Southern Weddings

Tag: wedding gifts

One of the MOST common questions I receive from readers is what gift I gave my husband on our wedding day. And I totally get that – if there was ever a time to gift an heirloom, or something that will become part of your new family’s lore, it would seem like your wedding day would be the day! Exchanging gifts and letters to open before your first look (if you’re doing one) or your ceremony can be a wonderful way to reflect on what your wedding day is really about, celebrate your history, create a family heirloom for your future home, and build anticipation for seeing each other.

Sometimes coming up with a great gift idea that will tell the story of your relationship or surprise your fiance is easy… or maybe you need a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing, and that’s okay, too! Today, a few of our friends and readers are sharing what they gave their husbands as wedding day gifts, and they are as sweet, meaningful, and thoughtful as you could hope for. We would LOVE to hear from y’all in the comments, too, and really make this a helpful resource for the next gal who emails me! :)

P.S. I gifted my husband an original framed oil painting of a sand dune that reminded me of the area in Michigan where his family has a home. It now hangs in our bedroom!

Photo by Jen Fariello from Priya and Tom’s wedding

My husband and I actually conspired together and gifted ourselves a post-wedding day spa trip that was scheduled for IMMEDIATELY following the wedding! After changing out of our wedding clothes and driving off from the reception venue, we headed straight for a luxurious spa in downtown Atlanta and treated ourselves to some serious decompressing after a SUPER long day! It was SO needed and it allowed us to decompress and giggle about what just happened in the past 24 hours. CRAZY – yet super romantic!
–Lacoya Heggie of Hello Love Events, @HelloLoveWeddings

Throughout our engagement, I had been secretly writing in the Southern Weddings Memories of Us Journal, and this was part of my wedding gift to Rob. I’d chronicled our engagement and wedding planning journey, as well as writing and reflecting on all of our most vivid memories together, our favorite dates, when I knew he was the one, and so much more. I also gave Rob a pair of cuff links with an “S” on them, which were passed down from my maternal grandparents. My parents gave these heirloom cuff links to me last summer right after my grandma passed away and when they knew that Rob was the one. My mom’s maiden name began with an “S,” and our last name begins with an “S,” as well, so it was only fitting that Rob become the next owner of this treasured family heirloom.
–Stephanie Shaul of Stephanie Scholl Events, @StephanieShaul (See Stephanie’s wedding planning process!)

My husband’s Pawpaw died from cancer before we ever started dating, but I knew just how much his Pawpaw meant to him and how close they were. For our wedding, I wanted him to know that he was still with him in spirit. I got my husband a wooden cutting board with an elephant engraved on it. Elephants were his Pawpaw’s favorite animal, and he collected them. I got his Nanny to give me an old card from his Pawpaw, and I got his signature engraved on the board, as well.
–Katy Osborne

I got a huge custom wooden frame from Hobby Lobby with a thick mat, sized to fit a wedding picture in it eventually. On the mat I hand wrote our wedding vows! I filled it with an engagement picture for now, and it will eventually go over our bed. I just got married a month ago and still smile a ton every time I see it!
–Avian Nuckolls

Photos by Esther Louise from McKara and Brandon’s wedding

I got my husband an embossed Bible and a lapel pin of his Scottish family crest. Nothing major or crazy expensive, but they are very significant because the two most important things to the two of us are our faith and our families, and they are two of the things we want to carry into marriage with us.
–Pamela Bunten

My husband and I travel a TON (we move to a new city every four months!). When we travel, we each take on different roles – I do a lot of planning in advance, and then once we’re there, he is the directions guy. He is amazing with maps and has a great sense of direction, so he is always leading us around on our adventures. For his wedding day gift, I got him a Tiffany sterling silver compass. I had it engraved with our wedding date, our initials, and “Our Adventure.”
–Emily Yates

I ended up giving my husband a valet box filled with a few smaller, meaningful goodies. I designed the box myself, and asked my dad to build it using wood from some family land that I own. Then, I had a trophy shop make a plaque for the top with my husband’s monogram, and one for the inside of the lid with a personal note from me. I told my husband it was my way of bringing my past (family land) and present (my dad making it) together for something for the future (our marriage). My husband loved it and I’m hoping this will be something that will become a legacy piece that will be handed down to our children at some point.
–Christian Howell

