The leaves are about to change and soon, the summer heat will cool –  but the Minnesota wedding season is very much still in full swing. Most couples use wedding registries at big department stores that are accessible no matter where you live, but that doesn’t help much in trying to decide what to buy. So how do you choose what to bring to the big day?

Ask the Couple What They Want

One of my favorite memories of our own wedding registry was a very kind and thoughtful gesture on the part of a friend of mine: she asked us what we would most like to receive. So if you know the couple well enough, don’t be afraid to just ask them what they want. Some things people add to their registry are filed under the category of “oh that would be fun” items, and some are “if we don’t get this we’ll have to buy it” items. The surprise won’t be ruined, as by the time they open their gifts they probably won’t even remember your conversation. Every time we use our giant two-person sized beach towel I am reminded of the kindness of the friend who gave it to us and thought to ask.

Utilize a Theme

Another fun idea is to shop for gifts with a certain theme. Working within their registry, pick out a few kitchen utensils, wrap them in a utensil holder with some tissue paper, and stick a grocery gift card in with your card. If you want to add more of a personal touch, compile your favorite family recipes in a three-ring binder, along with any history or anecdotes that go along with them. If kitchen items aren’t available, head to the bathroom aisle and wrap the toothbrush holder, set of hand towels, and some delicious smelling hand soap inside a laundry basket. Tie a giant bow on top, and you’ve got yourself a nice little gift ensemble.

Think Outside of the Box

Sometimes by the time you get around to buying a gift, the registry is completely picked over. In that case, you’ll have to think outside of the gift box a little bit. Breweries and winemakers have gotten very creative in the names of their brews, so look for a couple of funny (or ironically) named bottles, add a pair of appropriate glassware, and a thoughtful card. Feel free to include tags on the bottles like “For after your honeymoon” or “One Month Anniversary.”

 Buy Local

With the recent emphasis on things locally made, consider quality hand-made items as gift options. A nice set of cloth napkins, a kitchen apron with matching pot holders, or a simple quilt. If you aren’t creatively bent yourself, local craft fairs, boutiques such as The Farmer’s Daughter in White Bear Lake or Bibelot in Minneapolis, and even are all excellent resources for finding well-made handicrafts.

Whatever you choose, try to be as intentional as possible. But take comfort in that no matter what you choose, weddings are such a flurry for the families involved that any slight blunders will hardly be noticed. The point of a wedding, after all, is to celebrate the joining of two lives, surrounded by people who love them.


By Whitney Grindberg