The past year or so has been tough for weddings, but with couples still getting engaged and new versions of nuptials trending every day (micro-weddings, we’re looking at you!), it’s safe to say that love is in the air and, hopefully, will be for the rest of 2021. So, for all of us attending wedding events—either in-person or via Zoom—it’s definitely time to start strategizing a gift-giving game. Snagging an item or two off the engaged couple’s registry is always a smart idea, as is using your own wedding favorites if you have similar, kindred tastes.
But opting for a personalized wedding gift has its merits, as well. We’d even go as far as to say that personal might fit this year’s vow vibes more than it ever has before. Personalized gifts run the gamut when it comes to their actual price, so if the last year has you feeling especially strapped for cash, a thoughtful gift like this can go a long way—and quell your anxieties about how much to spend on their wedding present.
Ahead, check out 20 incredible personalized gifts we’ve bookmarked based on their sentimentality, creativity, and usefulness (monogramming just levels up a practical pick with extra meaning).
1. For every soon-to-be-wed: A custom heart puzzle
Not to overstate the obvious, but over the last year, COVID-19 has complicated the already-tedious waiting game that couples have to play when they’re getting married. If your sibling, cousin, or absolute best friends in the world have been restlessly biding their time before the big day, then how about preparing a “hang in there, the day is going to be great!” booster present to distract them from the stress a little bit? You can make it special, too, if you do an unexpected front-door drop-off with a bottle of wine and a note that says, “Instead of planning tonight, have some fun. Booze included!”
All you’ll need is one of their engagement photos to personalize a jigsaw puzzle in their likeness and treat them to a much-deserved night off. We love the heart-shaped puzzle from Minted, which is one of our favorite places to shop for wedding gifts and stationery.
2. For every newlywed: Personalized stationery
Truth time: Writing thank you notes isn’t fun, but it’s on every just-married couple’s list of things to get done in the first few months, post-wedding (probably even before any name changing occurs). To help start them off on a stylish foot, gift them a set of customized stationery from Minted. We’ve highlighted many of the online marketplace’s personalized gifts—and any of its chic stationery is a great choice for those of your friends who can’t wait to start seeing their new last name in print. With more than 500 designs from independent artists, you can rest assured you’ll find something they’ll love.
3. For the couple of firsts: Our First Christmas Married ornament
The first year married is a big one—it’s a big step up from fiancé to forever mister or missus and, let’s be honest, being married is pretty merry. If you’re planning on gifting the duo with money, you can attach a card to this darling craft box with a metallic gold bow stretch cord (it’s festive, but not overly so). It’s a small token with a big impact, and this way, you’ll still feel like you’re giving them something to open along with something to cash. All of the wording on the 5-star-rated acrylic ornament is laser-engraved and paired with an Italian ribbon of your choosing.
So, add their respective names and the year, and get ready to hear all about their happy tears. It’s definitely a much better way to commemorate quarantined time together, if you ask us.
4. For the sentimentalists: Wall art to celebrate their best days
It hasn’t been easy this year, but proposals and plans to get married still deserve revelry and remembrance: An engagement and ensuing wedding are big deals, no matter what! Remind your closest friends and family members that there were bright spots during this strange time with a gift that highlights three of the most special days in their love story: their “first day” (when it all started—the dating anniversary), their “yes day” (when things got real—the proposal anniversary), and their “best day” (when the ‘I Dos’ became ‘We Dos’—the wedding anniversary).
This beautiful linen-blend print can be framed in one of four different wood finishes to match any home aesthetic. It has more than 3,600 reviews and a solid 5-star rating. Bottom line: It’s a stunning trip down memory lane.
5. For the two who just love their wedding venue: A custom watercolor wedding venue sketch
The venue is such an important part of the whole wedding picture. It sets the overall tone and direction of the day, and once it’s chosen and the date is saved, all of the planning can finally commence. If you know the couple well enough to have witnessed them falling in love with a particular place—perhaps you joined them on their venue hunt and can pinpoint the exact moment they knew “this was it!”—then you’ll understand just how meaningful a custom wedding venue sketch would be on their wedding day.
As they continue to build their home together, your 4.9-star rated watercolor wall art will serve as a stunning accent piece in a decorative gallery wall of the day they got married.
6. For the ones who want to relive their wedding day: An ‘Our Vows’ art print
Vow writing isn’t easy. It takes a phenomenal amount of energy and effort to put together the most perfect prose. Plus, you need equal amounts of confidence and pride to be able to say them out loud, in front of an audience. If you’re the best man or maid/matron of honor, you’ve probably heard the vows a few times and may have even been asked for critiques to make them better (especially if you’re a natural toastmaker yourself).
