Published June 26th, 2012

The bride and groom gift-exchange is one of those traditions that’s not always followed, but I think it’s a great opportunity to take a moment for yourselves to recognize the person that is so important to you. That’s why I think the best gifts between bride and groom are ones that prioritize personality over price. After all, most likely your ceremony and celebration are stressing your bank account, why stress it further for a tradition intended to be a sweet gesture?

When considering what to give your significant other, think about something small but memorable, something that years from now he or she will easily associate with your wedding day. Consider your wedding setting, what about it is unique that you could reflect in your gift? In Maine, a great way to find local treasures is to go antiquing. Up and down Route One, the coastal artery here, you’ll find plenty of antique shops with delicate old jewelry, cufflinks, fabrics, and trinkets. There are often plenty of gifts with nautical themes at these old shops as well as books on local history. If you buy a book, you could press a flower from the wedding venue inside, or you could fill an antique frame with a photo of you both from the start of your relationship. Another variation on the frame idea is to get a dual frame or a locket and put a childhood photo of each of you in it.

One gift that I really like is to engrave your partner’s wedding band with a secret phrase that will be revealed on the wedding day. This kind of exchange is always very touching, because each person has usually thought a lot about the phrase they want to engrave. It’s also relatively inexpensive.

Finally, you could opt for something playful, like an enormous candy ring or a custom-made temporary tattoo with both of your names on it, but make sure if you pursue this course that your partner won’t feel slighted if he or she shows up with a pricey gift and you just smile and hand over a sticker. Even if it’s a really cool sticker.

Whatever you choose to do, I encourage you to focus on picking something that resonates with both of you and that has a dash of playfulness to it. Have fun with it. This is, after all, a lesser-known tradition that can really make for one of the nicest wedding-day memories.

Jessika Brooks Brewer
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