Open thread: What were your favorite wedding gifts?

Updated Jan 15 2016
meggyfin
gifts!
Thanks to Maggie for uploading this photo to our Flickr pool!

We know a lot of y'all just got married. (Congrats, and thanks for still hanging out with us!) So here's a fun post-wedding related question, one of our readers recently asked:

Totally materialistic post: What was your favorite wedding gift? Most unique? Most creative?

Ooh ooh, I'll start…

My favorite gift that I registered for: It might seem boring but… my plates. Seven years later, and after daily use, I still love the hell out of them. They're just so damn pretty, and they help me do my favorite thing in the world — eat.

My favorite gift that was a total surprise: A photo album of guest-shot wedding photos. We fired our photographer mid-wedding day, so any extra pics were great. But one guest went out of their way to put together a little album for us, and sent that… along with a few kick-ass martini glasses for all the post-wedding drinks we needed to have. πŸ˜‰

Now it's your turn. What was your favorite or most surprising wedding gift?

PS: Ready to add weird things to your registry?

Oh and PS: We're in love with Amazon's wedding registries because they include a universal registry option — so you can register for stuff from ANYWHERE online, using Amazon.

Setup your wedding registry today

(and then get ready to add the stuff you're about to see in the comments…

  1. My favorite registered gift is our Weber grill. We were having the wedding at our house, and being pressed financially we worked every day up until the wedding. My dad surprised us by coming to our house while we were at work to help us clean up the yard, then we came home to a brand new barbecue! We use it regularly and can foresee using it for years to come, based on how long my dad's Weber has held up.

    Favorite surprise gift: A friend of mine got us 100% copper Moscow Mule mugs. We had never been able to find 100% copper mugs, just nickel-lined. I think we mentioned it off-handedly sometime last year, and he remembered! We love them so much we had to find out where he got them, and ordered two more so we could have him over for drinks.

  2. Yay!
    We got a ton of super awesome things but the most unexpectedly amazing one was two sheets of wedding stamps. Seriously- how brilliant is that? I'm totally including stamps in all wedding gifts from now on. after bridal shower thank you notes and invitations and the damn RSVP cards no one sent back, I was so sick of buying postage. Total sanity saver!

  3. We just started opening our wedding presents (married 11/14/15) yesterday, so this feels pretty timely! We registered on Traveler's Joy, so most people gave us money towards the honeymoon, but a few people also did other things. One of my best friends designed our AMAZING programs and got them printed for us, which is probably one of the best presents we've ever gotten! She put a lot of time into it, and they were so much better than I ever would have dreamed. A family friend also got us a Death Star cookie jar full of cookie mixes, and we were cheering when we opened it!

    One of the great things about having the honeymoon registry is that all of the physical presents we got were really wonderful, meaningful, or funny! There were only a handful, and they were really fun to open.

    • What kinds of things did you list on your honeymoon registry? I love how people get creative with the meaningful and funny stuff they put on their intangible registries…

      • Not Stammily, but we used Traveler's Joy, too. We went back to Austin for our honeymoon which is where we first met and lived for a few years. We put things on there like going back to the restaurant where we had our first date, grabbing a beer at each of our favorite bars, going kayaking on Lake Travis if the weather cooperated (it did not), and a relaxing couple's massage – which we actually ended up each getting a massage and taking an hour-long float in a zero gravity tank – a MUST try for anyone remotely interested!

      • Since we're going on a Disney cruise it was super easy to just lift most of it from Disneys honeymoon registry! We listed the off ship adventures we're going on, things like dinner at one of the fancy onboard restaurants, a welcome package with champagne… We're going to send photos of us doing the activity that people bought for us in the thank you cards! Anyone who just gave us a general gift will get whatever awesome honeymoon photo we think they'll like best.

    • I saw this post yesterday and thought of you but I see you found it!

      Stumbling on your comment in the wild just made my day!

    • Nice! I've got the same one in red and it's amazing! I don't take it out all that often because it's bulky and heavy, but when you want a job done right, it's definitely the way to go.

      (As a wedding present, we got an attachment set for it including a grinder, slicer, and juicer. I haven't had a chance to play with them yet, but I'm really excited to!)

