If you've been invited to a wedding or two (or more!) this summer, the thought of giving pricey gifts could have you feeling stressed, with good reason. According to wedding registry website Tendr, the average amount of a gift for a summer wedding is $174. Multiply that by a handful of weddings and you're looking at a lot of money—not to mention airfare, hotels, a new dress and other expenses that come along with attending weddings. According to one study, it costs $703 to be a wedding guest, on average. Of course, you want to celebrate the happy unions of family and friends, but spending that much per couple can quickly bust your budget. While you know that it’s the thought that counts, you don’t want to offer something that seems cheap or uncaring. Fortunately, there are loads of meaningful wedding gifts you can make that the newlyweds and your wallet will appreciate.
1. A Year of Dates
Fill a box with ideas and accessories to help them enjoy at least one creative but inexpensive date a month for a year. Ideas might range from a picnic (include a list of parks, paper sacks and plastic ware) to game night (wrap up a deck of cards and a package of popcorn with this suggestion). Blogger The Babes Ruth made this cute box for her sister and her husband on their anniversary, but this idea would be great for a wedding gift, too.
2. Great Loves Print
Like Romeo and Juliet or Mickey and Minnie, the bride and groom just know that their romance is one for the history books. Show them you share that belief with a DIY framed print made using your favorite graphic editing software or website. A cute list of great loves with the couple taking center stage is sure to be cherished. Blogger My Sweet Sanity says this also makes a great housewarming gift!
3. Basket of Firsts
The coming years will be filled with firsts for the newlyweds. Help them celebrate some of those first with a basket of inexpensive but delicious wine. Choose bottles with names that match the occasion, if possible. Blogger Eat and Sip in the City suggests using a wine called "Clean Slate" for their first fight and "Better Half" for their first anniversary. We love this idea!
4. Burlap Framed Print
Just married couples love to see their married names together, so make them something they will be proud to display. Simply print their monogram and wedding date or any other details onto burlap, shares blogger Find It Make It Love It. Mount it onto an attractive board or put it inside a pretty frame for a gorgeous gift.
5. String Art Monogram
A board, a hammer, several nails, some string and a little time are all you need to whip up a striking piece of art for the bride and groom, shares blogger Everyday Dishes. Print the letter in a large, attractive font and outline the initial with nails on a piece of wood, then simply string the thread from one nail to the next.
6. Stamped Tile Coasters
Gifts don’t need to be large or expensive to be chic and useful. Pick up a few natural stone tiles from the home improvement store and stamp a stunning design or the couple’s monogram onto them. Blogger Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mommy suggests adding a coat of sealant and some felt or rubber pads to protect the table for a gift they will use for years to come.
7. His And Hers Coffee Mugs
Grab a matching set of mugs from the dollar store and pick up an oil-based sharpie for a super simple DIY gift that looks great, suggests The DIY Lighthouse. Draw on his and hers designs and bake the mugs in your oven to complete the process.
8. Wedding Invitation Ornament
Turn something the bride and groom gave you into a gift they will treasure. Slice the wedding invite into strips, curl the pieces like ribbon and tuck them inside of a large glass ornament. Blogger Oh My Designs by Steph suggests embellishing with ribbons and other décor or give the holiday keepsake as-is.
9. Spoon Art
Put your gift for finding thrift store treasures to use. Find a pair of vintage spoons along with an ornate picture frame (no glass required). Paint the frame and spoons, if desired. Blogger Confessions of a Cookbook Queen suggests framing the spoons with card stock printed with their wedding date. You could also put your spoons on a rustic piece of wood like The Adorned Farmhouse did. She posted a picture of her cute design on Instagram recently. https://www.instagram.com/p/BS1SJXRAtQi/?tagged=spooningsince
10. His and Hers Pillowcases
When the wedding festivities and honeymoon have passed, the happy couple will be glad to go home to their own, cozy bed. Make the space extra special with a pair of homemade pillowcases using adhesive letters and just a little stitching. Blogger A Beautiful Mess has some easy-to-follow instructions for this one! [h/t: The Penny Hoarder]