These are some ideas I’ve used as gifts for my friends or gifts that have been given to me and my husband through the years and they have been very special because they took thought, not necessarily loads of money, to put together.
And for those with friends getting married on a budget, never underestimate the importance of getting them something simple but “frivolous” they can enjoy on your dime instead of theirs (i.e. dinner and a movie). When times get tight they will appreciate it a lot; I know we did.
Step 1: From the bride...
A Gift card to her favorite ice cream/ coffee shop and her own “save the date” card so you two can catch up.
A Mini scrapbook of the two of you with a note/journal thanking her for her participation in the wedding.
A Picture frame of a favorite memory with her OR put a cute piece of card stock inside the frame with a note reading “insert picture of my best friend and me on wedding day here” or something cute like that.
If she likes to read- make her a bookmark thanking her so every time she uses it she will remember your wedding with fondness…just make sure you have it laminated to protect it!
If she likes music- Buy her an iTunes card and in a personal letter of thanks explain why certain songs mean something to your friendship.
If she’s an activist- make a donation to her favorite charity or arrange for a time the two of you can work with an organization together after the wedding- you’ll be able to catch up and make a new memory!
I made each of my 5 bridesmaids a mini scrapbook for about $7-8 a book. My only advice for something like this is to plan ahead and start early so you aren't scrambling before the wedding to finish your gifts. We still get a laugh when we look back on the times we've shared.
Step 2: From the groom...
If you are the groom looking for something functional try one of these other ideas:
Car cleaning/repair kit or car detailing certificates
CamelBak- These are a backpack with a built in water pack inside and a hose that runs from the pack out so that you can sip as you go. Great for a guy that does manual labor, sports, or other outdoor activities. http://camelbak.com/
Pocket knife, etc. Anything attaching to a key chain seems to work well for guys. Things like a mini flashlight, laser pen, pocket knife, etc.
Also check out http://themanregistry.com/Default.aspx
Remember too that you can select the same type of gift (ex. key ring embellishment) but personalize it for each guy based on their interests.
Step 3: For a wedding gift...
Movie Night A comfy throw for two, popcorn w/ bucket, movie theater candy, and a movie you think they’d enjoy
Dessert Date Gift card to favorite ice cream store/ coffee shop
At home dinner date A large mixing bowl, aprons, dish towels or other house wares from their registry, and some recipes with a note “whip up something fun together” or “you’ve already got the main ingredient…love” or something cutesy like that (you could also toss in a gift card to a restaurant in case the meal gets burned haha)
Memento Shadow Box Wait until after the wedding to give your gift! Collect items from the big day (program, coasters, favors) and use them to make a shadow box complete with their color/theme and pics from throughout the day.
Reusable Grocery List Visit www.facebook.com/I.Love.Lists07 and order her a personalized reusable grocery list to help cut down on the stress of cooking/shopping for two. They come small enough to fit in a purse and are detachable so she only takes the category she needs OR she can divide it up and enlist hubby to help. Each gift set includes a wet erase pen and "quick list" of items that run out quickly that she can send in hubby's pocket so he doesn't forget to pick up on the way home from work. These lists not only save time and money they save the earth too!
Afternoon Getaway A beach towel and a picnic basket are a nice way to remind them to get out and do things together after the “hum drum” of life starts.
Board Games or other items for entertaining. These are great for a night at home together or to take to a get together :)
Step 4: For the bachelorette party/ honeymoon
Some ideas of things to include:
Feminine “freshen up in a hurry” wipes
KY Jelly and Condoms
Breath mints or Wisps (those mini toothbrushes), mini mouth rinse
Candles or Glow stick (you can use glow sticks in the bathtub to create fun lighting as long as they don’t leak)
Pocket mirror, hair brush
and of course don't forget...
a Pregnancy Test!!
You can make the contents conservative or hilariously awkward :) I usually go with the former while my friends chose the later at my party! lol