    • I didn't keep a lot of the wedding gifts from my first marriage (too painful), but I made an exception for the Kenwood Chef mixer that was an engagement gift from my ex's parents. There was no way I was getting rid of that!

  4. One of our favorite gifts was something we didn't register for. A friend of ours had a personalized cutting board made for us. It says "The Story of Jay and Jess, Published 06.13.2015" with some books engraved in as well. We met in college and were both English majors and books were a huge part of our wedding. It was great getting a gift that was so thoughtful and personal to us!

  5. Ooooh fun question.

    The best non-registry gift we got was a gorgeous painting a friend of ours did for us. This friend had been going through a lot of turmoil in her life at the time so it was really unexpected and sweet. We can't wait to hang it up in our home and her card made me cry! It said something along the lines of "no matter where you live, this painting will always symbolize the home that you have"

    The most practical gift is a toss up between this really awesome lazy susan chip and dip set (http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-497177/food-network-6-pc-lazy-susan-chip-dip-set.jsp?skuId=Food+Network+6-pc.+Lazy+Susan+Chip++Dip+Set&search=Food+Network+6-pc.+Lazy+Susan+Chip++Dip+Set&submit-search=web-regular) and our knives.

  6. Favorite registry gifts: DeLonghi countertop skillet & grill, from my bridal shower. My (now) husband uses them DAILY, because we don't have much in the way of pots & pans, and they're perfect for our little apartment.

    Favorite off-registry gift: My bridesman commissioned an amazing embroidery hoop felt artwork thing (Idk what to call it) of two Daleks getting married, with our names & wedding date. I can't wait to hang it up!

    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/126436885@N07/23079124681/

  7. My fave gift was a tall free-standing mirror my mother-in-law had gussied up with light blue paint and had hot glued several white and purple flowers all over it (my wedding colors!) I keep it in my office/makeup room.

  8. I'd asked my cousin to record our ceremony and the speeches. I figured I'd just get some raw video that I could look back on in the future. Instead, he recorded stuff all night and put together an hour of edited video, complete with a five-minute segment of our guests quoting the Princess Bride for us. (Our favorite movie!)

    It was super-special and a complete surprise. In exchange I promised him I'd try to recreate a long-lost family recipe of his grandmother's, so the hunt is on!

  9. I think my favourite is the breadmaker. Or the Sodastrem (which is being used EXCESSIVELY right now…). Or a caricature my mom had commissioned for us. Yeah, I think the caricature. It has my husband, our two cats, pumpkins, leaves, mountains, geocaching… I'm wearing a tshirt with Pikachu on it and he's wearing one with Minions on it. Yep. VERY us and something I want to see everyday. πŸ™‚

  10. My fav was a rice cooker – a year later it's still used A LOT!
    Also, Hubby's family all pitched and gave us money to put in a bay window in the living room.
    It's much more energy efficient than the flat bay window that came with the house.

    • We got a fancy Zojirushi rice cooker from my husband's family and by far it's the thing we love and use the most off the registry.

      However, we also love our new utensils, so much so that when our friends got married this summer and we saw they wanted the same everyday flatware set we got, we jumped on the chance to get it for them. πŸ˜€

  11. We haven't gotten married yet, but will be doing so in the next year or so hopefully (working on venues right now!) – but of the things we've added to our registries, I really hope they go for the more off-the-wall items – the Disney things, paintball gear, etc rather than the homebody things we added because we thought they'd be nice to have.

  12. Lots of people gave us cash & visa gift cards, which was unexpected yet wonderful.

    My favorite registry gift is our bread machine. I knew we wanted one, but we've been using it like every other day. It's freaking awesome.

    My favorite unexpected gift – a beer cap map in the shape of the state of Texas (http://www.beercapmaps.com/maps/us-states). We're HUGE beer nerds and we met and lived in Texas for a few years, so this was a perfect gift for us.

  13. Hot water kettle (with adjustable temperature), programmable rice cooker, and a real/big camera with a case and a big SD card (not one with fancy lenses, but nicer than a point-and-shoot)!

