Ahh...weddings. The most joyous day in someone's life — and an amazing excuse to buy yourself an LBD and drink a little too much champagne. The only thing you need to do is find the perfect gift to help your friend or family member celebrate their big day. There are many thoughtful wedding gifts you can buy on a budget, even if the couple's registered items are beyond what you can afford. Although in many cases it's best to stick to the bride and groom's registry, you're perfectly welcome to get creative if you want to give something more personal (and economical).
Jodi R. R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, told Real Simple she thinks of registry items as "merely suggestions, not obligations." They can give you a great look into what a couple needs and how their tastes align, which should inspire a gift that is truly unique. So, if you see new sheets on the couple's registry — think about grabbing them a cute wedding themed pillow set. If the couple really wants some fancy new art to display in their new home, try ordering a heartfelt map tapestry as a reminder of where they first met.
Read on, enjoy wedding season, and be inspired by these thoughtful wedding gifts that any set of newlyweds will being "aww"-ing over.
For $50-And-Under Budgets, Try These:
Gift The Crafty, DIY Bride This Best-Selling Photo Display For Wedding Snaps
Umbra Hangit Photo Display, $20, Amazon
A wooden, clothespin hanging photo display gives the crafty bride the artistic look she wants when hanging her favorite wedding photos in her new home. If she booked a prop-ready photobooth at the wedding or included a disposable camera with her guest book, this gift will be a great way for her to put her memories on display. She can easily swap photos in and out with one of the display's 40 wooden clothespin clips that hang off of the five twine cords.
Level Up The Couple's Kitchen Accessories
Personalized Bamboo Cutting Board , $40, Amazon
Whether your newlywed pals have an affinity for cheese samplings or simply chop a lot, the couple will get plenty of use out of this personalized bamboo cutting board. Each board is uniquely cut, so no two are alike (even without the last name), and the bamboo fibers are lighter and more durable than most other wood cuts.
Order Wedding-Themed Mugs For Pinterest-Loving Bride
Mr. and Mrs. Copper Mugs for Moscow Mules, $43, Amazon
Custom Moscow Mule mugs are a huge trend on Pinterest, so you can bet that any "Pinner" has them all over her "Wedding Day Decor" board. These 100 percent copper "His" and "Hers" mule mugs will be a great way for the bridge and groom to remember their special day while enjoying a drink or two in celebration of their new home. Bonus: They are made with a special lacquer coating that helps them hold their luster over time.
Outfit The Stylish Couple With Handmade Nameplates
Personalized Gold Bar Necklace , $28, Amazon
These handmade customized nameplates let you get as detailed or streamlined as you please with a personalized touch. Crafted from 14 karat gold, the simple pieces look beautiful layered with other necklaces or standing out on their own.
Give Beer Connoisseurs A Home Brewing Kit For Post-Wedding Drinks
Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit (Everyday IPA), $35, Amazon
This DIY brewing kit includes everything needed to make a delicious gallon of homemade beer, including only whole ingredients and a centuries-old brewing method. What better activity for beer lovers than testing out their own brewing skills? Bonus: If the couple wants to make more batches after the first gallon, the kit is reusable. All they need to add is new ingredients.
Provide Brunch-Loving Couple With Heart-Shaped Waffles
Holstein Housewares Heart Waffle Maker, $35, Amazon
This non-stick waffle maker creates heart-shaped goodies in minutes, which would make any couple want to stay in on a Sunday morning. If this couple hasn't missed a brunch in five years, they'll love cooking up a love-themed meal together in their new home. Plus, just like any delicious brunch downtown — it will still be totally Instagram-worthy.
Snag Hand-Stamped Ice Cream Spoons For Sweet Tooths
Ice Cream Spoon Set , $26, Amazon
Married couples seem to share everything — except for their ice cream, of course. These playful, hand stamped spoons will set the ground rules by labeling "my ice cream" and "your ice cream." They feature vintage-inspired floral patterns and are polished for a cute addition to any newlywed kitchen.
For $50-$100 Budgets, Try These:
Help Newlyweds Get Their Hosting Game On Point
Office Star Royse Serving Cart , $89, Amazon
The happy couple will have the most popular place to hang for the first few months. Outfit them with the stylish chrome bar cart to artfully display keep their drink-mixing tools and gizmos for entertaining. The versatile elegant finish will fit into any design aesthetic, and users say it looks great and is easy to assemble.
