Wedding gifts… without a doubt the most frustrating gifts to buy. Birthdays, easy, baby showers, easy… weddings, not so much. It’s probably due to the fact that you’re buying a present for two people but also there seem to be so many rules and traditions, it’s hard to know where you stand and what you’re “supposed” to do. As someone who has been to a fair amount of weddings and had one myself, I thought I could try and offer up some advice when it comes to buying a gift for the happy couple.

The first thing you should do is to check if they have a gift list. It’s quite traditional but some couples pre-select gifts they want to receive from a specific store making it very easy for you to purchase and write a personalised message. This can seem a bit impersonal if you’re close to the bride and groom but they would have done it for a reason, so buy them the bloody blender.


If they haven’t got a list, then things get tricky. Here are some suggestions..

  • Are they going on a honeymoon? If so, but them dinner at a special restaurant or send a bottle of champagne to their room. Maybe there’s a nearby spa you can book them into?
  • Get together with some other friends and buy them something they could never afford themselves. Our friends got us an amazing speaker system for our lounge which works with our TV and for music. We love it!
  • Make it personal. Did they have a reading at their wedding? Or which song did they have their first dance to? You can have the lyrics painted onto A3 card by an illustrator and framed for them to keep.
  • Are you travelling to the wedding from somewhere abroad? Buy them something traditional from your home to remind them of your presence at the wedding. Sometimes the smaller gestures are really special.
  • If they insist they don’t need anything, make a donation to a charity that means a lot to them.
  • Pet people? You can get some amazing photography portraits done of their pet as a surprise!
  • If the couple are music fans you can do something thoughtful like buy a record player with vinyls from the years they were born in.
  • If they’re big foodie fans then why not surprise them with a post-honeymoon hamper filled with some amazing food & drink bits for them to enjoy.
  • If you want to gift something that’ll last a bit longer you can buy the couple a membership to their favourite museum, cinema or trust.
  • After splashing out on a wedding it’s really common for couples to have to save up for a mini-moon or honeymoon, so why not give them a little help and gift some ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ vouchers?

So there are quite a few ideas to get you going, if you guys have any others please comment under this post for everyone to see!

Discuss this post

22 Responses

  1. Emma Hughes says:

    Hi Lily,
    I am going to a friends wedding in October and they have requested donations to their Honeymoon…..hmmm. I don’t just want to put the cash in a card, I want to make it more special, do you have any ideas/suggestions? many thanks in advance. Em.

    • Ludo says:

      Not Lily 🙂 but in my circle people would open a little “savings account” with a travel agent, or just a debit card with the local post office, and then all the people participating in the gift would just transfer money to that account.

  2. Darby Shade says:

    Love the wedding gift you got for Anna and Mark! Such a cute idea. xx

  3. Chloe says:

    This is useful! I love the idea of getting some special words from the wedding printed! 🙂 X

  4. Susan says:

    We were at a 2 day wedding thing so in the morning after the wedding we got a picture of the bride & groom printed and put it into a frame we’d bought. Re-wrapped the whole thing back in the frame’s box and gave that to them. They only realised it was them in the frame about a min after opening it & told us it was one of the best presents they got.

  5. catherine ♡ says:

    Such good ideas! I love the more personal gifts, especially getting a reading or lyrics from the first dance printed as it’s such a lovely memento of the day x

  6. Sophie Bird says:

    I bought one couple (who didnt need any home things) a voucher for afternoon tea at a gorgeous boutique hotel in our nearest national park. They loved it. We had had afternoon tea there for a family celebration recently so knew that it was very special.

  7. Erin Russell says:

    I’m a terrible friend, I buy things that they really haven’t ever thought about getting themselves, but they always remember what I got them because its so bonkers. I got my Step Dad car cleaning supplies and twenty magic trees (he loves cleaning his car) because he was annoyed at my Mum getting all the goodies from Debenhams, he thought it was unfair.
    I got my friend this year a white DCUK with their names on the back and their date. It’s basically a wooden duck wearing welly boots. Its so random, but so cool. It now sits on their mantel because they loved how random and unique it was.
    I feel like wedding gifts now are less personal, it makes me sad, so I try to get them something they either actually NEED, or something totally unique, non cliché.

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  8. Madiha ~ MeVsTheOdds says:

    i LOVE the frame!!!

  9. Great tips Lily! My friends “have everything”, many of them just ask money in their invitation card. Couple of my friends are getting married next month and they love Japan (and food), but haven’t had the funds/energy to purchase a proper rice cooker to replace the current cheap one. Despite they originally asked money for honeymoon, I think good kitchenware is a lovely gift idea.

    I’m working part-time while studying and can’t afford a fat envelope of cash or participating in big purchases, so I’m doing an illustration according to the couple’s wishes. It might not be a surprise but at least they’re getting what they like. I know a good place for art gallery-grade prints, which I’m using to print my digital painting. In the case you sometime need a portrait or typography, drop me a message 🙂

    xx Laura / Laurantaina Beauty Blog

  10. Josie says:

    What brilliant ideas! Especially the donation to a charity, so many unwanted gifts end up on eBay or in the charity shop so it’s a fab idea for the couple that has everything (or is extra picky!) x

    What Josie Did Next

  11. Atikha says:

    aw these are such thoughtful and unique gift ideas! i mean i’m not even in the age to buy wedding gifts yet but i can’t help but think that these are really cute ideas!

  12. I found that if there is no list, gifting money is the best way to go, unless you are a really close friend.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  13. Sarah says:

    We have been to a few weddings this year and we’ve opted for waiting until after the wedding then getting an illustration done of the couple on the day. It always goes down a treat 🙂

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  14. I’m always stuck with wedding gifts as I want them to be as personal as possible – in the last few weddings we’ve attended we’ve given friends a handmade wooden duckboard for their bathroom, a wine making kit and a foodie evening class. fun things to do as a couple pretty much! Alice xxx

  15. These are some really good ideas for birthdays and other special occasions too! Thanks for sharing. Steph x

  16. Kate says:

    We had a traditional gift list, but I really love your alternative ideas for couples that don’t. Travel vouchers in particular are a lovely idea as it can be hard to fund both a wedding and a honeymoon. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  17. Natalie B says:

    Great post Lily! We think you will LOVE our tropical gifts and home accessories site: 🙂 xx

  18. These ideas are great not just for weddings, for all occasions. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing

  19. Ahhh these are such great ideas!!! I have only been to a couple of weddings over the past few years and I did struggle to find a good gift! I love the pet portrait ideas, I’ve gotten one as a gift before and it is just so friggen cute! I will definitely be keeping this post at hand so the next time I’m invited to someones special day, I’ll have a few ideas ;)!

    Xoxo – Lauren Will from

  20. Thanks for sharing these non-traditional gift ideas.

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