When I remarried, last August, we said no gifts please. With two households already established, what more could we require?
Some people, of course, insisted. As it turns out, those people who simply must give you a present will do so perfectly. I have already sent thank you notes, of course. But here’s a second and collective thank you to our benefactors.
I was thinking that for those now receiving Save The Dates, and considering presents for the near and dear, any or all of these might be lovely choices.
1. My mother absolutely insisted on giving us a wedding present, and on discussing what it should be. We dissuaded her from parting with a family ring. Hard to garden wearing a large oval emerald. Instead, I asked to have one of her several silver cake servers engraved with Significant Husband’s and my first initials.
2. My brother and his wife also insisted. In this case, their inspiration came from a night I spent with with their infant son. I had mentioned that what little time I spent in their guest bedding had convinced me they owned the best pillows in the whole world.
Now I do too. (That’s not my bed, BTW, but rather a picture from the Warm Things website.)
3. My Swedish stepsister and brother-in-law didn’t even hear that it was a no gifts event. Lucky us. The Swedes do glassware like nobody’s business; modern, iconic. They also love to celebrate a royal wedding. This decanter, called “Divine,” was designed by Orrefors to mark the Swedish princess Victoria’s 2010 wedding. That lovely frosted glass band is textured, for a no-slip grip. Don’t you love little practical design details?
Part of managing one’s red wine consumption is to fête every drop.
4. One of my first cousins, the eldest of Win’s daughters, made us a set of napkins. Yes, I said made, as in sewed. I guess napkins are feasible in quantity, if you know how to do that sort of thing. She’s one of the original Artsy Cousins, of course. The beige and black color scheme works really well with my table.
She said the punctuation marks were perfect for a writer. Melted my heart right there.
5. And finally, my son gave me glass Christmas ornaments. From a vintage shop in Brooklyn, of course.
I had first moved out of our family house, in the divorce, in June of 2006. That Christmas, I set up a small tree. I’d left the ornaments behind, and much else. So I went to Gumps, that parlor of bourgeois glory, and bought a set of gaudy blown glass fish. Some covered in glitter. Of course my son gave me ornaments, come wedding time.
Reading through this post, I realize I say “Of course,” a lot. There are two sorts of “of course” in wedding presents: “of course” you give glass, crystal, pots and pans, or, “of course” the ones who know you mark the occasion exactly.
The nexus of etiquette and deep community.
6. Oh, here’s one more idea. Something I gave myself, at 22, when I moved into my first solo apartment, Le Creuset cast iron enamelware. This I believe holds 2 quarts, Williams Sonoma sells them now in 1 quart or 3 quart sizes.
Turns out it’s perfect to cook for two. And, as you can see, it survives all kind of indignities.
Cheers to all who are marrying, to those who will some day, and to the families and guests.
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