the wedding gift conundrum

and the argument for thinking outside of the predictable wedding gift box …
Jasmine Baetzel Photography – Savannah Fine Art Film Wedding Photography

So, you’ve received the much anticipated wedding invitation. You already have just the right gift in mind, right? I love that idea. You’re not only thrilled with ridiculous happiness and joy for the couple, but already know the exact, perfect, and impossibly insightful gift to give. Which has happened to no one, ever.

Let’s Get Real

After all, how much do you know anyone, really? Especially when you will be giving a gift that’s expected to be kept for – I don’t know, a lifetime? That’s a very long time. The trendy instapot, auspicious air fryer and sassy sandwich grill will be obsolete versions of themselves by the time the honeymoon is over. Besides, this should be a time for romanticism and creative thought, not electric appliances.

So, Now What?

“The Knot” has become the “go to” site for all things wedding, including gift ideas, with the bridal registry as the main focus.

Of course, the bridal registry is where the action is, from Wal-Mart wishes to Tiffany dreams. But, am I the only one that wrestles with this contrived conformity? Sure, the couple will get exactly what they want and they’ll know exactly how much you shelled out (you don’t want to look like a cheapskate). And, no surprises. Eh! Is this anyway to start a marriage? I say, no. The element of surprise, mystery and unexpected little nuggets of charmed life objects can happen, and they should. You are in charge.

Gay Fad Signed Mid Century Moulin Rouge Tumblers
Don’t Be “That” Person

The uninspired might go with a gift card or chain store shopping. No offense to those who may indulge in this practice, but that’s a passive aggressive “I don’t really care” attitude. (Someone actually painted that on the back of her designer coat once, and, well, that was an epic fail.) Plus, according to Bankrate, 51 percent of U.S. adults have unused gift cards. So, forget that.

As for chain store shopping, have you noticed that any staged homes you have seen all pretty much look the same? Almost all of the items found in these well known chain stores are redundant and cheesy, plus everything is made in China. These gifts will hit the Goodwill bin before the last bottle of champagne’s stunning hangover subsides.

You Could Be the Most Awesome Gift Giver on the Planet

Shop vintage. I mean, when you find fine Danish cookware, an original copy of the “Joy of Cooking”, a good old French cookbook, mid century barware, or a cast iron and enamel Dansk fondue pot you have won the jackpot in the auspicious wedding gift lottery. Go Etsy. For the well heeled, there’s the sensational 1stDibs site.

Vintage Kobenstyle Dansk Fondue Pot and Vintage Cathrineholm Enamelware
Time Travelers

These items will literally last a life time. They already have for some couples, somewhere, long ago, or not so long ago. Think of that. A beautifully made item that never goes out of style because they have never been trendy. Instead, simply objects of substance, style and good design.

Whether you decide on one item, or a curated collection that not only captures the essence and sensibility of the couple, but addresses the fact that we don’t really need any more stuff on this earth gobbling up the land for landfills.

Capturing Beauty

And if vintage life has already awakened your heart, or you would like it to, there is the rare photographer who knows how to beautifully capture weddings by using a blend of analogue and digital photography. Jasmine Baetzel Photography is a trail blazing force that has developed and refined the art of the fine film wedding genre. From her site: “By delicately refining the imperfections of film through modern technology and equipment, the blend of old & new offers stunning, one-of-a-kind images – while keeping the lost art of film, alive.” Wouldn’t that be the most brilliant gift you could ever give?

The Big Beautiful Picture

Photography processes have become a game changer too. But, in it, something has also been lost. The subtleties and softness of the moment can get lost when being captured at the speed of light, while some photographers repetitively shoot photos, but don’t see the picture. There are ways to capture the day in a fine film documentary style. If you take the time to look. If you take the time to care.

I Dream of Weddings – Photography – Savannah – Wedding Wire
Something Old, Nothing New

From the gifts to the photos, find things and professionals that come from a place of integrity, thoughtfulness and sustainability. Afterall, it was a matter of everyday life not so long ago when mountains of plastic didn’t pollute the oceans, when workers earned a decent living, when we designed, made, and manufactured everything on U.S. soil.

At the end of the day, this is what’s truly meaningful. So consider vintage, buy with a clear conscience, give with love, that’s what matters most. And that, will always be the perfect gift.

This is My Conclusion

If any of this strikes a chord, there may be something in my Etsy world that will be a perfect fit. You should definitely show up at the wedding in a vintage outfit. I probably have something that will assure your place in the fabulousness category in the Wedding Hall of Fame. Visit me! Vintage By Jolie

Yours truly,


All Rights Reserved – Author: Jolie Baetzel


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