Wedding season is among us which means that you're faced with the dreaded question ... what do I give? When I'm faced with that question I often ask myself, "WWPSD - What Would Pauline Smith Do?" Odds are that you didn't have the chance to know Pauline unless you went to the church that my parents grew up in. She was a sweet lady and you would have liked her very much. I know what you're thinking ... that's sweet ... but why do I care? Allow me to explain.
When my parents got married (in 1492) they received not one, not two, not three, not seven, but seventeen teapots. Seventeen. My Mom will tell you that she has no clue who gave them those teapots, or their silverware, or their china, or any of the other things that they registered for. Is she grateful? Of course. But does she remember? Not at all. She does, however, remember that Pauline Smith's gift was something that they didn't register for, something they didn't even know that they needed. Pauline Smith gave my parents a harvest gold blender. She told my mother later that she liked to give gifts that were memorable. Pauline was right ... all these years later and my mother not only remembers the gift, she also remembers the card which read "You didn't register for this but you are going to need it!" Pauline was right ... my parents used that blender for fifteen years!
Today, Pauline's legacy lives on, in my mother, in me, and now perhaps in you too.
But what do you give that's useful and memorable? Here are a few of my favorite things to give:
- What's for Dinner? Thanks to you a delicious meal and a fun experience. Meal delivery services like Blue Apron send the ingredients and the instructions and the newlyweds can spend the evening in the kitchen doing the rest. You can gift as many weeks as your budget allows and they can start the service when they're ready.
- My friend Heather's mom always gives the same thing for a wedding - a fire extinguisher and a smoke detector. At first I thought it was an odd gift until she explained that "...it's something you don't realize you need and isn't that much fun to buy." Become the Mrs. P to all of your friends and help them start their married lives with safety!
- I've never met a bride that didn't love seeing her new monogram on ANYTHING! From stationery with their new names or fun cocktail napkins and cups (like these from Emily McCarthy) these are a fun little extravagance that you love but you might not buy yourself.
After years of gift giving I can honestly say that Mrs. Smith was right ... no one will remember the dishes that you bought. The dinner or the stationery or the napkins or the fire extinguisher or even the harvest gold blender ... those are gifts (and the gift givers) they will remember.
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Note: After sharing this post with my Mom she asked that I include a note that harvest gold was a very popular color at the time!