ICYMI: You can’t forget this gift on your wedding day. (Hint: It’s not on your registry.) Professional bridesmaid Jen Glantz is here to fill you in.
You’ve helped out with wedding planning as much as possible, survived a 48-hour bachelor party bender, and of course, ordered your tux (easiest part). You’re hitting every single deadline. You are awesome! But while your personal wedding to-do list is almost all checked off, there’s one thing—an important thing—that you might have overlooked: a wedding gift for your fiancé.
Sure, your engagement ring was technically a wedding-related gift, and so was the money you chipped in for the biggest day of your lives (so that’s half a gift at most), but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Handing your fiancé a handwritten card and a gift on your actual wedding day is non-negotiable. You don’t need to spend months planning it out, or like, hire a dance crew. It doesn’t have to break the bank, either. But it does need to be meaningful, well thought out, and have a personal touch.
If that sounds borderline impossible in your prenuptial state of mind, I’ve got your back. Here are my five favorite meaningful wedding gifts.
5. Marriage IOU Cards
Get crafty. Create a deck of marriage IOU cards that will get your partner laughing and loving the fact that they’re walking down the aisle with you.
There are the obvious promises to wash the dishes or do the laundry on command (even when it isn’t your turn), but don’t forget to include some grander gestures. For example, a four-course home-cooked meal, a planned picnic and hike, a Saturday afternoon scavenger hunt… or, you know, NEW HOT TUB. (Warning: New hot tub will always be the first IOU redeemed if included.)
4. Engraved Jewelry
It’s likely you’ve already dropped some coin on bling for your fiancé, but an engraved piece of jewelry is a wedding gift guaranteed to make your partner’s mouth drop. Think earrings, a bracelet, a necklace or locket, or a smaller ring that can complement their wedding band and engagement ring.
When it comes to the engraving, you can always default to the classic “Your Initials + Their Initials.” But before you spring for this first, most obvious idea, spend a few minutes thinking about nicknames, a word or phrase you both constantly say to each other that makes you smile, or special dates in your relationship (your wedding date, for example).
3. Personalized Stationery
Maybe your fiancé is the practical type. One useful, thoughtful gift that they’ll use for years to come is a personalized stationery set. If your partner is changing their name, make sure to have the stationary printed with their new initials or last name, and make sure the design matches their style.
Whenever they send a thank-you note, they’ll think of you. Whenever they send a letter of complaint to Wendy’s alleging that those hot (but delicious) french fries burned the roof of their mouth, they’ll think of you. You get the idea. Break in the set by writing a wedding day note to your fiancé, and obviously include a nice pen or two.
2. Pre-Wedding Getaway
Planning a wedding tends to be stressful, if not headache/panic inducing. If your fiancé needs a breather, and the typical night out or weekend staycation isn’t getting the job done, consider a pre-wedding getaway.
This doesn’t have to be an extravagant trip, especially if you’re also planning to take your honeymoon right after the wedding. Aim for meaningful. Take your partner somewhere in the country that they’ve always wanted to visit, or head back to a location where you’ve made memories together over the years. Even though this gift will be given before the wedding, it might just be the most thoughtful, relaxing gift for your partner—just what they need.
1. Time Machine Ticket to Relive Your First Date
When the wedding ends and you eventually arrive home from your honeymoon, you might feel a little deflated without a huge event to look forward to. Lucky for you, you gave your partner one of the most meaningful, thoughtful wedding gifts possible: a round-trip time machine ticket for two, to relive your first date.
If your very first date was a quick coffee meet-up or didn’t go fairytale-smooth, Frankenstein together your first three dates instead. You can stay true to the original (keg stands included) or modify the particulars to suit your current tastes (keg stands still included?), but hit up all the same spots and spend time reliving the memories together.