Inexpensive wedding gift ideas

Here Comes the Bride...There Goes the Budget

by Maureen Bennie

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Wedding Gift Ideas

Inexpensive Wedding Gifts

Tips on Giving Good Wedding Gifts

Spring and summer brings the wedding season. Attending bridal showers and weddings and bringing a gift to each of these events can add up to big dollars. Bridal registries often have expensive, unaffordable items on the list like china and linens. What's a person to do? A guest has to be clever with what to get for the happy couple. Here are some inexpensive wedding gift ideas that any bride (or groom) would love.

Wine or Champagne

Rarely does a registry have wine on it, yet there isn't a couple who doesn't appreciate a nice bottle of wine or bubbly. There are great domestic wines for under $20 that please the palate and would add a nice touch to a romantic evening. Consult your local wine merchant for the best of the budget wines and champagne.

Offer a Service for the Wedding

My husband and I are both professional musicians. At one wedding we attended we offered to play the music. The bride was thrilled as it added a personal touch. Maybe you have a talent for making scrapbooks. Offer to do personal scrapbook of the day filled with quotes from the guests alongside their pictures. My mother-in-law made the wedding cake for her daughter and was it wonderful! Maybe you live in a nice place with a view and could offer it for a simple rehearsal get-together. Do you have good computer skills? Offer to do the wedding day program or the invitations. The bride and groom always appreciate contributions from friends and family, as that is what makes the day a personal one.

Create a Recipe Book

For a shower, collect recipes from all the bride's friends and family. Paste them onto a colored paper backing or re-type them and add computer clip art to create a recipe book full of all-time tried and true favorites. The recipes will bring back memories for the bride and create some new eating traditions and favorites with her husband.

Give Photo Albums and/or Picture Frames

There are always plenty of snapshots to be organized after the wedding. Every couple would love to receive photo albums to remember the snap shots of the day. Be sure to include extra photo pages. If you are good at making scrapbooks, offer to do a book with a theme of pre-wedding events or wedding day events such as a behind the scenes look of the day. Give a few picture frames to display the best wedding photos. Frames can be bought cheaply at department stores like Wal-Mart.

The Theme Basket

Create a theme basket with items from the drugstore, dollar store, or discount chain. An example could be "Breakfast in Bed." Fill a basket with jams, maple syrup, tea, coffee, 2 mugs, pancake, muffin, or scone mix. The newlyweds will love this personal touch for a weekend morning together. How about a "Romantic Evening" basket? Put candles, two bath towels, bubble bath, chocolates, a small bottle of champagne, and two champagne flutes in a basket. Wrap baskets in cellophane available in rolls wherever card and wrap supplies are sold.

Related: Creative Gift Basket Ideas

If China is a Must

If the wedding couple wants china, be creative about what pieces you buy and where to look. Many of the big companies have outlet stores such as Mikasa. Serving pieces are the most expensive like soup tureens, large bowls, gravy boats and tea and coffeepots. Try getting salt and pepper shakers or a place setting. If this is still out of your budget range, opt for a nice glass or crystal vase in any beautiful pattern. Vases are always appreciated for the post-wedding flowers.

Spruce up the Table

Place mats, cloth napkins and tablecloths are good basic items for any couple to have. Look for discontinued patterns in neutral colors such as white or off-white. Candle holders or dried flower centerpieces jazz up an ordinary table. Dried flower centerpieces can often be found at craft fairs for a reasonable price. Comb flea and antique markets for the one-of-a-kind decorative item. Unique, well-chosen items are often well received from the wedding couple.

Personalized Towels

New towels are appreciated in any new household. Add a personalized touch by embroidering a design on them or get the couples initials put on. If you're unsure of what color to buy, white is always a safe bet.

Bridal gift giving doesn't have to involve an expensive buying spree. The wedding couple will embrace any unique idea that comes from your heart. It's your presence that counts not what you buy. Go and celebrate the big day with the people you love and care about.

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