By Mikey Rox, August 2018 Issue.
Since when have we as an LGBTQ community ever conformed to mainstream expectations? As we continue to carve out our own space in the wedding landscape – deciding which big-day traditions we’d like to adopt and which to dismiss – we’ve decided that the gifts we give our dearly beloved should follow suit.
So, brush off you LGBTQ friends’ wedding registry (what kind of basic b*tch gifts a blender anyway?) and consider a practical-but-still-thoughtful present that the happy couple can put to good use without taking up much, or any, space in their love nest home. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
A Personal(ized) Touch
Regardless of how on or off trend monogramming might be at any given moment, there’s nothing more appropriate – for both keepsake value as well as a little flash of vanity – than personalized gift for your newlyweds. By adding their initials, names or wedding date to an already fierce gift, you elevate it to a conversation piece. So, maybe not if it’s a towel or robe, but consider such items as coasters, wine labels, memory books, photo blankets, throw pillows or even passport covers.
Homemade Craft Booze
If your pals are booze lovers, add a personal touch to one of their favorite beverages by brewing a case of homemade suds, fermenting wine or bottling gin. To add even more flair, dress the bottles with custom labels that you can order online that celebrate their wedding day. The recipients will enjoy kicking back and relaxing with your pick-me-up gift, and they’ll likely think fondly of your creativity and care every time they crack off a cap.
One of the advantages of your friends being LGBTQ and bound by marital law is that they’re likely a DINK (dual income no kids) couple that has money to burn. (No offense to all you gay parents out there, of course, but your days of jet setting are over for a while.) Thus, they have the incredible opportunity to see the world at their leisure if they’re savvy savers. You can help make their vacation even more enriching and fulfilling by gifting them language-learning software. If you know them well, you probably know which language to choose; if not, pry for information. The beauty of language-learning software – besides becoming part of an entire population of people with whom they can now converse – is that it’s conducive to couples using it together, which will help fortify their relationship even more.
If the two saying “I do” have four left feet, present them with pre-wedding dancing lessons. Attending several sessions a few months before the wedding will give the rug-cutting duo more confidence on the floor when they’re in the spotlight for the first time.
Home Repair Supplies
Home repairs, even small ones, add up quickly – especially if they have to hire someone. To help alleviate this cost, surprise the lawfully wedded couple with a hodgepodge of tools and other household must-haves in a quality toolbox for convenient and aesthetic-ally pleasing storage. Another helpful around-the-house idea is to gift painting essentials – trays, rollers, brushes, and drop cloths – with a gift certificate to a nearby hardware store so they can choose the colors to freshen up their home.
Date-planning services – like The Heart Bandits and The Yes Girls – will help you send the happy couple on outings that run gamut of such uncommon experiences as ring-smithing classes, fencing lessons and body-painting sessions or tamer options, including comedy shows and wine tastings. To help keep their first year of marriage fresh and fun, gift a no-hassle, pre-planned date that facilitates quality time participating in an activity that’s free for them. It’s the least you could for drying out their open bar.
If the newly betrothed are relocating soon, do them a solid and purchase a moving package. This can be pricey, so if you can’t afford to hire several hours of full-service moving, ask your mutual friends to pitch in or put on your charitable caps and DIY the move together. The only cost of going the latter route is time and energy, plus you’ll get
in a great workout outside of a bedroom.
Deep Cleaning Service
We gays like to keep a clean house (most of us anyway), and while weekly spot cleaning is a breeze, the twice-yearly deep clean is a burden. Make it easy-breezy your freshly married friends – who should be spending their first year having fun under the sheets instead of sweeping behind the stove – by surprising them with several hours of cleaning services scheduled for the beginning of spring and fall.
Hitch Switch Gift Card
While taking on your new spouses last name is not as common in LGBTQ marriages as it is in straight unions, plenty of LGBTQ couples are traditionalists – and more power to them. To make the name-changing process stress free by setting them up with HitchSwitch, an online name-changing service that removes all the hassle of assembling, filling out and filing forms for just $89. True, it’s not a super exciting gift, but it’s one less thing they’ll have to worry about as they start their new life together, and they’ll appreciate that sentiment very much.
Cooking isn’t everyone’s favorite hobby, but it’s one of those few daily opportunities that newlyweds can take advantage of to grow closer. If the couple isn’t kitchen savvy, introduce them to the wonderful world of from-scratch satisfaction with cooking lessons. Private lessons can be held in their home, or you can find a local establishment that offers lessons. The latter will be much less expensive than the former, and it’ll give your friends an opportunity to mix and mingle with other couples, with whom they already have something in common.