Why does gifting wedding presents feel so contrived? Isn’t it kind of fucked up to go to your best friend and say, Oh my god, dude, I think I found the love of my life, only to have your heavenly bliss answered with... a toaster? Weird. Methinks we can do better.
The trick to finding a unique wedding present is to 1) gauge your relationship with the couple, and 2) try and understand what kind of couple they really are. Are they the outdoorsy couple in your life? The stoner couple? The couple that would love to be gifted something from the surprisingly amazing Fifty Shades of Grey sex toy line? Know your jabronis.
On the other hand, you might be the person who was invited just because you’re fun and some distant cousin couldn’t make it; or maybe because you and the bride go waaaay back, but don’t actively hang anymore. Personally, I find those to be the most lowkey stressful situations, because you don’t *really* know who you’re shopping for. In that instance, you need a present that’s universally rad, indisputably chic, and just the right amount of sentimental.
That’s why we’ve trawled the web with a magic shrimp net to give you a smorgasbord of wedding gift ideas. We’ve got presents for stock couple personalities and wild cards alike, presents that scream “congratulations!” (but whisper “I will always know you better than them”), and much, much more. Let’s crash a wedding.
Glassware that says, I’m the fun friend
Glassware: It’s what’s for wedding gifts. Everybody is going to be gifting the happy couple some crystal, or a decanter, or something upon which one should etch some waspy initials. Not you, Jimothee. You’re gifting them a present, and a hint, with the hint being: Let’s take a shot. This set of six shot glasses is hand-blown by artisans in Tonala, Mexico, with burnt orange and confetti hues. Each one is different, which is both eclectically chic, and legit helpful when you have to remember which one is yours.
Cookware inspired by a fairytale
I’ll say it. If your buds are getting married in the fall, they probs just want a roundabout way to solicit this dreamy Staub pumpkin cocotte baking dish. Monsieur Francis Staub himself designed this pot back in the day, inspired by the same swankity heirloom pumpkin—the “Rouge Vif d’Etampes'' that Charles Perrault used for his descriptions of Cinderella’s carriage. Spooky, romantic, and filled with sauce. What more could you want?
Scope this shop that’s literally called Uncommon Goods
Never heard of it? Uncommon Goods is a digital Mary Poppins bag of unique gifts, from mini sleeping bags for your beer to hand-painted Italian olive oil vessels. Granted, sometimes its offerings can feel a little corny, but you know what’s cornier? WEDDINGS, DUDE. And your happy couple might like some cheese on their big day. No, really, this serving palette is one of the coolest charcoochie serving situations we’ve ever seen; and for that fun-loving couple, there’s always the Nachosaurus.
“We met at a show...”
Everyone knows one (or a few) of these couples: They’re the ones who actually get around to alphabetizing their records and can name every session musician on every obscure, ensemble folk album. Unsurprisingly, Uncommon Goods [toots own horn] worked with a US artist to create personalized records for couples that commemorate their favorite songs.
Beautiful couples sex toys
What’s better than the gift of orgasms? Sex toys are so subjective, but the couples sex toy section of sites such as Lovehoney, Ella Paradis, and PinkCherry are a goldmine of highly gift-able toys. If one of the partners has a penis, We-Vibe makes a sleek, remote-controlled (OooOoo, kinky) luxury cock ring.
The stoner couple
Our favorite couple, honestly. Give them the gift of a snack box subscription for the many nights of shared munchies they’ve yet to experience together. This Japanese snack box by Bokksu is filled with all kinds of customizable, often hard-to-find treats and rad themes. Past themed boxes include a Moon Festival Box filled with black sesame cookies, walnut mochi, and matcha baumkuchen. Swoon.
Open them up to the world of bidets
Be that friend. The one who opens them up to the world of bidets, which truly turn every restroom experience into a crystalline retreat; a one-on-one Bellagio experience for your anus only. There is a certain kind of confidence, and go-forth-my-children-and-prosper energy that comes with gifting a bidet. You are wise. You are sparkling. You are their favorite person.
They’re the artsy couple
Aw. Remember when they trekked across the South West and did shrooms by Seven Magic Mountains in Nevada? Or when they went to that Hockney exhibit at the Musée Pompidou a few years ago? You don’t have spend a lot to give your most ~erudite~ artsy friends a thoughtful gift; try copping some jubilant candles from Made by Humans that look just like the Magic Mountains, and pair it with a gorgeous, massive art book from TASCHEN.
A chic weighted blanket
If you’ve never tried snuggling under a weighted blanket, you’re missing out on a world of relaxation. Typically made of cotton or polyester, and filled with micro-beads made of clay or plastic, these throws apply gentle pressure to the body that’s second only to being wrapped in the arms of a bunny rabbit. Go for one with a chunky knit for the happy couple, such as the Bearaby napper made out of organic cotton.
The joys of Japanese flower arranging
Gorgeous. “Ikebana” literally translates to "making flowers alive" in Japanese, and it’s one of the most thoughtful and delicate pieces of home decor you can bestow upon your blessed jabronis. First, you’ll need to find a solid book on the craft, and some metal frogs for the stems:
Then, you have the fun task of picking out a chic Ikebana vessel. (The ones on 1stDibs and Etsy are ~chef’s kiss~.) I’m partial to the shallow look, but taller vases are rad, too, and there are also frog and vase bundles floating on the web.
They don’t drink
This is the golden era of making gorgeous, non-alcoholic cocktails thanks to brands such as Ritual (booze-free ‘tequila’), Seedlip (a booze-free ‘gin’), and our current obsession, Ghia, which is an herbaceous apéritif in a bottle with more sex appeal (ok, as much) as Robert Redford at his peak in the 1970s. “The gentian root, rosemary, and ginger are what brings the drink more firmly into the same olfactory world as aperitifs and amari,” explains Hilary Pollack in her VICE review. Pair this handsome bottle with this pair of double-duty MAMO glasses (cocktail-sized on the bottom, shot glass/brandy glass-sized on the top) from one of New York City’s favorite design boutiques, Coming Soon.
They’re the crunchy couple
Outdoorsy? Did they meet on the trail? Give the happy couple a tent for two that’s comfy enough to smash in, like this one by the Lords of Gorpcore at The North Face. It has a 4.7-star rating on REI. “The headroom was a lot more than I thought,” wrote one customer, “and the size of the footprint was plenty comfy for me and my gear. I could fit two 25in pads next to each other and put the gear in the vestibule on either side if my wife and I wanted to share.” Coleman also makes an excellent two-person pop-up tent with “dark room” technology, which is ideal for sleeping in and other honeymoon stuff.
This massive celebratory cake lamp
Eventually, all of the wedding cake will be digested, and all of the rice will get Roomba’d up. But you know what won’t fade? This 1990s gelatin cake lamp by the artist Sylvia Schepers.
Cheers to the happy couple. Now, go forth and make out with a rando at the open bar.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.