Several brides mention this idea: Take the wedding invitation and turn it into home decor. For example, have it framed to hang on the wall, or have an artist (maybe that's you!) paint delicate flowers or leaves around the border, then frame it. Other options: have it printed on a throw pillow or made into a decoupage plate (try Kaas Glassworks in New York City).
2 of 14William Abranowicz
“It’s a risky gift because you can’t return it but is something that really makes the house nice and we’ll keep forever,” says one bride. Says another: “A friend framed a sketch from a well-known Southern artist, titled ‘June,’ the month we were married.” You can also buy a less expensive print from Etsy and have it framed.
3 of 14 NatureMill
"We registered for a NatureMill indoor composter and were surprised and so grateful when one of our friends bought it for us,” says Faith from Columbus, Ohio. “In fact, it was the first thing we received from our registry! We compost pretty much all of our kitchen scraps and use the compost in the garden, so it was definitely one of the best gifts we received."
4 of 14Annie Schlechter
A Tool Kit
"A friend of my husband’s father bought it for us,” says Laura from New York City.
5 of 14Realsimple.com
“We received a membership to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where we live,” says Kristina. “Single tickets are expensive, so it's a great way to see exhibits or even just walk in for one quick thing without feeling guilty.”
6 of 14Tara Donne
"My grandmother had it made for me, lined with the satin from her wedding dress,” says Carrie Sue from Arlington, Virginia. “She had her wedding date, my great-grandparents’ wedding dates, and my wedding date embroidered on it, one in each corner. I carried it down the aisle, wrapped around my bouquet.”
7 of 14 West Elm
“It just seems so personal when you get something with your initials on it,” says Meg of Raleigh, North Carolina. “I particularly loved a monogrammed trash can that we received.”
8 of 14Miki Duisterhof
"We got a wine cooler with freezable inserts that is engraved with our monogram, the name of the lodge where we got married, and the date,” says Hallie from Birmingham, Alabama. “It decorates our bookcase, reminds us of our wonderful wedding day, and is quite useful for a party."
9 of 14Frances Janisch
Special Gift Certificate
"One friend gave us a gift card to a local homebrew store, knowing that my husband and I have been getting into brewing beer at home,” says Emma of Columbus, Ohio.
10 of 14 Paper Source
“I love the embosser we got from Paper Source,” says Paige of San Francisco. “The plate had our street address on it, and we used it to emboss the back of our thank-you notes after the wedding. We still use it for Christmas cards, and I constantly think of how handy it has been. It really does dress up our stationery.”
11 of 14 Anna Williams
Stainless Steel Flatware
“It’s a beautiful upgrade to our everyday forks and knives, something we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves, and something that we use each and every day,” says Kathleen from New York City. “The Reed and Barton pattern we chose is very simple, yet modern, and has some heft to it, so it can work for more formal gatherings too.”
12 of 14Jim Franco
Restaurant Gift Certificates
Several brides mention how much they loved being able to go on a date night after the wedding―and not spending a dime.
13 of 14 James Baigrie
“It’s not as expected or as common as a mixer or blender, but I use it for everything: chopping vegetables, making pie crust and pizza dough, and blending soup,” says Elizabeth from Memphis, Tennessee. “I use it more than any other small appliance in my kitchen.”
14 of 14 James Baigrie
“When you're starting off in your marriage, especially when you have a new home, there are a lot of expenses,” says Catherine from Richmond, Virginia. “It's nice to have extra money to spend where you need it.”