Wedding Present Puzzled

Q: I have just been invited to three weddings over the course of the next few months! They are for good friends that I would like to give a memorable and nice gift, without breaking the bank. Do you have any ideas or advice for this wedding present puzzled guest?

Dear Wedding Present Puzzled,

We are here to help and understand your plight! Wedding season is upon us and it can be very expensive! We generally recommend you get something off your friend’s registry, but we differ as to what we recommend.

If you have a very healthy budget, Mimi recommends the pièce de résistance, the Tiffany Classic rectangular tray in sterling silver, custom monogrammed with initials or, if you are really out to impress the couple, the entire wedding invitation.


A healthy budget gift is two (2) place settings of the couple’s chosen china. They can enjoy a romantic dinner for two on you! If you want to spend a bit less and make just as lovely an impression, Mimi recommends giving unusual items, like a salt cellar, bread tray or silverplate pitcher.

A salt cellar can be crystal, glass or silver (splurge with the little silver spoons if you wish) and is a functional, interesting and old-fashioned gift. You can find antique salt cellars on eBay at great prices or newer ones at a variety of stores. Williams Sonoma has a few newer versions from Le Creuset and our favorite, the Provence Hand Painted Salt-Keeper, is lovely and great for keeping your kosher salt right by the stove!

Mimi uses her Wilton Armetale “Give Us This Day” bread tray or her Arthur Court oblong bunny tray, virtually every day of her married life! These manufacturers are “old school”, but newer designers like Michael Aram also have similar offerings. Whether it’s biscuits, bacon or cookies on the tray, your friends will remember you every time they use it!

Lastly, the silverplate pitcher. You think this is a never-used item, but virtually every time I give this as a gift, I get an extra-special thank you and am told years later that it’s their most used wedding gift. My go-to is the Reed and Barton Burgundy or Coventry pitcher, a little more expensive and definitely for an important friend or relative. Scuplta Romantica is another option. Oneida and Leonard Silverplate used to make similar pitchers and you can find those on eBay or at Replacements for a bit less. We promise any of these gifts will be well received, quite useful and last forever. As we hope, so does the marriage!

Mademoiselle says that because you are young and not family, you really should not be expected to spend more than $50.00 on their gift. That said, I, too, believe in the registry, but if you want to provide a more memorable or personal gift outside the registry, I suggest a set of monogrammed white on white linen napkins. That way, when I am invited to dinner, I still have enough money to bring wine and there will be no paper napkins!

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