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Ask Belle: Newlywed Christmas Gifts

Earlier in the week, I was contacted by a Twitter follower looking for a gift for his new wife.  How new?  They were married last weekend.  After consulting some newlywed friends, I have discovered that there are three schools of thought on newlywed gift giving.

The Wedding-Related Gift

Your first gift option is to select something wedding related.  My co-worker, Virginia, who was married earlier in the Fall, suggested a Christmas ornament to celebrate your first holiday season as a married couple.  After some research, I discovered that a pair of turtle doves is traditional.

Ceramic Love Dove (Etsy, $14)

If you’re not having a tree or if this bill doesn’t strike your fancy, Virginia also suggested that you could track down your wedding photographer, get a picture of the two of you and put it in a nice frame.  She thought this might be an especially nice gift considering that you probably won’t have received your final photos yet.  A number of retailers carry sparkling silver frames that are perfect for wedding photos.

The Non-Wedding Gift

When I asked my neighbors, who were married before Thanksgiving, what they were doing for Christmas gifts, they both bristled at the idea of doing something wedding related.  Given that their wedding was less than 30 days ago, they were both still recovering from all the hustle and bustle.  And since they had received a truck load full of bridal registry gifts, they had decided to put their traditional Christmas gift money toward a weekend trip to the beach over Martin Luther King Day weekend.

If you’re looking for a non-travel option, a nice dinner at a restaurant that wouldn’t normally be in your budget is a nice gift.  Recommended haunts include Minibar, Inn at Little Washington, L’Auberge Chez Francois, or any restaurant whose per price dining cost would be astronomical for a non-special occassion. 

The Forgotten Registry Gift

I have yet to meet a bride who got everything she wanted from her wedding registry.  There is always at least one gift that gets forgotten, and sometimes it’s a gift that she really wanted.  For example, two years ago one of my schoolmates was desperate for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer so she added it to her bridal registry. 

When she didn’t receive her desperately-desired mixer, her new husband packaged it up with several mixes from Williams Sonoma and gave it to her as a Christmas present.  I, and all of her classmates, were the recipient of dozens of delicious treats (and the pounds to go with them) thanks to her husband’s thoughtful gift.

So ladies, especially you wedded wives, any other gift suggestions for this newly minted husband?


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  1. K says:

    I'd encourage him to ask his newly wed if they even want to exchange gifts the same way they do with everyone else. Hubby and I prefer to pick out something special to get or do together. Like this year, we're spending our holiday budget on some new pets that we both really want.

    If they'd rather exchange surprise gifts, I would vote jewelry.

    December 16, 2010/Reply
  2. Belle says:

    Tis true, jewelry is never a bad gift.

    December 16, 2010/Reply
  3. K says:

    After we were married, my husband and I decided that instead of exchanging gifts we would put our resources towards a trip in the new year (so I like the idea of a weekend getaway) or we purchase something we want or need for our house. Another option for the newlyweds is tickets to a show (in town or perhaps in NYC). For example, a surprise dinner to one of the restaurants you suggested and then going to see the “Nutcracker” before or during the holiday week would be fun!

    December 16, 2010/Reply