Beautiful Gift Shop Personalized First Christmas Ornament
The customization options
The ceramic material
The design is a little old fashioned
This is a keepsake made extra special by the fact that it’s only looked at once a year. A first Christmas ornament will always serve as a reminder of the couple’s first holiday together as spouses every time winter rolls around. It’s an extra something magical to hang on the tree.
Maggie Krienberg tried out this ornament and liked the size and shape: "I think this would display nicely among other ornaments on a Christmas tree," she observed. "The ceramic tile feels strong and should last for years to come." Krienberg also liked the customization options for names and years, but felt the flat, circular tile style (versus a round globe design) may not be for everyone.
"For a great budget price, you can get a customizable ornament that should last for years to come. It's a nice gift for a pair on their first holiday as a married couple." – Maggie Krienberg, Senior Editor
Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship
Sometimes, what couples really need is a date night in. This cookbook will make it complete, with more than 120 recipes to whip up together in the kitchen. Whether it’s fennel-crusted lamb chops or nectarine creamsicles, these recipes are sure to please.
Anthropologie Marble Wine Rack
Give the couple a place to store all their gifted wine bottles with this elegant wine rack. A white marble base holds a stainless steel rack available in silver or gold that will store up to six bottles. At less than $100, it has a luxe look at an affordable price, promising to look good on any bar cart.
Dyson v8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
This is the vacuum of every house’s dreams. It features HEPA filtration to capture allergens and expel clean air, 15 cyclones to increase airflow and snatch fine dust, and nylon bristles to remove pet hair and ground-in dirt. It also transforms into a handheld and has a mini-motorized tool for those harder-to-reach spots.
The Parmatile Shop Marble Coaster Set
We love how this coaster set made of tumbled marble emits southwestern bohemian vibes while simultaneously having a sophisticated feel. The red-orange stone can complement a lively, colorful decor theme just as well as it can add a surprising contrast to a more muted palette.
Sweet Water Decor Wedding Day Candle
A sweet candle meant to evoke wedding day memories will create a sense of nostalgia for any pair of newlyweds. With notes of sea salt, jasmine, wood, and cream, this soy wax candle promises a calm feel. Its minimalist aesthetic also means it’ll easily blend in with any home decor.
Vermicular Vermicular Musui-Kamado Cast Iron Induction Cooker
This cast iron induction cooker does it all—sears, sautés, stews, roasts, and bakes! An induction base controls temperature and distributes heat evenly, while the cast-iron pot and lid help retain moisture and flavor while food is cooking. Bonus: It comes with cookbooks touting over 70 recipes, two measuring cups, and a cast-iron lid stand.
Bissell MyAir Personal Air Purifier
This air purifier helps capture everything from pollen and dust to the smell of salmon baking in the oven. The best part is that it’s not noisy at all, subtly humming along as it does its job. It features a high and low mode, plus a sleep mode with a night light.
Karibe Knives Set
Tomatoes and onions, watch out—this stainless steel knife set is as sharp as it gets! Each knife is lightweight but heavy-duty, featuring an easy-to-grip black handle and sharpener to keep them in top shape. It’s a diverse set, so there’s a knife for every cutting need, from cheese to chicken.
What to look for in a wedding gift
Think usefulness and meaning
There's a reason that household gadgets and kitchenware like the Vermicular Musui-Kamado Cast Iron Induction Cooker are among the most popular wedding gifts—they serve a purpose. But sentimental gifts are also useful in their own way. This personalized ornament, priced under $13, made our list because it'll spark memories for many holiday seasons.
The personal touch
Like the Grayling Post Personalized Couples Print and the Shop Home Maven Mr. and Mrs. Doormat, lots of the picks on our list offer options for customization. If you opt for a personalized gift, you may want to ask a close friend or member of their family about the couple's traditions, religious preferences, décor aesthetic, and personal tastes before you click the buy button. Remember that a personalized gift usually comes with a no-return policy.
The gift of experience
If the happy couple loves to travel, gift them the chance to make memories with an experiential present. The Tinggly Gift Box is available in a variety of themes, each one offering them the opportunity to choose their own adventure. Sullivan also recommends putting money towards their honeymoon through Honeyfund to add a paddle board lesson, a city tour, or a couple's massage to their itinerary. "Just make sure it's something they can do together," she says. "I'm a big fan of gifting memorable experiences!"
What are some unique wedding gift ideas?
If you want to go off-registry for a more unexpected item, consider the couple's habits and lifestyle choices. If they love to entertain, serving pieces, engraved cocktail glasses, or a charcuterie boards may be the perfect fit. Outdoorsy couples will love camping gear and experiential gifts, while homebodies will appreciate things that will make their nest feel cozy and personalized.
How much should I spend on wedding gifts?
It depends on how close you are to the couple and your own budget. "We tend to see guests spending within the $75-$250 range," Della Torre says. "The most important thing is to be conscious of your own personal budget and not spend beyond your means."
How much money should I give as a wedding gift?
The same range of $75-$250 would also apply to cash gifts. Della Torre recommends sending a check in the mail ahead of the wedding so that the couple or wedding planner does not feel responsible for keeping it safe on the wedding day.
Can you return personalized wedding gifts?
Generally, unless the item arrives damaged or broken, most gifts that feature monograms, dates, or other types of personalization come with a no-return policy. If you don't know the couple well, it might be to go with a gift purchased from their wedding registry, which will be easy for them to exchange or return.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Hillary Hoffower has over six years of experience writing for the wedding industry, covering everything from bridal fashion trends to wedding decor. She has an eye for design and quality that she takes into consideration when selecting gifts. Her favorite gifts are those that create memories, whether it’s a photo book or experience.
For this story, our editors tested several of the top products in our NYC-based lab. We considered materials, quality, ease of use, aesthetics, value, and packaging in our assessment.