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It’s wedding season, and if you’re lucky enough to have been invited to someone’s nuptials, it’s time to get organized. Before you can enjoy the open bar, competently coursed meal and overzealous DJ there are a few things you need to check off your list. First off, figure out what you’re going to wear. Thankfully, we’ve created a SPY men’s guide to wedding attire, that includes outfit recommendations for any and all dress codes.
After you’ve RSVP’d, booked flights and accommodations, and gotten your suit tailored — it’s time to pick out a wedding gift. Many couples have registries these days, and if yours does we recommend you refer to it closely when making your selection. However, if your couple has opted to not create a registry and you’re flying blind through the gifting process don’t worry. We’ve got you.
Here at SPY, we’re all about giving gifts. Whether it’s the best Christmas gifts for the most festive time of year, gifts for the special lady in your life or the impossible man — we know how to pick out presents. And today, we’re talking all about soon-to-be-married couples and the appropriate wedding gifts to give them.
Wedding Gift Etiquette:
Giving the best wedding gifts means following a standard of etiquette, and for all social standards related to weddings we turn to the experts over at theknot.com. According to traditional wedding gift etiquette, giving a gift isn’t technically mandatory. However, it is HIGHLY encouraged, because who wants to be that guy? There are some general rules of thumb one should follow when giving a gift.
1. If There is a Registry, Use it!
If the couple has pre-picked gifts they would like for their big day, go ahead and use it. Don’t try to be original, leave that to the distant great aunts who always insist on sending some hideous lawn statue or obscure kitchen gadget that takes up a bunch of space. Your betrothed couple will be grateful you picked something they actually want.
2. If They’ve Got a Honeymoon, New House or General Cash Fund Set Up, Contribute to it!
This is not tacky, impersonal or unoriginal. A lot of couples these days just want cash, and it’s perfectly fine to allocate your wedding gift budget to that instead of a blender. You’re helping them achieve their dream of owning a home, taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip or other financial milestone!
3. Use Their Wedding Website to Your Advantage
Many couples include the story of how they met, their first date or proposal story on their wedding website. Use this as sentimental inspiration for your gift. Was their first date at an Italian restaurant? Consider gifting them a pasta maker! Are they super active and gift? Some sort of fancy exercise gift should suffice! Tailoring your gift to their individual story will show thoughtfulness and care.
4. Send Within 2 Months
This is a no-brainer, but a good reminder nonetheless. Ideally your wedding gift would be purchased and/or sent before the wedding itself, better yet, promptly after RSVPing. However, according to traditional etiquette, if the gift is sent within 2 months after the wedding, this is also acceptable behavior.
5. You Might Need to Give Multiple Gifts
Yes, you should give a gift at the bridal shower, and the engagement party if you’re feeling especially generous. The last one isn’t mandatory, but a nice gesture to help the couple celebrate the start of their nuptials and the wedding planning process.
How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift?
Ah yes, the age old question of an appropriate wedding gift budget. Your relationship to the couple dictates how much you should spend, but overall you shouldn’t spend more than you’re comfortable giving. You’ll probably spend more on your closest friends, and less on coworkers or distant family members. The average amount spent? $120. Feel free to adjust up or down from there based on your relationship. Additionally, couples can and should gift together, and should spend double the amount since there are two of you.
Also, you can factor in whether you’re in the wedding party or not. If you’re in the wedding party and presumably have spent money on a bachelor/bachelorette party, outfit, etc, it’s perfectly acceptable to lower your gift budget. Sure, the best wedding gift is your presence, but you should still give something.
Group gifts are also very acceptable! Couples tend to register for a few big ticket items that would be too much for 1-2 people to afford on their own. Have a group of friends go in on it with you! You’ll all save some money and the couple still gets their big gift.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best wedding gifts of 2022. We’ve divided them up into three main categories — Kitchen/Cookware, Home Decor/Goods and Lifestyle/Entertainment to make your selection easier.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
When it comes to the best wedding gift for the kitchen, we’re willing to bet most couples will appreciate something from Le Creuset. Their cookware is made of top-notch materials, and will last forever with the right care. This dutch oven is one of their most popular items, and has been one of our top picks for Christmas gifts a few years in a row.
The cast iron creates superb heat distribution and retention, and the colorful, enamel exterior is made to resist chipping and cracking. It’s got large side handles that make maneuvering in and out of the oven easy, and the sand-colored interior makes it easier to tell when food is cooked.
MARCATO Atlas 150 Pasta Machine
A pasta maker is a great culinary gift for a wedding because it’s just useful enough to be worth having in your kitchen, but also not a staple product that the couple might have preferences about. This one is made in Italy from chrome-plated steel and rolls and cuts pasta dough into ideal shapes. It comes with all the necessary features, including a pasta cutter and hand crank, and there are additional cutting accessories you can purchase separately to expand its abilities.
Ninja BL660 Professional Countertop Blender
A blender is another classic culinary gift for a couple, and this one has a price tag that precisely matches the average spending amount for a gift. It’s got three speeds, 1100 watts of blending power and a 72 ounce pitcher for pulverizing, chopping and blending ingredients in seconds. It also comes with two to-go cups so they can take their drinks with them, and every part is dishwasher safe.
