One of the options for the blessing at the conclusion of the wedding Mass reads, May you… have solace in your friends and enjoy true peace with everyone.
As friends and family of a newlywed couple it is our job to help them throughout their marriage and on their way to salvation. Of course, the majority of the work is up to them, but there are still many ways we can offer support-- one of the most tangible being through gifts.
The purpose behind wedding gifts is to provide the newlyweds the things they need to start their life together, and while everyone does need sheets and towels and dishes, these don’t necessarily support your friends in their actual marriage. Here, a few ideas for meaningful gifts to help them along the way.
A date night in
Common wisdom says, “Never stop dating.” Give your friends some treats to enjoy at home, while they relax in each other’s company. A two player game or a book of Mad-Libs, some snacks, a nice bottle of wine, and voila! The perfect date night in.
A date night out
After planning a wedding, budgets are often tight, which means luxuries often get cut out for a few months. A gift card to a nice restaurant or tickets to a concert or movie can be a great excuse for a night out without breaking the bank. Consider planning with several friends to splurge on an event the couple would really enjoy, but which may not be in their budget. Of course, you may have to ask ahead of time whether their calendar is open!
Practical religious items
When I got married a friend sent an Advent wreath. I had never had one before, but it set the tone for a prayerful first Advent together. A small nativity scene, family Bible, or some holy salt for blessing their home are all good options. Consider including a small booklet of prayers or a note about how you celebrate different occasions throughout the liturgical year.
Words of wisdom
The best gift my husband and I received was a simple note that read, Welcome to marriage (or as we call it, The Eternal Sleepover). Don’t forget to get cocktails together. Our friends’ humor and advice were exactly what we needed during our jittery period of anticipation before the wedding. Consider passing on the best wedding advice you ever received or a book that had a major impact on your marriage.
A Polaroid camera
After all the wedding hubbub has died down, and all the photos have been posted to social media, people often forget to document the silly, happy, or even mundane moments of their lives. A Polaroid (or a few disposable cameras) is a great way to remind newly married couples that the adventures are just beginning, and that these new memories deserve to be cherished.
Over the years married couples rely on friends for many things: solace in hardship, companionship in good times, and a support network through all the little highs and lows. A small token of your friendship on their wedding day lets your friends know you care for them and that they are assured of your friendship in the years to come.
About the Author: Ada Pimentel studied English at the University of Dallas and currently teaches elementary school. She married her college best friend in November 2017. When she is not teaching, Ada can be found contemplating classical education, redecorating her apartment for the hundredth time, and reading British novels.