Wedding Present Etiquette

My best friend told me tonight he proposed to his girlfriend and they set the date for 2 June. I am the only non-family member who will be part of the official party. I am escorting his sister.

I plan to give my buddy a great present but don’t want to alienate his new bride. I am going to customise a Guitar Hero PS2 controller for him using local airbrush talents. I know it sounds tacky and stupid, but it’s our hobby and we enjoy it - sue us. None of us are aristocrats(!) but he will get a kick out of it for the kitsch factor alone. I have known his fiance as long as him since I returned to P’cola. She is an awesome girl and they make a great couple, but she rolls her eyes anytime we mention or play Guitar Hero.

My question is: What do I get to balance out the personalized guitar for my friend? I know they will have a registry open somewhere, but shoud I stick to that or get someting unexpected that they could enjoy as a couple? (Get your mind out of the gutter).

So, one cool present and one “standard” present or two cool presents? I want to customise the guitar if only to see how it turns out (I’ve already done one), but what to do about the wife/couple gift? Is two gifts too many?

Cool present if you know her well enough for that.

If you choose something out of the registry, I always choose something off the list that I also like; this has gotten me grateful kudos from several brides who were seeing themselves with three sets of good china and not one for “daily meals”!

A present which is intended to be cool but misses its mark is worse than a present from a registry which is intended to be a basic present from a registry.
A present which is intended to be cool and succeeds is probably better than a present from the registry. (Some caveats because if everyone ignores the registry, what does the registry accomplish?).

My brother and his wife recieved 3 ice cream makers as wedding presents. Two of them from groomsmen who were very proud of their cleverness–until they started talking to each other the day before the wedding and found out they were not alone. One got exchanged, one got regifted, and one was kept/used til it broke.

I just wanted to pop in and say that I misread and dylexicized the title of the thread and asked myself:

What doper needs to know about Prison Wedding Etiquette?

I would get them a joint gift and give your friend the controller as something completely separate, i.e. not in the pile of wedding gifts.

Ditto. Wedding presents are for the couple. Save the cool guitar hero for his birthday.

Double ditto- especially becareful of sending the new bride the message that you think he will still spend lots of his free time with you playing PS2 guitar.

'cause that may not be what she’s thinking as a newlywed!
Give them a nice joint present that shows that you celebrate their marriage to each other. Give the groom his present as an aside, at a bachelor party (if there is one) or at a later date.

I have to agree with those who said that wedding gifts, in general, ought to be presents for the couple together. Unless she enjoys playing PS2, too? If she does, then you could buy 2 controllers and airbrush them in some ‘couple-y’ way. That would work, be clever & fun, and be appropriate as a wedding gift. But, obviously, only if playing video games is one of her hobbies also.

Well, I don’t read for comprehension, do I? I just read the OP and discovered that the bride doesn’t share the Guitar-Hero (what is that?) hobby. So my suggestion of 2 controllers won’t work.

If you are still really attached to the idea of the controller thing as a gift for him, then I think you should choose a more personal gift for her, rather than a couples-thing. Something for one of her hobbies. Your friend can probably help you come up with something. Wrap the two gifts together, and in the card, use that quote from Kahlil whosie about being together, but also being apart. Hold on… Here. You can probably find a card with this printed right on the front. Then, inside, write something like: “For those times when there are spaces in your togetherness.”

The problem with giving a fun, personal gift for him and a ‘couples’ gift for her is that it points up the idea that he is your friend and she is ‘only’ part of a unit with him. By giving 2 personal gifts, you are treating them both as friends – not as a friend and a friend-plus-one.

This will only work if you are quite sure she’ll be cool with it. Some brides are really fiends about staying with the registry. But since you say she is a cool girl, whom you know pretty well, I think this might work for you. Just make sure that the hobby gift you get for her is something nice. It would be extra great if you could pick something for her that you could personalize like his controller.

I just realized, you haven’t seen the registry yet… I’m WAGging you may be able to locate things in it that are “hers”, perhaps some pointers to a hobby you don’t even know she has but absolutely know he does not.

Just save the controller for another event - his birthday or something. It’s so completely inappropriate for a wedding gift, it’s best to just hold off on it. Weddings if not for the couple, are for the bride.

Seems to me like I’d hope she’s not going to suddenly become more controlling of his time in the fiancee-to-wife transition. That’d be kind of a raw deal.

