This time of year, it seems wedding bells are ringing everywhere. Because for some reason we seem to think that "hey, summer, the hottest time of the year, that's a brilliant time to decide to wear a dress that weighs eighty pounds and has 582 layers of fabric!". I know this because I was married in early August (remember that, it's relevant later).
As an honored guest, you are now supposed to bring a gift for the couple. What to do? Let's examine a few options.
Option A: You could buy from the registry. It may feel like you're putting no thought into the gift, but it guarantees you have purchased something the couple wants/needs. (Probably wants - because who NEEDS a heart-shaped waffle iron?)
Option B: Find a gift on your own. This shows a bit of independence but you also risk not fitting into a decorating theme, duplicating something they already have, or buying something that may be laughed at for years to come.
Option C: Cold, hard cash (or check or gift card). It often feels like the lazy way out, but everyone loves to spend money. Sure, five years from now, you won't be able to visit their house and wonder "where's that rooster tea cozy I gave them?" but you'll know they spent it on something of their choosing.
Option D: Put together a fabulous gift basket - this shows a bit of skill and creativity because you can tailor the items to the specific couples' interests. If the couple enjoys cooking, individually choose items for their kitchen and place them in a nice bowl. If the couple enjoys gardening, a beautiful piece of pottery full of seeds and tools and a nice message about their love growing like a garden.
Option D+: And, really, this is a category of its own due to the creativity involved. Baskets come in many shapes and forms so why not go with a GARBAGE basket!?!? Maybe a nice white one from Rubbermaid. Then, fill it with Christmas ornaments purchased at garage sales. Be sure to leave the hand-written price stickers on the items "accidentally" so the recipients will know you took the time to pick these items out individually and very deliberately. And no gift of this caliber is complete without an equally creative card with a custom message. Perhaps a post-it note that says something like:
Congratulations Joe and Cate! We had hoped to have money to give you for a honeymoon but after everything we spent on your wedding, including a dress for me, a suit for your dad, food and flowers, there wasn't any left. Love, Mom and Dad.Guess which one my parents went with? And when I say my parents, I pretty much mean my mother because my father is not allowed to have independent thoughts. Also, I won't get into it all here, but let's just say that 90% of the wedding was paid for by me and Joe and my grandmother.
So in summary, when you're looking for the perfect gift for the perfect couple on their perfect day, nothing says love quite like saying "when I think of you as a couple, I think of a garbage can full of used Christmas ornaments". Especially in August on the hottest day of the year.