If you must decline a wedding invitation from someone who is dear to you, you’ll want to give an excellent gift that both underscores your feelings for the recipients and serves as something that will remind them of you for years to come. Here is a list of the best wedding gifts to give if you cannot attend the wedding:
Believe it or not, money is the best gift to give a new couple, whether or not you attend the ceremony. This is agreed upon by married couples, engaged couples, and those who write the rules of etiquette for things like weddings. People who are just starting out together need big things. Your wedding couple might need money to buy a new house or car. The thing they most need to start a new life together might be to pay down past debts or pay off school loans. Giving the gift of money is traditional for a reason. It gives the bridal couple the choice of how to spend it, and that ensures they will get exactly what they want most as a gift from you.
- An item from their registry
Many people bypass the wedding registry when trying to decide on a gift for the bridal couple. Maybe they want their gift to be seen as more creative and heartfelt than something that might be on a list. The problem with this is if you buy something that isn’t on the registry list, you run the risk of getting the couple something they do not want, have no use for, or already own. The wedding couple registered for things they needed. If you cannot be there to watch them walk down the aisle, you can at least give them something you know they will use.
- The gift of a memory
Buying picture frames and engraved wedding goblets is popular because there is a desire to give the couple a gift that will remind them of their wedding day. These ideas could use some creative twists. One way to do this is to buy the couple a bottle of fine wine or aged scotch engraved or labeled with their names and the wedding date, coupled with instructions to enjoy on their first, fifth, or tenth wedding anniversary. Another gift in this theme is to commission a portrait of the two of them. Select a portrait artist and send them photographs of the couple, both posed and candid. Your wedding couple will enjoy the resulting painting for years to come.
- The gift of an original
This is a category you don’t want to go crazy with, but which can produce really nice gifts if done right. The wedding couple probably doesn’t want a set of handmade macrame plant holders, but a carefully-selected handmade, antique, or heirloom can be an excellent wedding gift. These gifts will truly show that you have put thought into the gift and will remind the couple of you whenever they see it. Works of art, a wedding ring quilt, handmade wooden furniture, and antique silver all fall into this category.
- The gift of a honeymoon
Find out if the wedding couple has registered at a honeymoon registry. This is a service that allows guests to gift the couple with dollars toward a vacation or toward specific items they might enjoy on a honeymoon, such as dinner, massages, drinks, or adventures. These gifts are truly memorable because they allow the couple to make the kinds of memories together they may never have a chance at again.
Sometimes life prevents us from being present to witness the marriage of those we care about. Sending a gift from one of these categories, along with a personal message of care and well wishes, will show the wedding couple how much they mean to you and contribute to the gift of their togetherness for many years to come.