While the wedding day is all about the bride and groom and joining together of family and friends through their love and happiness, grandparents are also an important part of this special moment. According to etiquette expert Linda J. Williams, although money is a good financial start, keepsake gifts provide memories for the couple’s special day long after the money has been spent for intangible things.
“Grandparents want to leave a legacy that is a heritage of family, culture and traditions that can be handed down from generation to generation,” she said. “It also provides opportunities for sentimental gifts to the couple,” added Williams about gifts that can be used as the bride’s something old, and for the couple, something special to begin their marriage with their grandparent’s memory in their hearts.
For the Bride
Heirloom piece of jewelry (e.g. cameo pin, pearls, pendant, cross or Star of David)
Whether it was worn on the wedding day or has special meaning, an heirloom piece of jewelry is a beautifully touching gift to pass on from one generation to the next and will surely be treasured by the bride. A pocket watch is also a thoughtful treasure for the groom.
A special good luck piece can carry on her wedding day, a locket can include a wedding picture of both sets of her grandparents or a photo of a loved one who has passed on. It can be worn as a necklace or wrapped around the bride’s bouquet, which has become a very popular tribute.
Veil or material from wedding dress
There is nothing more beautiful than being able to incorporate a piece of material from a bride’s mother’s wedding dress and grandmother before her.
“The veil from grandma’s dress can be accessorized with the bride’s dress, but should be given to the bride before she chooses her gown,” said Williams, who added that if a bride has her dress handmade, she could utilize material from her grandmother’s wedding dress that would be woven into the fabric.
A handkerchief not only serves as a thoughtful gift, but a useful one as well, for those tears of happiness that are sure to come during the ceremony.
“It could be carried by the bride or groom and a handkerchief is something that even the younger generation considers thoughtful,” said Williams.
Good luck coins
As the saying goes, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” Brides have honored the tradition of wearing a sixpence in their shoe on their wedding day to serve as a marriage blessing for wealth and prosperity. If a sixpence can’t be found, using an old coin from Grandpa’s coin collection will work just the same. They can even be made into cufflinks for the groom.
For the Bride and Groom
Grandparents’ toasting glasses
A beautiful gift that can serve as déjà vu as you watch the newlyweds toast each other’s love and happiness with the same toasting flutes that you and your spouse used years ago on your wedding day. They can also toast once a year on their anniversary, and will always remember the special meaning behind these glasses.
Remember when you and your sweetheart would write each other love letters? Perhaps it was overseas during the war, or a long distance relationship after a move. There are a few hopeless romantics left in the younger generation, so let your grandchildren relive that romantic time in life when words came from the heart and true love was felt even miles away.
An old bottle of wine
If you happen to have a vintage bottle of wine from the year you and your husband got married, this would make for a unique gift for the bride and groom. If not, an aged bottle of wine that you can have inscribed with a loving message is a beautiful gift as well.
Another meaningful gift that can travel through time is the cake cutter you used for your wedding cake. This would have to be given to the bride in advance, perhaps at her bridal shower, as couples tend to register for a cake knife and server.
Give the bride and groom a keepsake box to hold their memories from the day. Flowers from her bouquet, his corsage, their wedding invitation and the wedding card you gave them. Perhaps a prayer card of a loved one who was there in spirit on the day.