So, before the wedding, see if you can get a copy of each side’s vows and bring their wedding words to life with a custom piece of art that can hang in their home forever. Post-wedding blues don’t have to be a thing if they can go back to that day and remember just how much their ceremony sparkled.
7. For your future husband or wife: A custom star map
As the creators of the original constellation installation, The Night Sky maps out the ‘night sky’ as it appeared on any important day and time of your choosing (past and future). How sweet would it be to give your other half something like this at the end of your rehearsal dinner, right before you go your separate ways as singles for the last time?
You can customize the map for the night of your first kiss or your engagement day. With a 4.7star rating and more than 25,000 reviews, don’t be surprised if you end up a repeat customer. From your first kiss to your first dance, birth of your first child to the birth of your last, the opportunities to map out more stars are infinite.
8. For the ones obsessed with their wedding song: A wedding song sound wave canvas
I actually gave this gift to my sister and brother-in-law for their engagement party because she chose their wedding song very early on. Any time we were in the car and the song would come on the radio, she’d turn it up, full volume, and we’d both sing from the top of our lungs. So, I picked a lyric from the song—“From the Ground Up'' by Dan + Shay—and had an Etsy artist create a sound wave canvas using the words, “I'll kiss you goodnight and say I love you still.”
Among all the wedding gifts my sister received, which included those from her engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding gifts from the day of, mine was and still is one of her favorites. They have the beautiful white and gray canvas hung up above their bed and it’s still standing after two moves.
9. For the honeymooners: Leather passport cases
As the world continues to open up, we look forward to being able to travel again. If your friends have postponed their original honeymoon plans or can’t stop talking about their tropical trip to come, you can bet they’ll be all smiles over gifts that say, “This vacay was well worth the wait.” Available in a number of fun colors with foil-debossed monogramming, the soft pebbled leather passport cases can also be coupled with luggage tags for the ultimate airport-ready fanny pack (they’re cool now, we promise).
10. For the jet setters who want to track each trip: Personalized anniversary pushpin map
If you think of their honeymoon as stop one in a lifetime of travels to come, then a gift to map out all of their future journeys is a great jumping off point. Personalize this vintage-inspired trekker tracker with their names and wedding date and add the first pushpin for them, be it Aruba, the Bahamas, Antigua, or Botswana. The gift comes with 100 black pins for charting, but several of the reviewers mentioned that they used the enclosed black pins to mark trips they have taken or will be taking and purchased a different set of colored pins for the places they simply can’t wait to take.
11. For the lovebirds who need to keep track of their anniversaries: The Personalized Anniversary Journal
I've been married for almost seven years, and I can probably remember two, maybe three of my own anniversaries—only because I was pregnant for two of them (and thus not interested in/too big and uncomfortable to do anything for them, so my husband went out of his way to make them extra special). So, whether you're buying for a couple with a track record for going all out to celebrate major milestones or who notoriously need reminders about upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, etc., you can’t lose with this black silk moire-bound anniversary journal, imprinted with their names and wedding date.
One reviewer notes that she’s given this distinctive memory book to three couples this year alone, sharing, “They have all loved it and were impressed with the quality. It is a gift that will make an impression and it’s very unique. It shows the newlyweds that every anniversary is special and to take time for themselves to celebrate.”
12. For the eternal weekenders (or the ones who wish they were): L.L.Bean Robes
It’s safe to say that every personalized wedding gift list out there includes at least one monogrammed idea—towels, luggage, picture frames, etc. But, full transparency, how useful are those on a daily basis? Not very. That’s why we’re more inclined to get behind a seriously cozy, luxe set of bathrobes for the newlyweds. Style editor Amanda Tarlton took the brand’s Wicked Plush Robe for a spin and gave it straight-up emoji-style praise for its softness, noting that the luxurious, sherpa-trimmed fleece robe was something she would “snuggle up in 24/7.”
And for him? The Men’s Scotch Plaid Flannel Robe. Leave it to this tartan type to rack up more than 1,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating for how soft, comfortable, and lightweight it is. Both robe options can be monogrammed for just $8 more.
13. For the buds who love to brunch: Monogrammed Bleecker glass bar tray
I have this Pottery Barn bar tray, and interestingly enough, I bought it for a wedding shoot I was curating and it's beyond beautiful. The monogrammed version, though, would be such a fun gift for a couple who loves hosting brunch at their homestead. Instead of doing a worn-out Bellini or Bloody Mary bar, they can make restaurant-style craft cocktails and festive sips ahead of time and bring them out for a brekkie feast to please. Such a blend of form and function to outfit a social experience we’re all looking forward to returning to once the pandemic becomes part of our past.
