• Peter Roehrich

For Your Betrothed


Giving your partner a gift on your wedding day makes for a beloved keepsake they'll treasure forever. In this post I'll go over some gift ideas and a few tips for the exchange.


History

Giving gifts to each other on the wedding day is a fairly recent, and by no means universal, practice. Maybe it's a resurrected dowry, but with both sides of the couple exchanging gifts, I prefer to think of it as a symbol of an egalitarian relationship. In modern form, it might date back to the introduction of gift registries by Marshall Fields in the 1920s.


Ideas

Whether you're marrying a bride, a groom, or someone non-binary, I'm sure that you can find a gift that will delight them.


Bracelet

A sterling silver bracelet is an elegant piece that will certainly be treasured, whether to be worn at the wedding or tucked away for the next outing. This metal has long been valued for its luster. Sterling silver isn't actually pure silver, but contains a small amount of another metal giving it greater strength. This jewelry is sure to be heirloom worthy.


Collar Stays

Collar stays are little plastic or metal tabs that slide into specialty stitched slots in dress collars. Stays are available in menswear departments and shops, and they come with most dress shirts, so your betrothed probably had some. This means premium stays are a neat extra when given as a gift; if you want to give a set, look for something extra special. Silver stays would make a lovely keepsake and reminder of fond memories. Take them to the next level by having both of your initials or wedding date on them. (Or put a super personal secret message on them!)


Money Clip

Money clips are classic accessories that few people carry anymore. Again, for this reason, giving a money clip is giving a gift that one wouldn't usually buy oneself. Engraving makes it still more personal. If you have it engraved, opt for your wedding date or initials.


Pendant

Have you heard of having something blue with you on your wedding day? Rich with symbolism, a piece of blue jewelry is a great way to incorporate this custom into the big day.


Watch

A watch is a gorgeous gift that your partner can use daily and will surely garner compliments. No one wears a watch because they want to know the time. Instead, a watch is an extension of one's personality (and it happens to tell the time, too), a subtle indicator of style. Orient watches are high quality, automatic (meaning they don't need to be wound, instead they are wound by the movement of the wearer's wrist) wristwatches. Some show the date and moon phase, and have open backs showcasing the movement.


Passport Wallet

Many couples travel over their honeymoons. It's a perfect excuse to take few days to yourselves and relish the newlywed glow. A luxe passport wallet makes for a lovely gift that balances the practical with extravagance. I like the passport wallet by Smythson of Bond Street.


When to Give

Gift giving is a matter of timing. Giving your surprise at just the right time and place makes the delivery something to remember. Too early spoils the surprise and too late, well, misses the mark.


The classic time to give a wedding day gift to your partner is in the morning of the wedding day. As tradition holds (but remember, I don't think you need to follow traditions), you and your betrothed won't see each other on the big day before the ceremony. With this in mind, a courier might deliver each's gift to the other. This can make for a fun surprise. A package arrives at the suite and you open it in front of those helping you get ready.


But, as I often point out, you can do anything you like on your wedding day. Some couples have a first look, where, in their wedding attire, the partners share an intimate moment before the ceremony. This could be a perfect moment to exchange gifts. How about you two get ready together? Especially common among same gender couples (pictures of matching cufflinks, yes please), you could exchange gifts then. Maybe you aren't having a classic ceremony; you two could hike with your officiant to a special spot, and it might make sense to exchange gifts the night before.


Wrap Up

No matter the gift, the thought behind it is worth so much more. A thought out gift tells the recipient that they are special to you and thought of (regardless of the occasion). And the experience goes both ways--as you shop for a gift, spend a moment imagining the delight on your the face of fiancé or fiancée upon unwrapping it. More than a merely a gift, a wedding day present part of a memory in the making.

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