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Etiquette

What types of gifts travel well for a slightly older couple with no registry?

I'm not sure if this quite fits into "etiquette" but I thought I'd see if anyone has some suggestions on what I can get my fiance's cousin and his soon to be wife for their wedding.

Typically, I would head right to the registry, but their wedding is so small, they didn't even register at a store. They are a slightly older couple (second time marriage for them both, she has a daughter from her prior marriage) and they will be combining households so they don't necessarily need a lot of the typical registry items. An obvious back-up is money, but I feel like that's impersonal and since my fiance and I are on a budget ourselves for our wedding, we would prefer to buy a gift that may provide some more sentimental value than monetary worth. We're also flying across the country to attend their wedding, so the gift has to be able to travel well (in a carry-on).

Any suggestions out there ladies?!
AroundTheBlock

Re: What types of gifts travel well for a slightly older couple with no registry?

  • One of my favorite wedding gifts was a beautifully framed copy of our wedding invitation.  It was especially great because we ran out of extras.  I love it and it's hanging in our living room.
    dotilasomeggiemo
  • Usually when thinking of gifts for people who already have a fully furnished household (my MIL, eg), I usually think of food or drink. A bottle of wine or gourmet chocolates usually hits the spot.

    That can't be taken in an airplane carry-on, due to TSA regs. You could, however, get the food or drink once you arrive at the wedding city. Gift bags would be a scissors-free way to wrap the gift upon arrival. They pack flat.

    If you have a short period of time between arrival at the destination and the wedding, research retail stores ahead of time so you can make a beeline to a place you know has what you want to buy. Check out opening hours, etc, before you leave.

    That might suit your needs.
    dotilaso
  • Cash is always appreciated. 

  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2013
    Usually when thinking of gifts for people who already have a fully furnished household (my MIL, eg), I usually think of food or drink. A bottle of wine or gourmet chocolates usually hits the spot.

    That can't be taken in an airplane carry-on, due to TSA regs. You could, however, get the food or drink once you arrive at the wedding city. Gift bags would be a scissors-free way to wrap the gift upon arrival. They pack flat.

    If you have a short period of time between arrival at the destination and the wedding, research retail stores ahead of time so you can make a beeline to a place you know has what you want to buy. Check out opening hours, etc, before you leave.

    That might suit your needs.
    Heh... just don't make it marshmallow whip or sourpatch kids or you could end up in the middle of a huge internet drama...
    Getting something there though is definitely a good idea.

    That being said, money is always appreciated, and hoping for money is often one of the motivations for not registering.
    If you want to go just a tad more personal than money (but not much more) you could do a gift certificate to a store they both like.

    For more personal... assuming the wedding is still a little ways off, you can always mail something to them before the wedding. So that can increase the size of it, so don't limit yourself to something tiny if you happen to get a better idea.

    For my dad's wedding I was a broke beyond broke college student so my gift was small. I gave them a Christmas ornament that matched the theme of the tree they did each year.

    One of the absolute best presents we got for our wedding... wow. But you'd have to give it to them after and maybe just take a card to the actual wedding.
    [without my knowing] My uncle went around poaching stuff from our wedding once it was over. He picked up things like place cards, the menus, programs, some little plastic snowflakes we had on the tables, etc. And then he put together a shadow box with [fake] pearls strung in it, the little snowflakes, our wedding invite, a shower invite, our menu, our program, hubby and my placecards, a hand written copy of my dad's toast... it was completely amazing. We hung it up in our bedroom. He died just a few months later so it was just the most amazing gift.

    Other ideas... umm... kind of on the food idea... do they like to garden (specifically veggies, herbs, etc). You could give them seeds (you'd definitely need to know ahead of time that that was their thing though).

    Can you embroider at all? Their initials could be cute on something useful they might use (a laundry bag, a little bag they might use in their luggage for their honeymoon).

    And if you think they might want cash, you can always make it personal by writing a really lovely note with the card. That would be personal no matter the amount enclosed with it.

    ETA:
    Might be a long shot, but did you search each of them for amazon wishlists? Odds are if they have them there will be things like books and movies and other not-typical-wedding-gifty on them, but they might have affordable things on there that they'd definitely want and like.
    courtneythesquidKeptInStitchesdotilaso
  • A cash and a thoughtful card always make a great gift.

  • colexcolex member
    Second Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    Can you think of something that is special to your region and have it shipped to them? Like maybe something from a small winery or a gourmet food store?
    daisey18dotilaso
  • A beautiful picture frame is always good for their new wedding photos, include the gift receipt so they can exchange it if need be.  Don't forget, you can have gifts delivered to their home after the wedding.
    daisey18dotilaso
  • mlg78mlg78 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Cash or something from www.personalcreations.com is always a big hit when I've given items.


  • AddieL73 said:
    OP said she doesn't really want to do cash and explained why, and yet there are several suggestions for cash. 





