Have you been invited to six weddings in four weekends, and simply can not afford gifts equivalent to the cost-per-head the bride and groom paid for the dinner? Is money tight right now? Perhaps you are a co-worker, or distant relative, who wants to help the couple celebrate but surely should not be shelling out cash for $200-per-place-setting china.
Classy alternatives to china and crystal do exist. Here are 20 wedding gifts or engagement party gift ideas that each cost $20 or even less.
1. Household Basics
Fill a gift bag with kitchen or household basics. There are so many things that brides and grooms forget when they are registering for gifts, especially if they are moving in to a new home together after the wedding. They do not know that they need a vegetable peeler and tea towels much more than a corkscrew and a chafing dish.
2. A Bottle of Wine
You can get the wine bottle gift wrapped from the store or can do it yourself. Shop for some great wrapping accessories. Not too sure how to wrap it ?
Well, you will find a lot of easy DIY videos on wrapping a wine bottle in youtube. Try one that makes the gift, stand out.
3. Movie Magic
Do the bride and groom work long hours or have small children? If either situation is true, they probably have difficulty finding time to go out. You can make some movie magic for them with microwave popcorn, funky boxes of sweets (under $1 each) and a gift certificate for a subscription service like Netflix. As an alternative on this theme, opt for a gift certificate to the cinema, and offer your pet-sitting or babysitting services if needed.
4. Photo Album
Insert the wedding invitation into the front of a purchased photo album and let the bride and groom or guests fill the album with memories of the day. This would be one of those wedding gifts, the couple would cherish for their life.
5. Cleaning Supplies? Yes !
Assemble a basket of cleaning supplies. It’s not glamorous. So what? Sponges, scrubbing brushes, dishwashing liquid…these are all things the newlyweds will need. They may just thank you again the first time one of your gift items saves a pot blackened by burned pasta.
6. Couples Jewelry
Go for some romantic couples necklace for the newly wedded couple. A lot of jewelry pieces would be available that forms a set for couples. Select a romantic pair and put them in a nice gift box.
You can also try monogrammed jewelry with their names or initials engraved. This would remind them of each other even when they are away for work.
Choose a cookbook or two of which you are especially fond, and include a note or post-its to mark some of your favourites.
8. Gift Certificate for Pictures
Provide the bride and groom with a couple of disposable cameras gift certificate for developing the film. That way, they can see the pictures from their honeymoon or the first day in their new house without having to swallow yet another expense and with something physical to hold long after the big day is over.
9. Monogrammed Hand Towels
A set of guest towels or a few hand towels can be purchased at a department store or discount store like TK Maxx. If you are unfamiliar with the couple’s bathroom color scheme, check for clues on the gift list. If the list provides no clues, it is usually safe to default to a neutral shade. For an added touch, have their new initials sewn in as a monogram.
10. Picture Perfect Memories
Purchase a picture frame…or two…or four. Silver-plated frames are very inexpensive. Black frames have a sleek look and are perfect for the tastes of many modern brides and grooms. Use Facebook or Instagram to find happy pictures of the couple to print off at home.
11. Address Book
Give them a head start on getting thank-you notes and Christmas cards out by purchasing an address book for the couple and beginning to fill it with entries of the guests you already know.
12. Gift Basket
Stir up a little romance with a gift basket that includes an inexpensive bottle of champagne, a small box of chocolates, a book or list of love quotes or copies of love poems, a nice scented candle, and a couple of pretty stemmed glasses or champagne flutes.
This can usually be found at outlets or dollar shops for $1 to $3 each.
13. Bath Pamper
Prepare the bride and groom for some pampering with bubble bath, candles, lotions or massage oil, and an inflatable bath pillow. Not that they will be using the pillow much…. Married life gets hectic, and they will appreciate the break from the world and the chance to bond with each other.
14. Coffee Beans
Maybe they just need a jolt of java. Small packages of flavored coffee grounds can be purchased at the grocery store for less than $2 each. Bags of beans or freshly-ground beans do not cost much more. Include a couple of cute mugs or espresso cups and you have just given them a nice cuddle on a cold morning.
15. Bond in the Garden
Does the groom have the proverbial green thumb? Give some gardening goodies. Seed packets are exceedingly inexpensive, ranging from only 10p to $2 for most packets. Other inexpensive additions to this gift are men’s and women’s gardening gloves and small hand tools. The newlyweds can bond over a hobby while putting sweat equity into their new home and adding work-intimacy to the relationship.
16. Potted Perennial
If the couple has recently purchased a home, give them a small tree or bush or a potted perennial that can be transplanted. Your gift becomes part of their landscaping, and therefore, part of their home and memories, and perhaps even the memories of their future children.
17. Romantic Coasters
Find an interesting set of coasters. Two or three sets, if possible, so they can be used with company. Glass coasters that say “Love” are widely available in a variety of colors and cost $4 or less for a set of four. Purchase enough for 6-10 guests and still have money left over for gift wrap and a pretty card.
18. Tea Time
Put together a basket of flavored teas. Include one to three containers of tea, a couple of mugs or teacups, depending on the bride and groom’s personal aesthetic you could plump for some fine China from a charity shop. Maybe include a tea ball or strainer, especially if loose leaf tea is part of the package.
19. Christmas Decor
Consider Christmas ornaments. If you are close to the couple, pass down ornaments that can become family heirlooms. Or as a wedding gift for a couple you do not know very well, inexpensive glass balls can be picked up for a song after Christmas, and can be coordinated to the couple’s holiday décor. Or pick them up in clear or white only. They will think of you every year while decorating the tree.
20. Breakfast Delight
Make it so that the spouse who is earliest to rise can serve up breakfast to the sleepyhead still warming the bed. Include inexpensive cloth napkins from a dollar shop, jams, crumpets, bread or pancake mixes, or whatever other nonperishable breakfast items come to mind.
Remember, the couple invited you because they are more concerned with having you present than receiving your present. Choose a gift that expresses your interest in the bride and groom’s happiness, and they will appreciate your thoughtfulness and ingenuity.