Get The Wanderlust Couple A Tapestry Featuring Their Fave City
Society6 Barcelona Map 88" x 104", $79, Amazon
The happy couple has an adorable story about how they met during their semester abroad in Barcelona. Help the newlyweds pay homage to the place they hold near and dear with a vivid map wall tapestry with hand-sewn finishings. Bonus: This tapestry can be taken off the wall and machine-washed when needed.
Pick A Classic, Portable Player From The Trusted Name In Music
Crosley Cruiser Portable Turntable, $79, Amazon
This retro-inspired portable turntable is a favorite among 21st century music lovers. It fills the room with the classic and rich sound of vinyl, but it's updated with built-in speakers for mobility and a headphone jack for those afternoons when your S.O. is taking a nap. The couple will love carrying this briefcase-style player to their friends' houses (with a bottle of vino, of course) to have a listening party.
Choose Fun & Strong Stand To Hold Couple's Record Collection
Wirecord Turntable Stand in Black Finish, $60, Amazon
Putting your portable record player on the floor can feel so college, so give the happy couple this fun and practical piece of furniture that provides them with a spot to display their new player and their favorite records. Made by Crosley, the durable steel frame stand is strong and will fit perfectly in a living room (or dining room) for entertaining guests in their new crib.
Motivate Social Media-Savvy Couple To Disconnect With Instant Printer
Fujifilm Instax Smartphone Portable Printer, $178, Amazon
With a fun and instant portable printer, couples won't feel like they need to be spending time on their social media channels — taking away from bonding time together. Instead, the camera prints a photo and posts to social media in one simple step, so the couple can print and hang them anywhere — without getting sucked into their Instagram feeds. Bonus: The printer comes with 10 sheets of film, so the couple can get started on printing their memories right away.
Choose Decorative Wine Cork Holder For Couple Who Loves To Entertain
Wine Letter Cork Holder Art Wall Décor, $100, Amazon
This metal letter wall hang has open space to fit corks from every event hosted by the new couple. They're easy to hang, and they'll be a fun decoration that holds many vino-filled memories for the lovebirds who always throw amazing get-togethers.
Decorative Double Hammock For Outdoorsy Couples
Novica White Cotton Double Hammock, $115, Amazon
This handmade double hammock is outfitted with ornate fringe for a dressed-up backyard accessory, and it's roomy enough for two to roomily lounge together. It's created with soft, 100 percent cotton, and one user mentioned it's more comfortable than traditional mesh hammocks they've tried, saying, "The handworked crocheted lace is spectacular, and oh, so, romantic looking."
For $100-And-Up Budgets, Try These:
Send Outdoorsy Lovebirds Out With Fully Stacked Picnic Basket
Canterbury Picnic Basket with Deluxe Service for Two, $230, Amazon
For the hiking and camping couple, a deluxe, elegant picnic and coffee service packed into a genuine leather and plush corduroy basket will have them enjoying nature over a romantic meal. The set comes with everything that's needed for two — from porcelain plates to wine glasses, and it even includes a blanket, so they won't have to worry about forgetting one. It also includes a cheese knife, cutting board, and insulated wine duffel. Cheers!
Barista-Approved Espresso Maker Supports The Starbucks Lovers
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista White, $170, Amazon
The newly married couple will want to spend more time in bed cuddling and less time in those endless morning Starbucks lines. This coffee shop-in-a-machine will give them the same delicious drinks without leaving the house, as it makes espresso shots, lattes, and cappuccinos — and even comes with its own automatic milk frother. They'll love impressing their friends with after-dinner drinks and might even take a stab at some cool latte art.
Sleek & Stylish Two-Tone Aluminum Set Makes Cooking Look Easy
Rachael Ray 14-Piece Nonstick Cookware, $140, Amazon
This durable cookware set by Rachael Ray includes all of the necessary cookware for the "foodie" couple, along with a carbon steel baking sheet and three silicone and nylon prep tools. Bonus: the lids are shatter-resistant and everything comes with extra grip handles, which may be necessary for the couple during their first few weeks in the kitchen together.
Give A Cookbook For Delicious Do-It-Together Recipes
The Newlywed Cookbook , $22, Amazon
The couple who cooks together, stays together. This cookbook, made specifically for "just married" couples, has 30 recipes for both classic and modern cooking that gives lovebirds quality time in their kitchen. It covers all occasions, from a typical weeknight meal to the perfect dinner for a special occasion.
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