My beloved wife, reading over my shoulder, has expressed the desire to punch you for sexism. :smiley:

In all seriousness, though, you either should do something equally awesome for each member of the couple, or you need to listen to the nice people here and put off the guitar for some other occasion (or hell, the bachelor party)–the wedding day and wedding gifts should be with THEM not HIM in mind.

Yup, save the controller for another time (or, if you must, the bachelor party or after the rehearsal dinner or whatever). The wedding gift should be for the couple.

Well, I don’t see so much as “suddenly becoming controlling” as “we’ve just gotten married because we want to be together and boy I hope he doesn’t spend the next six- months at Zeriel’s house playing video games like he did when we were dating.” It may not be the most sensitive of messages to give to a newlywed couple.

Or else she won’t care- who knows!

I’m just saying that if you must skew towards one half of the couple, you’re better off doing so towards the bride. I wasn’t saying you should skew towards the bride period, I said “if not not for the couple” setting up a heiarchy of:
Gift for the couple
Esoteric gift that only the bride will enjoy
Esoteric gift that only the groom will enjoy

Why is it that ‘gifts for the couple’ are almost always things that men are generally not interested in, like serving bowls and shit?

My cousin got married last year, and there were virtually no gifts that her husband will ever use because everything was more or less for her. He doesn’t care about special plates made to serve deviled eggs or tea pots or crystal punch bowls. In most every case where someone went off the registry, it was a gift for her. My parents went off the registry, and I did too, but there we were aiming for a gift that both of them would like.

My parents got them a plaque for their house that has their last name on it and says established on their wedding date. I got them a gift certificate to the restaurant they both loved but gave up so they could pay for the wedding. Cause really, how many toaster cozies does one person need?

This is way cool, catsix, and very thoughtful. I agree that most registry items do lean towards the bride’s enjoyment - something like this is very much “couple” oriented.

As for the Guitar Hero guitar, save it for the bachelor party or something - it’s my opinion that a wedding gift should be for the couple.

Yeh, cos women just LOVE serving bowls and shit.

Wedding presents are supposed to be practical gifts for setting up home together. It dates from the time when, shock horror, couples didn’t live together before they got married and so needed a whole house full of stuff, including serving bowls and shit.

Now, obviously, nowadays many couples already have a house so don’t need another set of teaspoons, but the present is still FOR THE COUPLE, to either help them set up home or to provide a lasting memory of their special day. (Think ornaments, NOT Playstation shit).

Am I the only one who read this post and thought ‘yee Gods, boys toys as a wedding present, do these boys EVER grow up?’.

Save the playstation thingie for his birthday. Think ‘couple’.

I think most of the practical gifts are usually given at showers, and the like. And the ones that are given at the wedding aren’t necessarily things “men aren’t interested in.” catsix, my father absolutely loves to cook, and while maybe he wouldn’t care about serving bowls, he’d probably love knife sets, some nice cookware, maybe some wine glasses. I mean, no offense, but you’ve said before that you’re not the typical girly girl, so why do you assume all men aren’t interested in certain things?

That being said, I think your gift was a lovely idea. Gifts with that “personal touch” I think are the best. When anyone in our family gets married, on my mom’s side, my grandmother usually crochets a homemade afghan. They’re absolutely beautiful, heavy and warm, and very much appreciated.
My cousin is getting married in June. While I plan to find something for both him and his wife to be, I’d also like to give him a framed photo of us when we were kids, sitting on the stoop and eating popcicles. I just haven’t decided what to do for the two of them.

(I figured since we’ll be giving gifts to his fiance at the shower, I wanted to get him something “just for him” as well).

Exactly what I was about to say, its not like my mom was jumping for joy when she got bed linens and a gravy bowl, but she was living in a graduate dorm and didn’t own any of that, and I’m pretty certain all my dad owned for cooking was a grill and some knives. The idea is that kitchen and decorating items help the couple set up a household, which in theory is something that both will take pride in, even if only one half is doing most of the cooking and cleaning.

I think it would be fine to give him your present privately before the wedding, but at least send them something that be appropriate for both (since she rolls her eyes at Guitar Hero there’s no chance you can play this is as a gift for the household) . If you can’t think of anything, then thats what the registry is for. Most likely you can search their names on and their stores will be on there.