    • Mine wasn't a wedding gift but my adjustable temperature kettle saved my green tea. I was notorious for burning the leaves and making bitter green tea >.> it sucked because I desperately wanted to have GOOD green tea! Now I just set the right temperature and can steep right away!

  14. My favorite item we registered for was a small step ladder! I never thought it would be my favorite but I use it all the time!

    And my favorite surprise item was our invitation framed with flowers in our wedding colors in a shadow box. It was so creative and cute, and I would never have thought of doing something fancy like that myself!

  15. We didn't have a registry, so all our gifts were products of our guests' minds, which was interesting in its own right. I'd say the best gift was a PieBox (see here: http://www.piebox.com/) with pie plate, tart pan, and recipes. I bake a transport a lot of pies, so it was super helpful.

  16. My brother made us a hand drawn steampunk robot couple on an old dictionary page. He tore out a page from the m's so Marriage was near the top corner. <3 I love it…it hangs over my desk so I see it every day!

  17. We live in the US and went to Toronto for our honeymoon. One of the most memorable gifts we got was from one of hubby's coworkers–Canadian cash. We had registered for both traditional and cash-for-honeymoon gifts, but I loved this. In fact, this foreign currency become our new go-to wedding present for couples we know are leaving the country for their honeymoon.

    • I do this whenever the couple is traveling to a foreign country for their honeymoon. Some friends did it for us years ago and it was crazy helpful not having to hit the money exchange lines as soon as you hit the airport.

    • !!!There can be downsides attached to this!!!

      Friends of ours got married last year and followed it straight up with a round the world holiday. We found out the places they were going and got them currency for all of their major destinations…… but, they didn't open the gifts until they got back. :O

      That kinda sucked, they loved the thought and rang us to say thanks and said they were kicking themselves for not opening before they left. I think they were going to just get it changed back which is a downer.

  18. My favorite gift was from my brother and his lady. They surprised us and got us and paid for our venue. We were going to get married in their back yard, but they said we needed something special. Another favorite gift was my coworker paid for my wedding hair as a surprise as well. I didn't find out until my hair was finished. Material wise my favorite is the pewter goblets with our names that my husbands parents gifted us.

    • DAMN. if anyone in my family cares to sweep me away and pay for a venue, I'd totally be down for that………*crickets* lol

  19. Hard to decide, but I think our favorite gift has probably been Waterford crystal double old fashioned glasses. We added these to our registry sort of on a random whim, but someone purchased them and I now use them for pretty much every beverage (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic)…they're just the right amount of heavy and feel really nice in your hand.

  20. My super-talented bestie drew a comic-style picture of us and put it in a gorgeous frame. She did our wedding invites free of charge which I had assumed was her gift to us. I nearly cried when I opened it and found she'd been working on that masterpiece at the same time.

  21. Favorite registry gifts: KitchenAid mixer, kitty condo, shit ton of board games from our friends to grow our collection. We put about 27 board games and non-board games (Jenga, Uno, Cards Against Humanity) on our registry and our friends bought nearly all of them. So for the past couple of months we've been married, we've had Friday Night Game Nights. πŸ™‚

    Favorite non-registry gifts: hand-crocheted blanket from my godmother, heirloom china from my grandparents, the wedding itself from my parents . . .

  22. We had mainly a honeymoon register, so favourite thing there was seeing animals on safari in Sri Lanka. Best register gift we got was the I could eat a unicorn pasta sizer as I always made too much. Off register we got a newly wed box with slippers and things for the house, an amazing blues brother's print and a lego minifigure superman and wonderwoman frame!

  23. We registered on Traveler's Joy so most of our gifts went towards that. We're going on a cruise that tours Iceland and Ireland so we registered for the excursions we want to go on as well a few other things. Kayaking, whale watching, passes to the Titanic museum in Belfast, etc. The funniest that we picked and someone got us was money for hotdogs in Iceland. Yes, we put hot dogs on our registry. They're a specialty in Iceland and considered a must-try while we're there. The quirkiest non-registry gift that we got was a mounted poster of Joker and Harlequin getting married. It's gorgeous and perfect for us!

