Above: Carolyn’s shoes and gown were hand- beaded by her cousin Pauline Donatelli and porcelainized at Jordan Marsh as a wedding gift from Pauline and another cousin Josephine Arena who made her wedding gown. Photo Courtesy: Carolyn Wakefield
Despite the stressful organisation, the months of planning and the pressure to make it the best 24 hours of the bride and groom’s life, a wedding day is the ultimate opportunity for a couple to demonstrate their shared love and respect before all their nearest and dearest ones.
Being part of a loved one’s celebration is without doubt a rewarding experience but, on a more materialistic level, finding the perfect wedding gift can prove to be challenging – least of all when you are struggling to stay out of the red.
Here is where DIY wedding gifts really come into their own – read on to find inspiration for an ideal present that won’t break the bank.
Step Away From The Wedding List…
A beautiful ‘Falling Leaf’ quilt made by Sally of Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA, for a friend’s son’s wedding gift. Photo Courtesy: Sally
As practical as a wedding list can be for newlyweds moving into their first marital home, the featured items tend to be not only just a tad impersonal but also reasonably expensive. Personally – and I am sure I speak for a large majority here – I find it ultimately endearing to think that a lot of time and thought have gone into an intimate, handmade gift that really is one-of-a-kind.
“Days I’ll Remember All My Life”
Firstly, photographs and memories are eternal: you can never go wrong with a memento of a treasured moment or reminder of a hilarious anecdote. Find yourself a cheap, vintage looking frame and fill it with images of the happy couple – a timeline of their relationship, if you like.
Alternatively – but along the same theme – use one of the various internet sites that specialise in photography to upload a favourite image which can be reprinted onto canvases, mugs, coasters or even placemats, and create an item that will furnish and personalise their home much more than a state of the art toaster or grilling machine.
Get Creative in the Kitchen!
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a culinary genius, what better way to create a gift than to get baking? Treats such as personalised cookies or cupcakes (which are experiencing a spurt in popularity like never before!) provide a cute and tasty token that is no more complicated and expensive to make than your average sponge cake.
Besides which, such snacks are ideal for the time-pushed bride on the morning of the wedding who has not even considered breakfast arrangements but still needs a way to avoid all the champagne going straight to her head!
The Start of the Rest of Your Life Together
Often after the months of planning, the day of the wedding can rush by in a complete haze. So much so that the bride and groom can often find they have missed the opportunity to store valuable keepsakes to remind them of their special day. Why not then collect mementos such as place cards, invitations, pressed flowers etc. and present them in a pretty frame or hand decorated scrapbook?
A beautiful ‘Travel Box’ made by Katy for a friend – A newly wed couple could start collecting and saving their pictures in such a box, starting from their honeymoon and onto later travels. Photo Courtesy: Katy Bayard
Or, you could mark the occasion by starting a tradition: find a vintage wooden box and fill it with record cards. Fill in the first card with the details of the wedding day and then encourage them to write their own annual contribution, detailing what has changed or been achieved over the past year together – a cheap, simple solution that can be looked back upon and shared with the family in years to come.
So there we have it: a few ideas to stimulate the imagination and ensure you give a present that is personal, thoughtful and individual – all things that are highly appreciated no matter what the material cost. And when you visit the marital home and find your DIY wedding photo frames in pride of place, you can rest assured it truly is a cherished gift.
Do you have any creative ideas for DIY wedding gifts? Share them in the comments below!
Jade Douglas is a 20 year old enthusiast of travel, linguistics and any undertaking that involves a little originality and imagination. She writes here for Wedding and Party Store.