The future Saint John Paul II wrote in Love and Responsibility that “[betrothed love’s] decisive character is the giving of one’s own person (to another). The essence of betrothed love is self-giving, the surrender of one’s ‘I.’” Every vocation finds its deepest fulfillment in self-gift; marriage, perhaps, in the most tangible way. Within the sacrament, husband and wife give nothing less than their entire selves to one another; a yes given in total freedom.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t commemorate your wedding with additional items besides your very beings. While there’s no rulebook requiring wedding gifts to each other are required, the gesture can carry emotional significance--particularly for those whom gift-giving is a love language. If you and your beloved have chosen to give each other wedding gifts, we present these four categories as a starting point for your ideas.
The gift of quality time through shared experience not only creates an indelible memory of your first days as a married couple, but can be a surprise for your beloved if it’s planned for after your wedding day. You might secretly plan a dinner or pilgrimage in your honeymoon location, for instance, purchase two tickets for an upcoming sports event or concert, or book an in-home photography session to document your time as newlyweds.
Of course, the start of your life together isn’t solely a material pursuit. When kept in a virtuous perspective, however--a detached sensibility and an understanding that life has its seasons of fasting and feasting within our means--it feels special to celebrate your marriage with a new or upgraded item your spouse (or the both of you) can use to elevate your daily routines and habits. Practical goods fit well into this category, including coffee equipment, tech items, barware, luggage or everyday bags, or even a piece of furniture your spouse would love or has his eye on.
Whatever your talents and interests, or whatever your spouse-to-be’s, there’s probably a way to channel them into a meaningful wedding gift: an original poem or song, a painting of the church where you were engaged or are to be married, an instrument, camera, journal, outdoor or hiking gear, or beautiful edition of a favorite book. Your hobbies are a source of creativity, and future leisure, waiting to be tapped into.
A mass enrollment--perhaps at a church or with a religious order with significant meaning for your spouse--a statue, icon, or religious image for your home, family Bible, Rosary, or saint medal are gifts that offer a deeply personal element, allowing you to choose items that reflect the particular spirituality, saints, and devotions significant to who you are.
We love hearing the meaning and intention behind the details of your wedding day. Did you and your spouse exchange gifts, or are you planning to? Share your gift ideas for brides and grooms, and how you chose them, in the comments and on our social media.