    • The hotdogs (at one particular famous hotdog stand) are just something that HAS to be done in Iceland.
      Don't know what it is about them, but they're great! Even better at midnight when you get the munchies after a day of touring about.
      I would go back to Iceland in a heartbeat, even though with non-connecting flights from Australia it took about 32 hours to get there…

      • That is great to hear! I'm excited to try them. I'm so excited to see Iceland. Since I was a kid, I've wanted to see Iceland. We're doing a cruise that leaves from the UK but funny enough, we're actually flying through Iceland to get there. The airfare was way cheaper than other airlines. So we'll see a glimpse of Iceland before we arrive there a few days later on the ship.

  24. The most useful gift we received was a large canvas tote with a wire frame and a matching cooler and outdoor blanket that my aunt had personalized for us. We've taken it to board game nights, to concerts, to festivals, and just out for picnics – it's great for carrying everything we need!

    Our favorite gift, though, was a hand-crocheted afghan from a friend of the family. A neighbor I was close to when I was very young had begun to crochet it for me when I was a teenager, intending it to be a graduation present, but she passed away before I graduated. I never knew about it until my grandmother's friend presented it to me at our wedding and told me that she had taken the partially-finished afghan and the materials from my neighbor's home and finished it for her, because she knew that that was what my neighbor would have wanted. It was the only time I cried at all on my wedding day because it was such a heartfelt gesture and it meant so much to me!

  25. Favorite Registry Gift (thus far): I add the "thus far" disclaimer because a lot of our wedding, including gifts, is still packed in boxes. But so far our new shower hooks are my favorite thing! We got these http://www.walmart.com/ip/37300055?registryId=99720405582&listId=746da740-840f-46b8-8885-22c834752b30&listType=WR&listItemId=3eeb38e7-d98a-4398-959f-b4bec63cef4a&selected=true and they are awesome! It is so damn nice to be able to change EITHER the curtain or the liner and not have to take both down every single time. It's the little things right?

    Favorite Non-Registry Gift: Would have to be the awesome Tornado Lamp that my co-worker got me for my surprise shower. It was Halloween themed and changed colors and glitter flew around inside it. We were mesmerized. We decided to use it as decor at our wedding and someone knocked it off the windowsill and broke it. Major sads! I have to ask my co-worker where she got it and get a replacement.

  26. My wife's favorite gift is the KitchenAid stand mixer for sure, lol.
    I have a few… one that stands out in my mind are these gray pinstriped Calvin Klein sheets. Not because I'm particularly attached to grey, or pinstripes, or Calvin Klein, but because of who they came from. One of my coworkers/employees, who I ended up mentoring and developing professionally, and whom I adore, who is all of nineteen years old. Because I can just see this kid that I love so much, like, googling what to give as a wedding gift (he had never been to a wedding before), and rolling up in the TJ Maxx, and picking out these sheets all by himself, and being super proud of himself for it. I crack up every time I think about it.

    • as someone who worked in youth development, that story gave me the biggest heartswell. Of course you can imagine him thinking of the perfect thing to get you. Ugh too cute

  27. We got a ton of super useful gifts (silverware, non-stick pans, silicone bakeware), but my favorite gift is our tent. We love to go camping and this was a huge gift that we've used many times in the 5 years since our wedding.
    A gift I almost returned (because it wasn't on the registry and I didn't think we'd use it–so wrong!) but has been incredibly useful was actually a backpack picnic set! We take it everywhere–potlucks where you are supposed to bring your own plates, Pizza Farm where you picnic and eat pizza, actual picnics, camping…It looks like this but I think was from Target originally. http://www.wayfair.com/Picnic-At-Ascot-Bold-Picnic-Backpack-with-Blanket-and-Four-Place-Settings-081XBLB-L1040-K~PVQ1053.html?refid=GX64116240540-PVQ1053&device=c&ptid=99051882540&gclid=CjwKEAiAmqayBRDLgsfGiMmkxT0SJADHFUhPS4xfqVXhKVPR9bz67ZkPmD3MqYxl450-qCNLuJcONhoCydfw_wcB

  28. Our "Aw yeah!" gift was a aqua coloured tray with a dragon printed on it. It doesn't get alot of use be we love it regardless. And it was full of chocolate. Our "What the frick where they thinking?!" gift was from my FIL… two comic encyclopedias. One DC and one Marvel. We're book nerds but not comic nerds. They went into the book case in the kids section. In case we ever do manage to have kids.

