When someone close to you is getting married, finding the perfect wedding gift can be a challenge–especially if the soon-to-be newlyweds don’t have a wedding registry or you just want to get them something unique. To help you narrow down your options and find something truly special, we turned to expert wedding planners for their top gift recommendations and tips. From experiential gifts for the adventurous couple, to must-have items for the home, there's something for everyone.
When searching for the perfect gift, wedding planner Danielle Leilani says that uniqueness is key. "The typical modern couple already lives together, and some may even be in the process of building a home,” she explains. “Some couples may still have a registry, but if nothing is speaking to you, think outside of the box and get creative!" Chances are, the couple will appreciate a thoughtful gift with personality and intention behind it.
Meet the Expert
- Mindy Weiss is a celebrity events planner and author who’s worked with notable couples like Justin and Hailey Bieber, Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, among many others.
- Danielle Leilani is a boho wedding planner and the founder of The BachBox, an all-in-one gifting site that offers themed bachelorette party decor kits.
- Erin Taylor is the owner and creative director of Bustle Events, a full-service event design and planning business for single-day, full weekend, or destination weddings.
- Cathleen Holloway is the founder and creative director of Holloway Events, a Houston-based wedding planning service that throws exquisite events throughout the United States.
Read on for the best wedding gifts, according to wedding planners.
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine
Price at time of publish: $2,000
“I am a big coffee fan (fun fact: I was a barista back in college!) so to me, an excellent coffeemaker or espresso machine is the ultimate wedding gift. Being able to make delicious coffee at home is such a luxury! I am obsessed with this particular model—it comes in a gorgeous slate blue color.” –Danielle Leilani, Boho Wedding Planner and Founder of The BachBox
Christofle Graffiti Silverplated Rectangular Trays
Price at time of publish: $360
“The gift I love most right now is a bit expensive, but I think it’s so cool for a modern couple. This gorgeous tray is a conversation piece—and who doesn’t love a good conversation piece in their home? It’s from a traditional, iconic brand, but created with a modern twist. For some couples, it can even be a relevant art piece in their home. It’s my favorite!” —Mindy Weiss, Celebrity Wedding and Events Planner
Airbnb Gift Card
“You can never go wrong by gifting a fun experience—it means that the couple can make memories while enjoying your present. This one is great because as the couple returns from their honeymoon and life settles down, it's fun for them to have some fun experiences ahead that they can plan for a free weekend. It gives them something fun to look forward to! —Erin Taylor, Owner and Creative Director of Bustle Events
Price at time of publish: Starting at $100
William Yeoward Crystal Jasmine Cake Dome
Price at time of publish: $265
“I love purchasing a gorgeous cake dome for my clients and friends. It's multi-use and is such a beautiful accessory to your home collection. I have one that's put to use weekly with pretty pastries or the occasional cake or dessert! This William Yeoward one is a current favorite and a frequent in-cart item.” –Cathleen Holloway, Founder and Creative Director of Holloway Events
Price at time of publish: $295
“For couples that love adventure, there's no better way to go than matching, personalized suitcases—our personal favorites are from eco-friendly brand Paravel. Whether opting for the weekend tote or The Aviator, these tried and true bags will last for many trips ahead—and the couple will never confuse each other's bags!” —Peggy O’Brien and Willa Callahan, Founders of Poppy Gifting
Tricia Lowenfield Design Cache Pot with Crest
Price at time of publish: $165
“We like to anticipate the milestones ahead for the couple, like warming a home, hosting, and traveling. For couples that love to entertain, we're smitten with Tricia Lowenfield's Cache Pot. Not only is a wine & ice bucket a necessity when hosting, it doubles as a playfully chic and memorable piece displaying the wedding detail of your choice—either a crest, name, or wedding date. And when not in use, it makes for great standalone decor adorning a dining hutch or buffet.” —Peggy O’Brien and Willa Callahan, Founders of Poppy Gifting
What to Look for in a Wedding Gift
Something that's both sentimental and useful
"When envisioning what to get the newly engaged or wedded, I first do a thorough review of their registry and make sure that their basics are covered," says Callahan. "From there, the challenge is on to find a bespoke gift that commemorates the significant milestone, and also be well loved in their everyday lifestyle." Callahan recommends avoiding anything that feels too precious or fragile.
"Items that spark both sentiment and fit seamlessly into their lives are of the most important criteria," she adds. Instead, Callahan recommends items like a personalized blanket that features their beloved pets, game night-inspired cocktail napkins for weekend entertaining, unexpected barware for their famous margaritas, and a culinary collection for foodies who like to experiment in the kitchen.
Consider their hobbies and interests
"If the couple's registry is nearly complete or they're a couple that I know may appreciate an off-registry item, channel a shared hobby or special destination," advises O'Brien. She recommends gifts such as cocktail making supplies and or a serving pieces (perfect for the couple who loves to host parties), or a piece of art made by an artist in their hometown.
Weiss adds that you it's important to consider the unique personalities of the gift recipients. "Look for things that are personal to the couple and that you know will spark joy for them," she says.
Is it okay to go with a gift that's not on the registry?
"Absolutely! All modern couples appreciate a monetary gift, and I also think experiential gifts are really special," says Leilani. "I even suggest enhancing the couple’s wedding by gifting them a live experience at the wedding itself, like a live painter or a unique late-night snack. Not many will think of doing something like this."
However, Weiss also advises that, when going off-registry, you should, “make sure there’s a gift receipt. That way, if they don’t love the piece (or they already own something similar), they can exchange it.”
What are some unique wedding gift ideas?
“I love joint cooking classes, a couples massage, or a unique local experience that helps to create memories for the couple," says Weiss. She recommends gifting something specific, like a tour at a local museum for an art-loving couple. "It's a great opportunity to go the extra mile for loved ones, especially since so many couples are already established in their homes and no longer need traditional registry items.”
What is the best way to present a wedding gift to the couple?
“The best way to gift to a couple is to send it ahead of their wedding," recommends Taylor. "It's much easier to do than to bring something to the wedding, so guests don't have to carry the gifts around and couples make sure to get them at the end of the night."
What is the best way to wrap a wedding gift?
“It's important to tailor your gift to the couple, all the way down to the wrapping," say O'Brien and Callahan. "The recipients will feel that much more special. Consider details such as whether they're maximalists, minimalists, eco-conscious, art-forward, Italy-obsessed—the list could go on! If they're maximalists, splurge on elegantly bold paper and mix in a contrasting pattern on the ribbon. If they're eco-conscious, use newspaper to wrap. If they're Italy-obsessed, search for a marbled wrapping with a Florentine touch.”
Why Trust Brides
Chloe Caldwell is a Commerce Writer for Brides who specializes in shopping and lifestyle topics. She has more than five years of journalism experience writing about all things fashion, beauty, travel, and wellness.