I received this question:
First and foremost I wanted to thank you for your site being so helpful and the best wedding advice ever! I will definitely be using your site to help me arrange my own wedding!
The question that I have for you is not for my wedding, however, but for my mother's. She is getting remarried in the VERY near future and my 2 brothers and I are completely stumped with the question of what to get them as a wedding gift. Our situation is that my brothers and I are all in our early 20's and don't have a lot to spend on a wedding gift. Our budget would be around $500.
In addition to that, they are moving to Greece right after, which makes it much harder to think of a good wedding gift. I've searched online for hours, but no website has any tips for good wedding gift ideas for your parent(s). So, I was wondering if you had any good ideas up your sleeve and could help me out.
This was my reply:
Many thanks for your kind comments about my website. I’m really pleased that you enjoy reading my wedding blogs.
I have a couple of suggestions to make with regard to solving your wedding gift dilemma for your Mother and future Step-father at their upcoming wedding. I think that $500 is a perfectly reasonable budget for a gift from you and your brothers so don’t worry about that - the most perfect wedding gift can sometimes be the least expensive option on offer. Have a think about what sentiment you want to convey with your wedding gift. Do you want it to be something fun and unique or do you want it to be a sentimental reminder of their special day? Here are some ideas:
♥ Two of the most stressful things couples experience in life are getting married and moving home. If your Mother and her fiancé are doing both in the upcoming months then it sounds like they could definitely use a bit of pampering once the wedding and house move are completed. How about a gift certificate for a luxurious 5 star resort in Greece. I imagine that not only will this be appreciated by the newlyweds as a welcome chance to de-stress and relax but it will also allow them to experience another area of Greece which they might not otherwise have chosen to visit. Most of the luxury hotels in Greece offer gift certificates. Be sure to ask when booking whether the certificates can be used for spa treatments and dining as well as for overnight stays at the hotel. Gift certificates are usually valid for up to 2 years so the newlyweds don’t have to feel pressurized into booking their pampering treatment/overnight break straight away. Check out Greek hotels resorts and spa information at websites such as Relaischateaux.com or Myconiancollection.gr.
♥ Traditionally second time brides and grooms have already have set up their own households so I assume that your Mother and her fiancé will not need traditional wedding registry items such as toasters, kettles and towels. However, if there are any practical home goods or other items which your Mother or her fiancé have expressed an interest in then do not feel put off. You could buy the gift and follow either of the options below:
♥ Arrange to have the gift shipped to the newlyweds’ new home in Greece. This is perfect if the newlyweds are emigrating shortly after the wedding but if their move is not for a few months you might prefer to present them with the wedding gift on their wedding day.
♥ Alternatively you could buy the gift, give it to them on their wedding day and additionally provide them with a shipping gift certificate to cover the cost of shipping the item to Greece as and when they move. Iomoi.stores.yahoo.net offers shipping gift certificates in denominations of $5 (they have a handy facility for calculating how much your chosen item will cost to ship to Greece).
♥ If you want to give the newlyweds something a bit more heartfelt and sentimental then why not arrange to have a formal photo session with you and your brothers. I’m sure that your Mother and her new husband would love to receive a beautifully framed photo. You could choose an elegant silver frame and have it engraved with a special wedding message from the three of you. Do bear in mind that not all formal photo sessions result in cheesy “posed” photos. Choose a photographer who is willing to let you all relax and be yourselves, strike some fun poses and allow the photographer to capture your true personalities that your Mother knows and loves. If you are considering this option then remember that image proofs are usually available three weeks after the photo session - so make sure you organize this well in advance of the wedding.
♥ Alternatively, if you like the idea of presenting the newlyweds with a photo frame but are not keen on a framed portrait of yourself and your brothers then how about giving an engraved elegant photo frame on its own or insert into it a photo of the happy couple pre-wedding.
♥ Another low-cost variation on the photo idea is to use family photos and photos of your Mother and her partner during their early years together and produce a custom-made photo book. Websites such as www.shutterfly.com allow you to upload your digital photos onto their site and then create your own hard-cover photo album. This would not only make a lovely keepsake for the newlyweds but would be easy for them to transport to Greece.
Expat Gift Hamper
♥ As your Mother and her new husband are planning on emigrating to Greece then how about a gift certificate from a company which will provide them with a taste of home. If they get homesick for their favorite US treats they can simply log on to the internet in Greece and order them to be shipped to their new home. American shopping services for expats such as Americanfoodworldwide.com allow them to shop online for all of their favorite foods from a regular American supermarket.
♥ To keep within your budget you could consider putting together a basket or hamper filled with appropriate gifts for the newlyweds. Think about their personalities, hobbies and things they like when choosing gifts for the package. You could include:
♥ A Greek or American cookbook (one to give her some tips and advice on how to prepare and cook the classic local cuisine of her new home and one to remind her of the traditional recipes of her former home)
♥ Personalized stationery (and air mail stamps!)
♥ Personalized luggage tags
♥ You could even include practical and fun items for their new lifestyle in Greece such as sunglasses, sun-hats, a guidebook for Greece, an electronic multi-language translator, beach towels or even some “Just Married” sandals for your Mother and her partner to get some wear from whilst strolling on Greece’s beautiful beaches. Remember to include plenty of lightweight items which will not be too heavy for them to transport to Greece.
♥ If all else fails you could give the newlyweds some American Express Gift Cheques. They are useable to buy virtually anything so they could use them to pay for whatever they wanted once they have moved (e.g. furniture for their new home in Greece, money towards their return flights back to visit you and your brothers, an island hopping trip in Greece).
A lot of people attending their parent's encore weddings get caught up in what constitutes an appropriate gift for the newlyweds. The essential thing to remember is that a gift, no matter how much it costs, will always be appreciated if some thought has been put into it. Remember that the wedding gift you and your brothers choose to give to your Mother and her new husband is a token of your celebration of their wedding day and their new life together.
I hope that this helps and that you and your brothers manage to find the perfect wedding gift for your Mother and her husband-to-be.
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