Stumped on what to get someone as a wedding present? Check out our guide for smart home-related gift ideas for every room in the house.
June in the Philippines usually means wedding season, and if you know someone who’s about to get married, chances are you’ve already started looking around for gift ideas. Smart move on your part, since a wedding present needs a lot of thought as it’s one of the things that will help the newly wedded couple build a new life together. Besides, you don’t just want to end up giving one of five rice cookers the couple’s bound to receive.
Avoid the last-minute mad dash for a gift that might end up being re-gifted one day. Here are 10 great useful gift ideas that are sure to score points with the new bride and groom.
For the living room
Similar-looking picture frames look good grouped together to form a collage of, say, the wedding. (Photo via Shutterstock)
The new bride and groom probably have a lot of photos they’re hanging on to for posterity, but that doesn’t mean they have to display each and every one. Besides, thick photo albums sitting openly on coffee tables might just be the invite their guests need to look into their, er, less attractive days. Allow them to pick out and display only the most memorable moments of their new life together by giving them a set of picture frames in the same style and color but in different sizes. This way, no matter which surface the frames are placed on, the room still looks cohesive. To show off a lot of photos of the same event (the wedding) or theme (their Parisian honeymoon), gift them with a collage-style wall frame, which can carry photos of different sizes without occupying precious table or shelf space.
Pricing: This 14” x 14” picture frame costs Php1,400.
Additional tip: Want to make the frame more special before you hand it to them? Stalk their Facebook accounts for photos of them together, print them out, and insert them in the frame.
If the newlyweds' home is a bit small, a nice mirror can help make it look bright and spacious. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Find yourself fluffing your hair or straightening your tie in front of the mirror just before leaving home for work? You and everyone else, which is why a mirror in the living room makes a good gift. A mirror is not just for preening purposes, though; it can also serve as a focal point or conversation piece if it has an interesting design. Also, mirrors have a way of making a room seem brighter and bigger because of its ability to reflect light. A mirror with a plain border might look better in the bathroom or the bedroom, so choose a mirror with a wrought-iron or aged wooden frame for a rustic yet elegant feel. If you want it to really make a statement, get one with an eccentric-looking frame.
Pricing: These mirrors start at Php2,495.
Additional tip: As the wedding reception is being set up, you don’t want to risk breaking your gift by allowing it to be piled in with the rest, especially if it’s pretty sizeable. You might prefer bringing it to their home personally, or having it delivered straight from the store or your local craftsman.
For the dining room
For newlyweds starting from scratch, a nice set of tableware is a solid wedding gift. (Photo via Shutterstock)
A nice set of dishes and flatware is the most basic gift you can give, especially if the couple is moving into a brand new home without the benefit of already having some of the bare necessities. A good set of fine china should include dinner and salad plates, cups and saucers, and soup bowls; while flatware should at least come with a dinner spoon and fork, a dinner knife, a salad fork, and a dessert spoon. Try to get them a set that’s enough for about four just in case they enjoy entertaining small groups of friends and family on a regular basis. Wondering which way to go in design? To keep them in style for a long time, go for clean, white dinnerware with minimal trimming and classic silver flatware.
Pricing: If you’re buying the pieces separately, prices might go for Php259 per plate, Php219 per mug, and Php229 per bowl. Meanwhile, this casual 20-piece flatware set costs around Php2,850.
Additional tip: Tableware tends to be expensive once they make their way into the shelves of malls and specialty stores. You can find good quality ones at affordable prices at warehouses if you buy in bulk.
For the caffeine-addicted couple, a high-quality French press will help them start the day right. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Manual coffee maker
If the bride and groom are the kind of people that need a jolt of caffeine to function every morning, supporting their habit is easy enough with the right equipment. While you can go for a standard coffee machine, the more convenient alternatives are a French press, an Aeropress, or a pourover. They require no electricity, they’re easily portable, and they’re basic equipment for those who feel like experimenting until they produce the perfect cup with the right temperature, blend, flavor… you get the picture. Besides, all those trips to their favorite coffee shop do add up, so you’ll actually be saving them money by giving them a chance to make their own brew.
Pricing: This four-cup French press is Php2,600, while this pourover starts at Php2,410.
Additional tip: Give the couple a bag of coffee so they can start using it. Not sure what kind to get? If they have a commercial coffee place they frequent, go there and get their signature blend. The baristas will even grind the beans for you.
For the kitchen
A set of durable knives is a great gift for newlyweds that love to cook. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Yes, there is a superstition that it’s bad luck to give knives as a gift; many believe it will “sever” the relationship between the gift giver and the receiver. But for someone who’s an avid cook, it’s hard to resist the practicality and usefulness a complete set of high-quality knives. A set usually includes a different knife for chopping, paring, filleting, bread cutting, and utility, and some even come with a pair of scissors and a honing steel (that skinny rod used for sharpening knives). Steel knives are the more obvious choice, but there’s also a growing trend in ceramic ones.
If you can’t shake the feeling that you’re tempting fate, just give the bride and groom a peso along with the knife—an act that’s said to buffer the bad luck—with a note reminding them to return the coin to you as their “payment.”