Since I was fifteen years old, every month I have written love letters to my “future husband,” telling him about my life, my heart, how much I already love him, and how I am already praying for him. I continued writing throughout our courtship and engagement. The day of our wedding, I put the letters in envelopes and tied everything up with pretty ribbon. There was one he was supposed to open before I walked down the aisle, and the rest of the letters we read together on our honeymoon and are still reading today. He said it was the best gift he has ever received and that the letters are still so precious to him.
–Caroline Willis

I bought the vows print from the SW shop and had it framed for Bradley. It now hangs in our bedroom next to a huge canvas of our favorite wedding portrait and serves as a reminder of the vows we took that day.
–Jennifer Cantrell

Photo by Mandy Busby from Elise and Paul’s wedding

As my gift to Robert, I needlepointed a classic, black and white cummerbund. I designed the pattern before we were even engaged, and I spent our whole engagement year stitching in secret. It brought me so much joy to give a gift that I know my husband will treasure forever!
–Caroline Jones

I gave my husband a large, framed picture of a sunrise we watched together while camping on top of a mountain before we got engaged. It was a favorite memory of ours and a gorgeous image. The photograph had been stored on our laptop for years and would probably still be in a folder on our desktop if I hadn’t printed it as his gift!
–KJ Boyer

Joining our money was a topic of ongoing discussions throughout our dating life and engagement. (I’m a spender and he’s a saver.) For his gift, I had a money clip engraved with “The joining of bank accounts. Zachary & Olivia. April 28, 2017.” I filled it with some cash just for him, but I think he ended up buying souvenirs for me on our honeymoon! My dad always carried a money clip, and I thought gifting my new husband one was a sweet nod to my past and Zach’s new role.
–Olivia Denhoff

Friends, I’d love to hear: if you gave your husband a gift on your wedding day, what was it? Please chime in below!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Melissa Mackvick reply

    My husband and I LOVE to travel and have been to a number of places together, so I knew from the moment we got engaged that I wanted to give him something related to our travels but I had no idea what! After months of researching and gathering ideas, I ordered a large custom map of the world that said “World Travels of the Mackvicks” at the top. It also came with pins in different colors that you could put into the map to indicate your next destination, your favorite trip, where you’ve been together, etc. It now hangs in his office and surrounding the map are photographs and pieces of artwork we’ve taken or collected from our trips!

  2. avatar Kathryn Widman reply

    My husband and I would have never met if it wasn’t for Clemson University. We both went to college there, only a year apart, with a ton of mutual friends, but we never met. We didn’t meet until we had both moved to Washington, DC for jobs and were introduced at an Alumni Football Watching Event at a local bar, became friends, and months later started dating. I’ve had my Clemson class ring since before I even graduated, but he never got one. I’ve known for almost the entire 5 years of dating that I was going to gift him this on our wedding day. Almost all of his guy friends have one and Clemson is what brought us together, so I always knew. Over the years, I thought he would either buy one for himself or guess that he would get it from me eventually, but he was totally shocked (and emotional) when he opened it up at our First Look. It’s one of my favorite memories from our Wedding Day. Now we both have our Clemson rings. And our photographer got some great shots! {We also wrote each other notes for that morning to read and he gave me a lovely gold necklace from a family-owned jeweler in Charleston, SC where I’m from to remind me of home}. It wasn’t about the gifts, but what they meant to us.

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You know those “Holy Grail” searches that seem to go on endlessly? (See: HG foundation and HG hairspray, for two…) For a lot of people, one of those searches is for the ultimate gift source – one place you can always turn for the perfect item, no matter the occasion, age, or style of the loved one. For my sister, that place has long been Uncommon Goods, and I’m starting to think she’s on to something!

I think all but one of her gifts for our family this Christmas came from their site, and all were big hits at unwrapping time. Uncommon Goods is her go-to for wedding and shower gifts, too!

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but it seems like many of the couples whose weddings I’ve been invited to recently have either not registered for anything, or asked for cash. If you (like me) prefer to give something tangible as a gift (perhaps in addition to cash!), then a site like Uncommon Goods comes in super handy.

Today, I’m sharing my picks for unique gifts for groomsmen, gifts for the bride (perfect for a shower), and creative wedding gift ideas, and a bit about why I included each below. But, I think the best gifts are always uniquely fitted to the recipient, so if none of my picks are doing it for you, definitely go browse Uncommon Goods’ site yourself – I guarantee you’ll find something to love!

1. Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit. For the gourmet chef in training (or, just your resident taco lover friend!). My brother-in-law would love this.
2. A Wooden Tic Tac Toe Set. Slightly random? Perhaps :) But this would make a classy coffee table addition in any bachelor pad, and win your groomsmen uncle of the year awards for sure!
3. All Natural Shoe Care Kit. File this under things your groomsmen wouldn’t necessarily buy themselves, but that they’ll be happy to have. I feel like millenials are bringing back some of the “old school” things we associate with our parents but that never should have fallen out of fashion, and a lovingly-cared-for pair of shoes is one of them!
4. Multi-Tool Box of Wonders. Clever gadgets are a slam-dunk gift for guys in my experience. The Pocket Monkey (which fits in a wallet!) is especially cool!

1. Adventure Blanket. I love bridal shower gifts that get the couple excited for their marriage, so that’s how I themed these gift picks! A waterproof, foldable blanket is perfect for encouraging picnics, hikes, and beach days for the newlyweds.
2. Date Night Bucket List. No more boring date nights! Your couple won’t skip a beat after the excitement of the wedding dies down with these 25 ideas.
3. Table Topics. I want a set of these for myself! Even approaching my five year anniversary (and 13 years with my husband!), there are things we don’t know about each other, and I think these cubes of conversation starters would be such a fun way to keep our dinners or road trips surprising.
4. Woven Straw Placemats. These are just fun and cute :) But again, I love that they’d encourage your couple to make even a simple weeknight dinner a special occasion!

1. Hand Embroidered State Pillows. I know these beauties have been around for a few years, but I still get all the heart eyes over them! Especially for couples who have moved away from their beloved South, these pillows are a sweet reminder of home sweet home.
2. Timbrephone Acoustic Phone Amp. So they can pump up their Spotify playlist for impromptu after-dinner dancing in the kitchen.
3. Smartphone Instant Photo Lab. This cool gadget lets couples create analog Polaroid-style photo prints from their smartphone or tablet. Encourage them to take snaps throughout the night at their next dinner party, then give them to guests as favors!
4. My Cinema Lightbox. So they can leave sweet messages to greet each other when they arrive home.
5. Do Good Cotton Hammock. So they can feel like they’re still on their honeymoon, even in the backyard.
6. Scratch Map Deluxe. For a couple with a serious case of wanderlust, this map will let them track which countries they’ve traveled to together. Imagine how sweet it will be to look back on their 25th or 40th anniversary and reminisce over all that they’ve done!

Uncommon Goods is working to change the way business is done by making sustainability a part of every decision they make, something that is near and dear to our company’s heart. In addition to making great gifts, they’re steadily working to make themselves more environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and a rewarding place to work. Head to their site for all of your gifting needs!

This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods, a company we’ve used and loved for years. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Molly Dansby reply

    love how pretty the site looks today! i’ve been checking in here on and off for nearly 10 (!!!) years. this is my favorite iteration yet! so fresh + clean.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thank you, Molly!! This is just a little intermediate facelift, with hopes for a bigger remodel in the future, but we’re super happy with it, too! :)

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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

The final countdown is here, friends! Our wedding is less than a month away, Rob and I just returned from our bachelor and bachelorette weekends, and all of the RSVPs for our wedding are in! I seriously can’t believe we’re in the homestretch of our engagement. It’s been such a sweet season for both of us, and we’ve grown so much as a couple, too. (PS: I can’t say enough good things about investing your time and hearts into pre-marital counseling!) I love knowing that Rob and I will get to be joined together as husband and wife on April 1st and that so many of our loved ones will be in Raleigh to celebrate with us! We’re so grateful for it all, and, of course, I love finding creative and thoughtful ways to express our thanks.

One of my favorite Southern traditions is the bridesmaid luncheon, and I cannot wait to partake in this sweet and celebratory tradition! Generally the day before her wedding, the bride hosts a luncheon to honor her bridesmaids and the beloved ladies in her life. I am ecstatic that I get to celebrate how incredible, encouraging, generous, and thoughtful my bridesmaids and our moms (and a few other special ladies!) have been throughout the years. I am having this luncheon at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC, a place very near and dear to my heart. Not only do I plan weddings there regularly, but during college I lived in a cute house just across the street – and my sister got married at the Carolina Inn almost four years ago!