    I was thinking this too.
  • Ooops, I only skimmed. 

  • Maybe they didn't register because they really don't want anything except for the love and well-wishes of their family...  You're already spending a lot of money to get to their wedding - that probably means more to them than anything else. 

    I think a nice card with a heartfelt note in it is perfect, and I'm speaking as half of a "slightly older couple" who didn't register because we honestly don't need anything.  :)

     

    daisey18dotilaso
  • What about buying them a little date night/day package? Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you might include a gift cards for dinner and a movie. If you're looking to spend a little more, you could throw in a spa gift card for a couples massage, if they're into things like that?

    One of our favorite non-registry, non-cash gifts was a honeymoon bag! One of our friends parents ordered a Thirty-One bag embroidered with our new last name. She then filled it with "honeymoon essentials" that she knew we would need but might forget (we were headed to Punta Cana). She bought us each a Tervis mug with our first initial on it, beach towels, sun screen, after sun lotion, aloe vera, tylenol, gum & mints, and all sorts of other little things. It was obvious there was a lot of thought put into it! It also would have all fit nicely into a carry-on, had they needed to do that (they drove).
    dotilaso
  • It'd be fun if you could find out where they went on their first date or another place special to them and get them a gift certificate. Or get them a gift certificate for a couples massage somewhere to unwind when the wedding is over. Those both travel lightly and aren't just a generic cash gift. 

    Honestly, I would not get them a frame. It's a sweet thought but I think a lot of guests are probably thinking along the same lines. If you do this, I would get one from a chain store and include a gift receipt. Our wedding is in a couple of weeks and I've already received 4 picture frames - none of which are our style. They're all very thoughtful gifts, but I doubt we'll use any of them.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    Liatris2010csuaveAroundTheBlockdotilaso
  • I get she doesn't want to give cash...but don't we tell people all the time if they would prefer cash gifts "Just don't register, your guests are smart enough to get the hint"?

    These people didn't register. Take the hint.

    *I felt sorry for my husband before I met him. Take a number.*
    image

    harper0813Liatris2010MayberryAfterMidnight
  • harper0813harper0813 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2013

    I get she doesn't want to give cash...but don't we tell people all the time if they would prefer cash gifts "Just don't register, your guests are smart enough to get the hint"?

    These people didn't register. Take the hint.

    This is exactly why I still recommended cash. They can use it for whatever they want - toward their honeymoon, a nice date, prints from their photographer, etc.

    I've also given gift cards/certificates to nice restaurants in their city. I'm a foodie/restaurant-lover, so I enjoy doing the research.

    Or what about buying them a service of some sort? Dog walker, house cleaning, car detailing, etc.

    dotilaso
  • This is similar to the framed invitation - but my sister was given this for her wedding:

    It's an engraved platter with the invitation engraved onto it.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers

    image 293 (Adults) Invited
    image198 Yes (+ 12 children and 3 babies)
    image95 No
    image0 Unknown

    dotilaso
  • lalanslalans member
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    I had two awesome/personalized gifts.  One was a canvas print of one of our engagement pictures (plucked from facebook) and the other is a framed wall hanging of the outline of the state we were married in, with our names in the center, along with the date. As a background is the words of our first dance song. Its super sweet and not something I ever would have thought of on my own.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    dotilaso
  • AddieL73 said:
    OP said she doesn't really want to do cash and explained why, and yet there are several suggestions for cash. 




    Yep, but I'm going to recommend it anyway, combined with an inexpensive, yet thoughtful gift. I like NOLA's idea of the framed invitation. If they celebrate Christmas, you can buy clear ornament balls, cut the invitation into strips (horizontally, so the lines can still be read), curl the paper strips, and put them in the ball:

    imageor if they are going on a honeymoon outside the US, you can give them cash, but in the currency of the place they will be traveling to. It is still cash, but more fun, because it is for the honeymoon, and thoughtful, because you remembered where they were going.
    This sounds like a good idea but it would have been a bit of a hassle for us as we didn't open any of our cards until we had already gotten back from the honeymoon. We would have had to go find some place to exchange the money.
  • Cash travels very well.
  •  I am slightly older. I am not registered. And I DO NOT WANT CASH!!!!

    I hate it when everyone says "Oh, not registering means they want money"

    No. Not registering means myself and my FI are both very well off. We need money for nothing. It would embarrass us to receive it. We especially do not want cash gifts from young people who are spending money to travel to celebrate with us !!!

    OP, my likewise "rich" aunt sends me strudels every once in a while, I love them. If you want to send a gift ahead of time [no worries about packing!], maybe consider an inexpensive baked treat. Or, find a lovely birdbath or feeder for their garden on Amazon- shipping's free, they're only around $20-$30, and we slightly "older" folk can almost always find room for and appreciate something pretty for our backyard.

     The framed invite idea is also lovely.

     

    AroundTheBlockdotilaso
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