14. For the new homeowners: A custom cutting board
Buying a house is a big deal, and sometimes it can take a while for a couple to settle in and make it home. Having a few special, personalized pieces (like a new doormat, a few throw pillows, or a novice-approved cutting board) around can certainly help. We love this phone stand and knife sharpener-equipped edition from Mark & Graham. Featuring wide grooves around the edge to catch juices and drippings and a pouring spout to easily dispose of everything, this maple board is as practical as it is eye-catching. We wouldn’t be surprised if they stared at their initials for a good hour or two before cooking their first married meal. Laser engraved monogramming can do that to a person, just saying.
15. For the gear-obsessed home chefs: Embroidered Hedley & Bennett aprons
Have a couple of friends who can slice and dice, flambé, and sauté like they’ve already won Masterchef? Well, then they’re sure to be happy with any best-of-the-best cooking tools and gadgets, but if you want to kick things up a notch (Emeril, you’ve still got it), embroidered aprons are the only way to go.
We’re huge fans of Hedley & Bennett, the female-founded brand behind the Michelin Star chef-trialed, Bon Appétit Test Kitchen-tested, fearless home cook-sampled Essential Aprons. We’re not alone, either: Worn by almost every chef, celebrity, and pop culturally relevant personality with chops in the kitchen, these famous aprons have a huge following, so you know they’re legit. Reviews that mention jealousy brewing in the kitchen over one spouse having an apron and the other wanting one certainly fire up our recommendations.
16. For the pizza-loving pair: A custom pizza paddle
If you’ve got a pizza gourmand in your group, this engraved pizza paddle with nearly 400 rave reviews on Etsy, literally has their name on it (perfectly emblazoned, too). Great on its own, but it’s even more fitting if you’ve already purchased your pair of besties a pizza oven off their registry. The bestselling natural bamboo peel, available in two sizes, is just one more thing to complete their cheesy masterpieces at home.
17. For the bride you’ve all been happy to take the ride with: Personalized ‘Team Bride’ portrait
We’ll be the first to say that a wedding gift that’s only for one person in the couple never works out. That being said, we’ll make an exception just this once to highlight a gift to the bride that the whole group (plus mothers of the bride or groom and any “circle celebrators” present in the bridal suite that morning) can get in on.
When your girl is hours away from walking down the aisle, of course, she’s going to be nervous, pumped, scared, nauseous—_all_ the things, really. Presenting her with a sweet custom portrait print of the whole crew on the day she says “I do” will bring happy tears almost immediately. Not only will it look stunning in her suite, but it’ll also be perfect for those getting ready photos. The customization and attention to each girl’s look (her hair, skin tone, etc.) are noteworthy. Whoever will be collecting gift money should remember to ask everyone for a few extra dollars to put towards a frame.
18. For the friends you’ve watched reality TV with since childhood: A personalized Cameo video
Not going to lie, if I was getting married today, in the age of Cameo, I would die over a personalized video from one of my favorite reality TV personalities (and I have many of them). My sister and I have even talked about our Cameo top five and who we’d love to get a message from in the midst of this ongoing pandemic. If you’ll be buying for friends who are just as starstruck as you, Cameo wedding tidings from one of their favorites may just be the GGOAT (greatest gift of all time). Staff writer Lindsey Vickers put Cameo to the test and agreed that it was great for “people who are super-fans or deeply invested in celebrity culture.” Just remember to order it in advance so the person has enough time to record before the big day.
19. For the couple who want to dial up the charm of their ceremony: A keepsake ceremony wine box
It wasn't until after my own wedding that I learned about a wine box ceremony, which essentially involves the couple gathering special keepsakes and relics of their engagement and preparing an “ageable” bottle of wine. At their ceremony, their officiant will explain that they'll be enclosing a particular vintage of wine and other special items in this box and then opening it up and sharing it at a future time (whether that's at their 5-year anniversary or following the birth of a first child).
Consider this a wedding insider gift that would come in advance of the wedding when the couple is still figuring out their ceremony cadences. This isn’t just a gift, it’s a whole idea to enhance and personalize their wedding, so if you want to keep with the theme, adding etched champagne flutes that could be used in the ceremony sounds good to us.
20. For the ones who love their dog more than anything: A personalized paint-by-the-numbers canvas
If paint by the numbers wasn’t a big part of your childhood, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends (just kidding). No, but really, I’m a huge fan of this pastime and after getting a couple of kits themselves, my sister and her husband clued me in on a site that will take your personal photos and transform them into canvases with pre-printed numbered contours (a.k.a. the key to your painting project).
If you’re gifting a bride and groom who plan to have their fur baby in the wedding, then this personalized pup portrait kit is paw-sitively perfect. It comes with a high-quality canvas, one ready-to-paint water-based acrylic paint set, and a set of three brushes. Additionally, the number of colors you choose can dictate how detailed their final artwork will be (we’d say go with 48 colors, to be safe). As one of the thousands of reviewers) notes, “Best therapy one could buy!”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.