Coming up with a gift that’s as meaningful as the couple is to you is no small task. Particularly if it’s one of your closest friends getting married, new sheets or a waffle maker just don’t feel special or unique enough. Alternatively, if it’s a couple that seems to have absolutely everything, or has been together for a long time, buying them a few pricey salad plates (because buying all 12 they have registered for is just too expensive) doesn’t feel so fulfilling either. Trust us, we’ve all been there and it can be a stressful situation. This is where going off-registry is the perfect option. You can get them something that will bring even more joy, but it will also feel thoughtful on your end as the gift giver.
When you go off-registry for a wedding gift, there are a few paths you can take. You can either focus on hobbies or experiences the couple enjoys together and gift around that, or you consider items that would be on a typical registry and instead of the more generic versions you find in big department stores, seek out more creative takes on the classics. In doing this, you gift them something that is still functional and not just going to add clutter to their home, but also beautiful to look at.
Here, we’ve shared a few of our favorite off-registry gift ideas, with a little help from Katherine Lewin, owner of the Brooklyn-based dinner party essentials shop, Big Night. The thoughtfully curated boutique is one of our favorite destinations for handmade serving pieces and glassware, as well as delicious pantry items from small businesses around the globe.
Meet the Expert
Katherine Lewin is the owner of the Brooklyn-based dinner party essentials shop Big Night.
Porcelain That Doubles as Art
Lewin recommends "a stunning pitcher that doubles as a vase—that is also beautiful enough to just stand on their counter or mantle as an object to stare at." She loves this Wave Pitcher from Sophie Lou Jacobsen as a gift.
A Monthly Flower Subscription
A monthly flower delivery service is truly the gift that keeps on giving—it’s the perfect way to fill those beautiful vases the couple received as wedding gifts and they will think of you every time they get a new delivery.
Consider gifting an ultra-chic serving set of cutlery (maybe a set that is hand-made, or produced abroad) to make their first dinner party as a married couple a breeze—and incredibly stylish, too.
Francis Mallmann Steak Dinner for 4
They’re getting all the things they need for the perfect dinner party, now all they need is delicious food. Send the happy couple a steak dinner straight to their house by a top-tier chef like Francis Mallmann, or from a delivery service like Butcher Box or Holy Grail Steak Co.
A Monthly Wine Subscription
If the married couple already has wine glasses from their registry, gift the oenophiles a variety of bottles instead, allowing them to build out their home cellar or just enjoy new wines each month. They'll be in good hands with companies like The Waves, one of Lewin's top recommendations, Winc, or Sommselect.
“They probably don’t need another set of white or cream or neutral dinner napkins," Lewin explains. Instead, she recommends giving the newlyweds a set of hand-made linen napkins to elevate their next dinner party. Etsy is a great place to start this search.
A Chic Decanter
“There are a lot of clear glass decanters out there that look like they came straight from a stuffy fine dining restaurant," Lewin says. Instead, she suggests gifting the newly married couple a decanter that they can keep out on the dining table (even if there's nothing in it). Pro tip: Look for interesting shapes, textures, and colored glass.
A Monthly Cheese Subscription
If the newlyweds had a big registry and everything but one small salad bowl or a single cheese knife is left, opt for something that could supplement the gifts they've already received. Get them a monthly cheese subscription from one of the country’s best cheesemakers, like Jasper Hill, or a renowned cheese shop like Murray's of New York. Brands like Harry & David and Williams-Sonoma also offer cheese subscription boxes.
Artsy Champagne Coupes
“Wedding registry items can be so practical when really, shouldn’t this be a moment to gift something that feels extra celebratory?" says Lewin. She suggests opting for fun, whimsical, or colorful champagne coupes that bring some extra pizazz to the experience of popping open a bottle of bubbly when the couple returns home from their honeymoon.
A Monthly Tea Subscription
They will never run out of tea again! This is a perfect gift for people who may not be avid coffee drinkers. An assortment of tea is excellent to have on hand in the house and this will ensure they never run out. Plus, it will be a great excuse for the newlyweds to use the china or mugs they are sure to get from the registry.
A Spa Day
If one thing is for certain, it's that planning and hosting a wedding is no small feat. It's likely that the newlyweds will be exhausted after their big day (as fun as it was!) and would benefit from a relaxing spa day at a local spa where they can check in for a couple's massage, facial treatments, and more. Consider finding a spa near the couple's home and either booking a massage for them, or giving them a gift card so that they can choose the type of service they'd like to enjoy. If you know details about where they'll be for their honeymoon, you could coordinate a spa service with their hotel or resort.