  29. for registered gifts, it was the Nerf guns. it was fun enough having a few on the registry, but then we got something like twice the number we asked for! so much Nerf.

    in terms of not necessarily surprise, but crafted gifts (which is its own category, since we had enough people do so): it's a tossup between the amazing quilt his mother made for us and the matching tree goblets my friend made (ceramic, and i got to help decide their design and glazing).

  30. My favourite registry gift was a Cuisinart multi-temp kettle — use it every day for various green & herbal teas! My spouse's favourite gift was a hiking tour and dinner from our travel registry. (Have to agree, that grilled fish tasted GREAT after two hours of walking in the mountains in Crete.)

    Our favourite surprise gift was a single life-size, realistic, beautifully ornate high-heeled shoe… made completely of Swiss chocolate.

  31. We got married in May and we needed a new bed. We had lived together in and off but but of us had double beds and my husband is over 6ft talk and the only way for him to sleep in a double bed is to lie diagonally which is not great when sharing. We also wanted a new bed as something that would be just ours, a sort of ritual for moving on from my past sexual history with other men. So we passed on that we were looking for a bed to friends and family. 90% of our gifts were money and not only were we able to afford a queen bed and mattress but we were able to get a really beautiful hardwood bed frame and a really nice mattress. We were completely overwhelmed by how much everyone loved us and took to heart what we wanted and needed.

    My other favourite was dishes. One friend gave us a set that initally we weren't sure we wanted because we knew my mum was getting us dishes. But they're fabulous and We love them. My mum still gave us dishes but since she's a potter they are handbuilt and beautiful. We use them as our fine china.

    • We did a new bed as well!
      Kingsize and brand new linen from so many generous contributions. We just did a simple cheap base until we build our new home as I can't bear anymore mismatched furniture.
      Bamboo sheets are divine and we sleep so well now.

  32. This is a toughie!
    For our actual wedding, our friends and family mostly gave us money and/or gift cards so I will lump shower and wedding gifts all together…
    For me, I think my two favourite single gifts are the Kitchen Aid stand mixer my aunt and my two cousins together gave us (they also gave us tons of accessories and baking stuff to go with it!) and the full set of formal china, Noritake's Austin Platinum, that the Zero's sister's boyfriend's parents (follow that?) gave us for a wedding present even though they couldn't come. The mixer was my dream because I miss the one my mom and I shared when I lived with her (I bake a lot) and the china is gorgeous and, while the couple are also friends with the Zero's parents, I couldn't believe the got it for us! It was one of those things you put on the registry because you don't think anyone will get it for you but you know you can get 20% off after the wedding if you buy it yourself! lol I also LOVE all of our other set of china we received, Lenox's Chirp, but all of that came from tons of different people (I think we ended up with an 8 person set plus accessories)!
    The Zero's favourite, so he says, is a jellyfish in a glass dome one of his aunts and uncles gave us as a "fun gift" at an informal shower with his family! lol He also really likes the Lenox Chirp china, which is pretty cool since he's a guy! Although I know he secretly loves his new cast iron pan (from his uncle) and giant Lodge cast iron Dutch oven (from my mom's friend) too!

  33. My favorite gift that I registered for: We are big foodies so when we decided to list our Kitchenaid mixer on our wedding registry, we had hoped that we would get it but didn't expect someone to drop that large amount of money on a gift. We were pleasantly surprised that my mom's church group ladies all chipped in to get us our Kitchenaid! It only took us a few months to end up using it as we thought it was too fancy and didn't want to ruin it :p
    My favorite gift that was a total surprise: Our friends "stole" some random items and decorations from our wedding ceremony and reception to make a shadow box of our special day! The display is amazing and such a thoughtful gift! Flowers from the tables, the program, and some other knickknacks were included. We will cherish this gift FOREVER!

