Going to a wedding this summer doesn’t have to mean spending outrageously on a gift or sticking to impersonal wedding registry items.
There are actually some meaningful and even beautiful items out there that can help make a happy couple even happier as they settle down together.
So, if you’re intent on choosing a more personal gift that’s off the registry and you know what you definitely don’t want to buy, here are some ideas that are likely to please the bride, the groom and your wallet. These great gifts cost less than $100.
A Way with Words
Fabrication and printing company Shapeways can help you create an even more personalized gift if you want to send a special message to your newly-married friends. For instance, you can use the couple’s favorite poem or saying, or a personalized message to create a romantic votive Lightpoem.
Price: $70 to $95
Photos Printed Like No Others
Turning a favorite old photo of your friends into a vibrant, durable canvas wall hanging doesn’t have to be expensive. Canvaspop can turn a photo into a print that is resistant to cracking or fading and has a lifetime guarantee for as little as $30 for an 8-by-10 canvas without a frame.
Artists at the company can work with any size or resolution picture, so even a photo booth shot will work, and you can get a photo blown up to a 24-by-72-inch canvas.
Price: $30 to $419 depending on size and frame
Glassware, flatware and kitchen gadgets for the home may be all-too-common wedding gifts, but if you’re shopping for newlywed friends who like to spend some time relaxing on their backyard or deck, these simple, solar-powered lights from Allsop Home & Garden can add a romantic glow through colorful, hand-blown glass globes during cool summer evenings. They charge themselves using a small solar panel during the day and later on they light up the night.
Price: $35 to $56.99
The True Tea-Lovers’ Dream
Tea has long been known as a tonic for promoting health and the number of tea connoisseurs out there seems to be growing, so if you’re looking into wedding gifts for people who happen to take joy in the perfect cup of tea, this high-tech Cuisinart PerfecTemp Kettle could be just the right choice. With water temperature settings for different types of tea, this kettle heats water to the specific temperature best for brewing the most flavorful and healthful cups of tea. And for those who prefer French-press coffee in their morning cup, there’s a setting for that as well.
Gift Wrap that Grows
Whether you’re choosing a registry gift or not, there’s another way to add a special touch to your gift for the happy couple - Gift Wrap that Grows. This colorful, recycled wrapping paper contains wildflowers that you can plant and water to grow your own garden. And instead of using it as wrapping paper, it’s delicate enough to be used as tissue paper in gift bags.
Price: $12 for four 24-by-36-inch sheets of paper
Flying Wish Paper
Whether it’s a small wedding gift or a wedding table favor, Flying Wish Paper aims to send all of your friends’ and relatives’ good wishes to the heavens. Wishes are written on these small pieces of paper, then crumpled, then curled into a tube and lit on fire, but at the last moment, before they disintegrate, the remaining bit of paper lifts off into the air and disappears.
Price: $9 for a mini-kit including15 sheets of paper, matches, a pencil and instructions.
A Toast to the Newlyweds
Champagne flutes are a classic gift to help a couple of newlyweds celebrate their union, and these Mikasa toasting flutes can be used for a variety of occasions. They’re etched with the words “cheers,” “toast,” “celebrate” and “bubbly” and can be great for any party. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe.
Price: $34.99 for a set of four