Bridal Shower and Wedding Gifts

Many brides- and grooms-to-be register for gifts, and there's nothing wrong with that. But watching the bride open her twelfth place setting in a row can be a bit tedious not only for the guests, but for the bride as well. Yes, she's grateful she's getting the items she asked for. Yes, she will put them to good use. But thinking outside the box can provide useful gifts while adding a little variety.

Mix and Match

Try using the registry as a starting point, rather than the only option. If there are several items that relate to each other on the registry list, such as kitchen utensils or baking supplies, group them together. Make a gift basket or simply wrap things together. Add a cookbook that links the theme, or some kitchen towels that coordinate. Include favorite family recipes or tips for a more personal gift.

Spice things up by buying a set of sheets from the registry and throwing in a piece of lingerie and some candles. Pick up some bath towels and include a bottle of bubble bath and massage oil or his and her bath robes.

For couples who entertain, pick platters or servingware items from the registry and tie them together with items that may not be on their list novelty salt and pepper shakers or spreading knives. Include a book on entertaining, fabric napkins, tablecloth or even food products, such as specialty salsas or chocolates.

Quirky Ideas

Pick a theme and run with it.

Get Sentimental

Picture frames are nice, but personalizing that picture frame with the couple's names and wedding date is even nicer. If pictures of the couple are available, include one in the frame as well. Or enclose the wedding invitation as a memento. Put together a scrapbook of the couple growing up together, and separate. Baby pictures get guests smiling, and for a couple just starting out on their own, they can be a welcome reminder of where they came from. Include mementos and memories written among the pictures.

Visit a store that specializes in personalization, such as Things Remembered, and have something engraved or embroidered with the couple's names and wedding date as a keepsake. This can also be used in conjunction with one of the themes above: add a personalized blanket to Warm Winter Nights or a personalized chess set to Game Time.

Get creative and think about the couple. What will they use? What do they enjoy doing?