    • We had to get rid of all my dishes when we combine households because we were agreeing to a different level of kashruit (keeping kosher) than I had prior. I agreed to do it on the condition that I got to register (we were in our late 30's so might not have). I love having such a nice kitchen!

  34. We went to Paris for our honeymoon and my aunt and cousins gave us a Paris museum pass, which allowed entry to 70 sites and shorter lines and was such a thoughtful gift (and, yes, of course, our good memories of Paris of course made seeing what happened there even harder)

  35. Our wedding is still 6 months away, but we're just "registering" for cash (OMGTACKY!). But our favorite "gift" so far has been the kegs of beer bought by FSIL & FCIL (cousin-in-law). It's a gift that keeps on giving.

  36. It's really hard to pick just one – our friends and family really went above and beyond, whether they purchased from the registry, got creative, gave us good old cash, or simply put forth the effort and money to travel to be with us (and foot their hotel bill). But we did get some truly unique items: an Easter Island tissue box; a large framed poster from a Cynics/Sonics show we'd seen with this particular guest; beer glasses made from recycled beer bottles; a basket with custom labeled booze bottles – first Christmas (a bottle of red wine), first fight (a bottle of Cleveland bourbon), first road trip (a bottle of Chimay), etc; a henna-dyed tamborine with a Weeping Angel on it. Our folks know us well, and are very creative!

  37. Our formal china — which was definitely more than one gift! I know it's really traditional to register for china, but it means a lot to me to have it. We received all eight dinner plates — I was so thrilled! It feels like such a special thing to have. I'd encourage anyone who is on the fence about registering for china to DO IT!

  38. My favorite wedding gift was an awesome Pyrex casserole dish, but it was no ordinary dish. My new cousin-in-law etched into the bottom of the glass "you've been poisoned by the [newlastname]s" with a little skull and crossbones. I loved it SO MUCH and am waiting for the day I get invited to a potluck lol

  39. My favorite registry gift: Our rice cooker.
    We've made so many healthy meals over the years we've really benefited from having it.

  40. We used thankfulregistry.com because it let us be very flexible with the registry. We had a number of people who we knew could not contribute much financially, so we asked for favorite/family recipes. We got some great recipes through it, some were photocopies that my great-grandmother had written.

    of the materialistic nature – my new chef's knife (http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1039189/Miyabi+Artisan+SG2+Collection+Chefs+Knife) whoa man, it is a life changer. I felt so silly and selfish putting it on the registry (a 200$ knife wtf!?!? i don't need this – went through my head). if you are registering for knifes, don't just pick an expensive one, go to a store and hold them, most stores will have some veggies for you to cut, and i really disliked some handles that i thought i would like

  41. Can I just say "money", because it was money. It enabled us to take a great honeymoon without worry which is what matters to us. I know it's supposed to be "tacky" (or some say it is – meh), I know people say you'll "regret" not getting a gift to "remember someone" by, but I do remember people for making our awesome honeymoon possible. The "but when you use your salad bowls you'll think fondly of Aunt Crappadocia, you can't do that with money" crowd was wrong.

  42. Ok…we were pretty intentional about all our registry gifts, but the one we've probably used the most, and which has been LIFECHANGING, is our Mandolin slicer. We do a CSA (meant for a family of four, when ours is two), and man, I don't know how we got through that many veggies for three years without a mandolin!

    Non-registry gift: a coworker/ friend of my now-husband always paints a painting of the wedding location. She's a bit backed up, but so sweeeeeet! I don't care if we ever get it, because that's the most involved wedding gift from a non-family member ever!

    Now I'm thinking of so many other awesome gifts! Ugh. But I will stick with these. : ]

    • P.S.- We used a SoKind registry, and added to it as we thought of things we could use. I loved having all that flexibility and control!

  43. My photographers offered a registry which was awesome. So we were able to register for things that we weren't able to afford in their package. My bridesmaids surprised me and all chipped in to add the photobooth onto the wedding. It was SO much fun. They also took it upon themselves to make sure that all the tables got up and used the photobooth, so now we have these hysterical pictures of everyone who was there at our special day!

Read more comments

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.