Pricing: This five-piece classic knife block set costs Php11,995.
Additional tip: If you don’t mind splurging a bit more, get them a thick, durable chopping block to go with the knives too.
Fresh produce on display is a welcome sight in any home. (Photo via Shutterstock)
A produce basket keeps fruits and vegetables neatly in one place so they don’t have to be strewn about the kitchen counter, and properly stores produce that’s not meant for refrigeration. Also, there’s something about displaying a bunch of greens that give the kitchen a really homey feel, which is a big plus for a future wife who fancies herself the next Nigella Lawson. For an artisanal touch, you can give the couple a basket made of wood or wicker, though a wire basket can work just as well.
Pricing: This large wooden box and this wire basket each cost Php1,190.
Additional tip: A space-saving alternative would be a slim multi-tier tower that can stand in a corner, or one that hangs against the wall or the kitchen cabinet door.
For the bedroom:
Comfortable and great-looking pillows can be used both for sleeping and as accents. (Photo via Shutterstock)
There’s no denying the comfort that a nice, fluffy pillow gives; you can rest your head on it for a relaxing sleep, use it as decoration, hug it while watching a movie, or hit someone with it (whether playfully or not-so-playfully). In any case, a good pillow is always a welcome gift, since low-quality ones do tend to flatten out after years of use. Pillows come with various kinds of stuffing, such as cotton, feather or down, memory foam, polyester, and microbeads. Not only that, you also have a choice among the regular rectangular bedroom pillow, a bolster, those smaller decorative throw pillows, ones with cords that you tie onto dining room seats, and the large overstuffed ones that can be used as floor seating.
Price range: These throw pillows, which are made of material such as polyester and cotton, start at Php349.75. A pillow for sleeping can range from Php325 to Php1,600.
Additional tip: If you’re going to give them pillow cases too, stick with white ones. White goes with anything.
Storage boxes are great for keeping things organized, especially in a small home. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Who doesn’t love extra storage, especially when you live in a small space and tend to be a bit messy? Storage boxes and bins are the solution to the age-old questions, “how do I begin to organize my closet?” and “can I really keep my stuff under my bed?” These nifty boxes come in all shapes and sizes so they can slip into any nook and cranny, a perfect organizing method if the newlyweds are still in the process of organizing their new space. And don’t go with those industrial-looking plastic dry boxes; storage is becoming a thing now, so you can easily find ones that are made with durable but eye-catching material like canvas or printed board.
Pricing: These storage boxes, which come in various sizes, range from Php379.75 to Php499.75.
Additional tip: Choose storage boxes with detachable lids so the couple can display them uncovered in open shelves, or keep them closed for storing items under the bed to keep dust bunnies out.
For the bathroom:
The bride and groom will thank you for helping them create storage where there isn't any. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Bath storage rack
A nice bathroom rack—like the ones that fit above the toilet—is a fantastic way to create some much needed storage space in a bare bathroom without having to bring in bulky cabinets. Not only will this be a place to put a potted plant to liven up the bathroom or extra bath towels for easy access, but it’s also the best way they can display toiletries that come in those nice, decorative containers. You can opt for a simple glass shelf or a steel towel rack, but a free-standing rack can have as few as two shelves and as many as four, which is a great thing if the couple has a lot of stuff to organize and the bathroom has very little in the way of storage.
Pricing: This bath storage rack can be ordered online for Php2,400, while a premium towel rack costs Php7,020.
Additional tip: Get the stainless steel variety. It’ll give the bathroom a rather elevated look, and should be able to resist water damage for a long time.
Who wants a swamp in the bathroom? Help the newlyweds avoid it with great shower curtains. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Bet you’ve never considered a shower curtain as a gift. But if you think about it, it’s one of those things people need but often overlook when setting up their bathroom. That is, until after they take a shower and transform their entire bathroom into a water park. A shower curtain can also add charm to the bathroom, so you’re free to choose a design based on the couple’s interests. The main thing you need to remember is that it has to be made with a sturdy, mildew-resistant, and odor-free material like premium polyester; wide enough to fit an average shower stall, and should have rings big enough to fit a common shower curtain rod.
Price: This water-repellent polyester shower curtain costs Php899.
Additional tip: Shower curtains need to be changed regularly, so if you have the budget for it, get the couple two sets.
Here's a couple of helpful general tips: take it easy when it comes to giving style-specific items like printed living room curtains or Persian rugs. The couple might be trying to achieve a certain interior design, so if your gift doesn't match their vision, it's a safe bet it'll go straight to the giveaway pile. Also, it should go without saying that to get the best prices, you have to take the time and effort to scout for them.
Need more ideas? Find out if they have a wedding registry in a specific store and have a look at the items they've tagged. If you think you can't afford any of the things on their wish list, they should at least give you an idea of what they really need, or the style or motif they're gunning for in their future home. If all else fails, a gift card to a nice home decor store is always a no-fail wedding present.
Prices are from the following stores: Our Home, SM Home, H & M Philippines Home, Crate & Barrel, Rustan’s Bridal Registry, Gourdo’s, Wilcon Builder’s Depot, Lamill Philippines, and Lazada
Main photo via Shutterstock