Thoughtful Wedding Gifts on a Budget

July 20, 2011 by Amy Clark

Ah, love is in the air! And with a wedding comes the opportunity to share a gift with the newlyweds. I’ll share my favorite gifts to give… and a few that we received when my husband and I tied the knot (amazingly!) eleven years ago.

Board games

In our family, it’s all about board-game night. So I love to get the couple’s board game collection started with a few of our favorite games. When we were newlyweds, we didn’t have a lot of cash and relied on board games to get us through those lean date-night evenings. Pick games that are played with two players (Scrabble, Monopoly, Blokus, Rummikub) and games with are played with larger groups (Apples to Apples, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit) for entertaining at home.

Send them on a picnic

I like to stock up on picnic supplies to give as gifts. Combine a retro picnic basket with outdoor dinnerware, blanket, bottle of wine and favorite picnic recipes the couple can make together. We received a picnic set when we married, and it’s wonderful to still be using it after all these years… now with our children gathered around the picnic table.

Trim their Christmas tree

When we got married, I never thought about what we’d do when Christmas rolled around. For couples that celebrate Christmas, tree decorations are a thoughtful way to gift on a limited budget. Try to shop the after-holiday sales and select trims that will go with any décor. Items like white lights, ornaments in solid colors, a simple star topper, and a little garland can be used in whatever scheme they might choose. Consider an ornament personalized with the year of their wedding or an ornament storage box.

Give the gift of appliance convenience

When I was selecting gifts for my wedding registry, I had no idea what to choose and based my selections on recommendations from others, rather than my own experience. If I could do it all over again, the top four items I’d put on my list would be my slow cooker for easy weeknight meals, my bread machine for creating bread and pizza each week, a stand mixer for all of my baking needs, and a really good coffeemaker that would see me through those long days of work. These simple appliances make a world of difference to meal preparation – and they’d all make fabulous gifts for a new bride. To personalize the gift a little further, tuck in a few well-chosen recipes to get the couple started!

Welcome them home

Nothing says home like a welcoming front door. I love to buy couples a welcome mat and wreath, or a personalized sign to adorn their new place. If you’re crafty and can make one of these gifts, you’ll save a little bit of money and create a truly personalized gift in the process.

Share a big-ticket item

Check the couple’s wedding registry and think about going in on a big-ticket item with a few other couples. Choosing a larger item and splitting the tab lets you spoil the couple without making a huge dent in your wallet.

One of the best gifts that we received was a folding card table and chairs. We’re still using it for every party that we host today. Truth be told, in those early days of marriage, that little table and chairs served as our kitchen set until we could afford to deck out our apartment the way we wanted to. I still get a little misty-eyed when I think of the sweet, simple dinners we shared together at our little folding table.

Make thankfulness convenient

As a new bride, all the thank-you notes I needed to write after our honeymoon overwhelmed me. One thoughtful gift that will really be used and appreciated: a few packages of thank-you cards, stamps, and a self-inking address stamp with the couple’s new name. I promise you that it will be a gift long remembered and utilized!

What are a few of your favorite wedding gifts to give?

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.