All-Clad Nonstick Skillet Set of 3
All-Clad makes great skillets, and this set of 3 has a very affordable price tag and would make a great wedding gift for a couple who’s just outfitting their kitchen. These essential skillets can sear steaks, make perfectly fluffy pancakes and sautée vegetables, and feature three-layer nonstick so cleanup is easy. They’re super durable and come with stay-cool stainless steel handles that are easy to maneuver.
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
This is a luxe gift option, and is definitely outside the budget for most couples and solo wedding guests. However, if you’re going in on a gift with multiple people, or feel like treating the bride and groom to something really special, this espresso maker is top notch. If they love coffee, it’s a no brainer. The brushed stainless steel exterior is beautiful, and it’s designed for optimal extraction, deep roasting taste and easy use for seasoned baristas and novice coffee makers alike.
Date Night In: More Than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship
Many married couples institute a date night once they have children to restore some of the romantic feelings of when they first got together. Help your newly betrothed couple get a jumpstart on fun date night meals at home with delicious recipes for two. No, you don’t need to leave your home to go on a date, and this cookbook is filled with delectable brunches, dinners, apps and desserts for pleasing the heart and the stomach. It’s also a great affordable wedding gift, if you’re on a tight budget.
HOME DECOR/ GOODS
Brooklinen Eco-Wise Washable Throw Blanket
Pendleton is now selling their top-notch wool blankets online at Brooklinen, and they’re available in a bunch of great colors for fall. They’re made at their famous Pendleton Mill in Oregon out of eco-wise wool that’s been held to very high standards in terms of humane and ethical treatment. They’re sustainably-made, super comfortable for relaxing on the couch and machine washable.
Be Burgundy Personalized Cutting Board
A personalized gift is one of the best wedding gifts you can give, because it’s unique to the couple. This one is available to order on Amazon, if you’re short on time, and comes in five different wood stains. You can carve both of their names in, or their last name, as well as the year they got hitched, and the engraving is guaranteed to come out precise and permanent.
LEVOIT Home Air Purifier
Easy breathing is a gift in and of itself, and this LEVOIT air purifier is built for high performance with 360 degree air intake and an ozone-friendly air cleaning. It’s made with QuietKEAP technology for mostly noiseless operation, and it has a small, sleek design that’ll easily blend in on a bookshelf, desk or corner storage bench.
Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle
Brooklinen makes some of the best sheets in the game, and this set includes a core sheet set, duvet cover and extra pillowcases so your couple’s bedroom will be fully fitted. The super soft weave comes from the 480-thread count sheets that have a luminous finish to them. They’re made of long staple cotton and crafted to get softer the more they’re used and washed.
Coffee Table Trio
Creating your own gift set of sorts using three coordinated, similar products is a unique wedding gift idea that a couple will surely appreciate when trying to decorate a home. This coffee table trio consists of a bright, Miami Beach coffee table book, a set of four Azulejo coasters and a mini Voluspa candle. Coffee table decor is always a delicate balance between leaving room for drinks, games and remotes, while also adding decor to liven up the surface. This gift strikes that balance in an aesthetically-pleasing way.
PVO Mini Portable Projector
Gift your newlyweds the present of a movie night anywhere with this best-selling portable movie projector. It supports 1080p HD resolution and comes with multiple ports for connecting and streaming media. It can easily connect to a smartphone, laptop, PC, PS4 and more. It’s also a practical, entertaining gift that’s less than $80, a great wedding gift option.
Dyson V8 Animal Vacuum Cleaner
A cordless vacuum cleaner from Dyson is an excellent wedding gift, because it’s not something the couple is going to want to splurge on for themselves. These change the cleaning game, with their cordless powerful designs and top-notch suction that makes tidying up after pets and kids a breeze. This one has a direct drive cleaner for removing dirt from carpets and has 40 minutes of power on each charge.
Artifact Uprising Reclaimed Wood Quote Box
This reclaimed wooden box would make an excellent wedding memorabilia box, where they can put little trinkets, notes, photos and other items from their special day. The box is made from recycled wood and comes in three convenient sizes. You can choose from four digitally-printed designs or go with a blank one if you’d prefer. Whatever you choose, this unique gift idea will preserve your couple’s wedding memories for years to come.
Marble Wine Rack
Sometimes the best wedding gifts are simple, elegant home details the couple will use every day. This gold rimmed wine rack is perfect for storing the bottles they’re inevitably going to get as wedding shower gifts, or holding the contents of their monthly wine subscription box. It holds six bottles total and is made of handcrafted stainless steel and white marble.
Away Travel Luggage Sets
A luggage set is a great gift for a couple about to embark on a life together, no matter how much travel they plan on doing. Away makes great suitcase bundles that pair together some of their top-rated suitcases like the Carry On, Expandable Carry On, Expandable Bigger Carry On, The Medium suitcase, The Large suitcase and more. Choose a duo that makes sense for your couple, and give them the gift of convenient, easy trekking from place to place, and the knowledge that their stuff is cared for while they’re out adventuring.
Classic Woven Picnic Basket for Two
A picnic basket is another great wedding gift, as it equips your couple with everything they need for a comfortable, romantic afternoon in the park, on the beach or in their favorite garden. This woven picnic basket is made of willow and adorned with faux leather detailing. The flat lid design makes it easy to pack, and inside it’s got a premium picnic set for 2 including porcelain plates, wine glasses, linen napkins and a corkscrew.