For many months now, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect gifts for my bridesmaids, and I wanted to share some of my finds with you all, as you very well might be on the hunt, too! Most any bride-to-be has heard of the dreamy floral robes from Plum Pretty Sugar, and their robes (so many styles and patterns!) are the perfect accessory to get ready in the morning of your wedding.

Speaking of the morning of your wedding morning and getting ready with your best girls… you can’t forget the mimosas to properly toast to your wedding day! Champagne from Le Grand Courtage (I always love rosé!) or white wine from Speak Wines are two favorites: not only are their labels and packaging both beautiful and occasion-appropriate, but most any bridesmaid would love to be gifted a bottle or mini-bottle of champagne or wine. And with mimosas, you can’t forget the toasting flutes! Naturally Chic Gifts, based out of Raleigh, creates personalized champagne flutes (I’m a fan of the stemless ones!) and wine glasses in an array of metallic colors for your best girls.

I also have long loved the adorable Minimergency Bridesmaid Kits from Pinch Provisions, which hold everything you’d ever need for a wedding-day snafu. And, of course, one of the most popular bridesmaid gifts is jewelry for the wedding day, like matching earrings or a necklace that complements her bridesmaid dress perfectly. I love finding local stores to get jewelry from, and Moon & Lola is a Raleigh favorite! The best way to beautifully hold your bridesmaid gifts is in a pretty bag, like this Hello Lovely tote from PCB Home, all tied up with a pretty ribbon. And, above all else, a card with a written note expressing your thanks and love is the most important part. Taking the time to write a thoughtful note (to your soon-to-be spouse, your parents, your wedding party, and even vendors) is paramount!

We are hosting some fun wedding weekend events to love on our guests well and to welcome everyone to Raleigh, especially since most everyone will be traveling into town for the festivities. Welcome bags are always a marvelous way to show your guests some local flavor and your personalities, and they can also provide information on the wedding weekend timeline.

We are having an informal, everyone-is-invited welcome party on Friday night immediately following our rehearsal dinner, as it was important to us to spend as much time with our guests as possible! It’s a great way for everyone to get to know each other better, for us to meet those extended family members that we haven’t been able to meet yet, and to extend the celebrations even more. Most of all, we want to make sure our family and friends feel welcomed and celebrated when they arrive in Raleigh, especially since quality time are both mine and Rob’s love languages!

I’d love to hear how you celebrated your wedding weekend: did you have a bridesmaid luncheon or a welcome party? Are there any fun traditions or celebrations that you incorporated into your wedding weekend, or want to when you do get married?! And I’m cutting it close here with our rapidly approaching wedding date, but I have to ask: do you have a great idea for a meaningful, thoughtful gift for grooms? I have one gift for sure (so excited!), but I’m still searching for the perfect accompanying gift for Rob. I’m all ears if you have any suggestions!

All photos by Sarah Morrel Photography

P.S. In case you missed a post:
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress
Bridesmaid style
Engagement photos
The details

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Christian reply

    Stephanie,
    Great ideas! Your bridesmaids are going to love everything! I had a hard time with a groom’s gift too. I spent so many hours searching, until I had a lightbulb moment. I have designed a valet box for him that my dad is building and staining out of wood that was harvested off of some family land I own. I ordered two engraved plaques for it – one for the top of the lid with his initials and one for the inside with a special message. Inside, I’m going to be putting a few trinkets including a book of notes I’m writing to him. Also, if you haven’t checked out UncommonGoods online, do so – they have some really awesome unique gifts. Good luck!!!

    • avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

      Christian, these are AMAZING ideas!! Thank you so very much for sharing! I love, love, love the sentiment + meaning behind your gifts for him, and goodness is he going to love it all!!!

  2. avatar Joy – Leicester Wedding Photographer reply

    I love these gift ideas!! Great touch :)

  3. avatar Amy reply

    Who wouldn’t want these gifts! So generous and loving! Looks like everything is coming together!

  4. avatar Sarah Frederick reply

    Great gift ideas and unique at that. One etsy shop that I think has some wonderful unique monogrammed and appliqued gifts is Southern Linens. I buy most of my shower and wedding gifts there and every couple has loved them.
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/SouthernLinen

  5. avatar Amanda reply

    I’ve got a gift idea for grooms. Actually, both the bride AND the groom can enjoy this one.

    I’m thinking espresso maker. What a wonderful way for the lovebirds to cozy up together with a nice, hot, homebrewed cup of coffee?

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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