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6 Traditional Wedding Gifts and Their Modern-Day Counterparts
Have a wedding to attend and don't know what to get the newlyweds? Traditional wedding gifts are always a good bet (and we've picked out our favorites) but don't forget to entertain a few new twists on old favorites, too.
What are traditional wedding gifts (and do couples want them)?
When it comes to wedding gifts, there are a few schools of thought. Some folks don’t want to sweat it and simply write a check. Others use the registry. A few others, though, stick with more traditional wedding gifts—you know, the kinds folks have been buying forever. These traditional wedding gifts, like flatware and linens, are practical but with an elegant twist.
So in today’s wedding world, do these traditional gifts still have a place? Well, I say yes. Everyone can appreciate a great set of glassware or a new toaster. However, some folks want to break with tradition—which I also approve of. So check out some of our favorite traditional wedding gifts and their modern-day counterparts. You might find that the newlyweds you’re shopping for would enjoy both!
And after the wedding, be sure to keep these anniversary gifts in mind.
A set of china is probably one of the most iconic traditional wedding gifts out there. Elegant dinnerware is wonderful to have on hand if a couple entertains regularly or loves to throw more formal affairs. In that case, classic patterns like this one from Noritake ($99) really fit the bill.
Modern: Handmade, Eclectic Dinnerware
Formal dinnerware isn’t for everyone these days, though. If a couple prefers casual tapas parties to formal dinner soirees, opt for something a bit more eclectic. These handmade dishes from Sur la Table ($280) are a great fit for modern couples who appreciate a bit of an eclectic touch.
Traditional: Crystal Stemware
If you know a couple that really enjoys the finer things, a set of crystal stemware like this one from Waterford ($150) is a great gift. Elegant champagne flutes or wine glasses are a real luxury to have at home—even if you’re only popping an inexpensive bottle of champagne.
Modern: Barware for the Couple’s Favorite Drink
A bottle of bubbly isn’t for everyone. If you want to forego the traditional stemware gift, try giving newlyweds barware or stemware that pairs perfectly with their signature drink. For fans of Moscow Mules, try these beautiful copper mugs ($80). They’re likely a bit of a splurge for a couple just starting out, but are sure to be appreciated.
Traditional: Small Appliances
Most registries are filled to the brim with traditional wedding gifts like small appliances. If a couple has their eye on something in particular—especially something as useful and longlasting as a KitchenAid mixer ($379)—it’s always a wise purchase. It’s also one of our Test Kitchen’s must-haves.
Modern: Smart Gadgets
Help newlyweds upgrade their home to a smart home. Smart speakers are where many folks start, but why not try a smart thermostat for couples with a new home to furnish? Nest ($249) is a smart thermostat that can be installed quickly (it looks great in any home) and then can be programmed remotely for energy savings.
There’s nothing like climbing into a bed outfitted with some amazing sheets. This traditional wedding gift shouldn’t be going anywhere. Great linens—we’re talking 100% cotton with a high thread count—are a great gift for anyone, including newlyweds. Try these 1,000-thread count sheets ($200).
Modern: Cozy Throw
The traditional gift may be sheets or bedding, but these days couples will appreciate a luxurious throw blanket just as much. This one from UGG ($98) has hundreds (really!) of five-star reviews and is just the thing couples will as they cozy up with a new Netflix series.
Traditional: Punch Bowl
Let’s get real: We should all be making more punches for parties. These easy drinks serve a crowd and look darn impressive doing it. If you’ve got a more traditional couple on your hands (and ones that love a great shindig), a traditional wedding gift like this punch bowl ($113) is sure to impress.
Modern: Cocktail Shaker Set
For couples that prefer to experiment with mixology, opt for a great cocktail shaker set ($100). This one includes a shaker, strainer, jigger and muddler—all the essentials for making fantastic classic cocktails.
Modern: Indoor Planter
Houseplants are all the rage right now. Treat couples to a mid-century modern planter ($179) that will serve as the perfect home to their ivies, jade plants, ferns and more.
Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.