Vintage Gift Guide: Wedding Gifts

My cousin and I got to meet up the other weekend after WAY too long, and she asked me if I had any ideas for thrifted wedding gifts. Since my wedding has long passed (11 years ago!) I was excited to brainstorm ideas.

Let me begin with a couple disclaimers. Firstly, some people dislike receiving “used” things in general: for their birthdays, for special occasions, and especially for their wedding. This perplexes me on so many levels, but always respect their wishes. Secondly, know their style and what they will like if you’re going vintage. Antiques and vintage items come in such a wide array of styles; be sure to match their personal tastes with the items you’re buying.

And now on to the ideas!

1950s Picnic Basket.

1. Picnic Baskets. This was my cousin’s initial thought. YES. Perfect idea. Who wouldn’t like to receive this 1950s basket as newlyweds? Granted, this complete of a set is a little more difficult to come by. Baskets like the one below are far easier to find, and you can spice them up with whatever you desire.

Green picnic basket.Pair it with these melamine dishes and you’re set.

Melamine dishes.2. Table Linens. Can someone please buy me the below tablecloth immediately? It has modern colors and is reversible. This idea can go Granny pretty quickly if you’re not careful. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, considering many of my tablecloths are indeed Granny (sorry husband), but try to keep things neutral: not too masculine, not too feminine. Unless you know they’d love one or the other. You can finish off a tablecloth with a set of cloth napkins that coordinates.

Reversible tablecloth.

Vera tablecloth.

Mmm…Vera. Can’t go wrong.

3. Fountain Pens. Below is an Esterbrook fountain pen. I own two Esterbrooks and I can’t tell you how fancy they make me feel when writing out the grocery list. These are reusable and store ink with a rubber bladder. These bladders tend to get hardened with age if there’s a bit of ink left in them, so check to see if this functions before you purchase. See that gold shiny piece on the pen? You pull it up to compress the bladder. If you have resistance or there’s a cracking sound when you pull up, the bladder needs to be replaced. There are always specialty stores that you can send fountain pens to that will replace the bladder and give the pen a thorough cleaning. Pair it with some vintage stationery to complete the package.

Fountain Pen.


4. Picture Frames. Frames in the store are well and good, but they’re sometimes made cheaply and the finishes don’t hold up to normal use. Plus, anyone can go to the store and get a new picture frame. An assortment of 8×10 or 5×7 frames would put wedding photos to good use about the house.

Metal Picture Frames.

Swivel Frames.

These wooden swivel frames look amazing paired with vintage or modern decor.

5. Appliances. If your wedding couple hasn’t registered for appliances like blenders, toasters, waffle irons, malt mixers, go all out. Vintage appliances typically hold up better than their modern-day counterparts and look cooler on your countertops.

Oster beehive blender.All of these gifts can be found on Etsy, eBay, at thrift or antique stores, so start your shopping early to be ready for the wedding season. What do you think? Do you have a list of go-to gifts that would make a nice addition?

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