It’s basically summer, and you know what that means: wedding season! Before we get caught up in the effusive happiness and romance that’s just begun to spring forth from every corner of your core friend group, we need to take a step back and take a long, sobering look at the most annoying part of it all: having to buy wedding gifts.
I mean, sure, you can just buy whatever’s on the couple’s registry. But we all know that Great Aunt Marla will totally beat you at that game — buying a top-of-the-line Artisan KitchenAid mixer, making the $8 spatula you will inevitably pick up (because by the time you’ve decided to buy that wedding gift, the registry will have been basically completed. Damn you, Great Aunt Marla!) seem incredibly lame by comparison.
But you’re not lame. No — you want to buy a gift that the couple will remember you by. That every time they look at it they will be reminded what an awesome friend you are. A spatula will not remind them of you, especially when cousin Fred bought, like, twelve spatulas so your beautifully crafted spatula will end up in the donation bin. First rule: don’t get a spatula.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are 9 amazing, definitely-not-on-the-registry-but-your-friends-will-love-anyway wedding gifts.
1) The Incredibly Chic And Incredibly Unique Kiddush Cup Holder
Even after a Jewish couple has exhaustively laid out every minutia of their household needs, from vacuum cleaners to dishes, there will always be that group of people who find it necessary to buy silver kiddush cups from their local Judaica store. But there’s no need for the happy couple to suffer with putting the kiddush cup on that boring silver holder. This set of Chinese art-inspired ceramic coasters will make Shabbat kiddush infinitely colorful (and, possibly, infinitely more fun.) Bonus: it doubles as a regular coaster, too.
2) The Mundane Things Should Be Personalized Too World Traveling Suitcase
After the wedding, some people like to do this travel thing called a Honeymoon. It inevitably involves some sort of travel which requires some form of receptacle to hold some varieties of belongings. This receptacle is often called a suitcase, which is often the last thing a couple thinks they need, instead choosing to use their parents’ busted-up luggage circa 1995. Luckily for the couple, they have you as a friend, who will swoop in and buy matching his-and-hers suitcases that are personalized and Smart with a capital S: This suitcase comes with a dock to charge your phone, a combination lock to secure precious valuables, and an interior compression system to help fit everything inside (sitting on the suitcase no longer required).
3) The ‘Obsession With Bagels And Schmear Is Way Too Real’ Food Basket
If you’re a real Jew (or just an ordinary New Yorker), the bagel and its various accoutrements is more than just an obsession, it’s a goddamn religion. And if your just-married friends are real Jews, then what’s better than having them celebrate the morning-after a wild night of celebrations with a carb-filled breakfast basket filled with bagel supplies from venerated Jew-food emporium Zabars? Absolutely nothing. Forget about a “night-to-remember.” That breakfast will be so memorable, they’ll tell the story of your legendariness to their grandchildren. Your welcome.
4) The Couple Who Is So Extra They Host Wine And Cheese Parties On The Regular Cheese Plate
If your friends aren’t Real Jews (see above), but do WASPy things like host overly fancy dinner parties where couples sit separately (it’s like a weird inversion of the Orthodox dictate for gender separate seating), then a cheese plate is the kind of gift that they probably already have.
But never fear — buying a slate cheese plate where you can do cool things like mark it up in chalk is probably FAR superior than any wood-based board thing they already have satocked.
5) The Most-Likely-To-Still-Be-Obsessed-With-Each-Other-In-50-Years Waffle Maker
In a world where divorce is increasingly becoming the norm, buying wedding gifts has become a depressing enterprise. But every once in a while, a couple comes along who makes you believe in the institution of love and marriage. Reward them for their cuteness and buy them a heart-shaped waffle maker. Who knows, that waffle maker will likely save the newlyweds from the petty fights sure to come down the road. That my friends, is the epitome of doing a mitzvah, one that you’re sure to get rewarded for in the world to come.
6) The Romantic Fireplace For Couples Who Live In Tiny Shoeboxes
If your friends are like many American Jews, they might live in New York, home to exorbitant rent prices for square footage that would make a rat cry from claustrophobia. But that doesn’t mean your favorite newlywed couple can’t have an evening of Netflix and Chill by the fireplace. Besides, it’s practically Jewish law to light up one’s home with fire at some point in the year. After all, there’s Hanukkah and Shabbat. This taple-top fireplace may be small, but it’s perfect for indoor use.
Check out more stories in the Forward’s guide to Jewish weddings.