Summertime not only means vacations to the beach and wine on the back patio — it also mean wedding season. While you may turn to the wedding registry for some couples, sometimes measuring spoons and towels can feel a little impersonal for your longtime best friend or your nephew who practically grew up with your own kids.
The good news is that if you share a love of wine, the couple in question will be delighted to receive a more thoughtful gift with a personal touch.
Follow these four tips to pick the perfect addition to even the most sophisticated wine couple’s at-home bar.
1. Consider the couple’s needs
Wedding registries used to be lists handwritten by the mothers of the couple. Wedding guests then learned of gift ideas over the phone, during family gatherings and in handwritten letters. Nowadays, we’ve been conditioned to look at a website or ask a salesperson at a big box store what the registry lists. It’s not personal and not as much fun.
Pay homage to the olden days and make a phone call to the couples’ parents. Ask if if they might need to getting their storage in order, accessorizing their wine collection with better entertaining pieces, or really just need to get the basic necessities down so they can begin to enjoy wine together at home.
2. Solve the storage wars problem
Storage is one of the biggest barriers between wine lovers and wine collectors. Helping a couple make heads or tails of their storage dilemma is a perfect first step for you, the gift giver. Start by helping them make the most of their space, while also giving them a gift that they may not have thought of buying themselves.
Perhaps an elegant, yet compact wine bar will do the trick if their one-bedroom loft is tight on space. If the couple enjoys entertaining, consider a bar cart for them to display their best wines, liquors and accessories.
A larger wine cabinet might work well if they’re moving into a larger space after the wedding. If the couple plans to buy or build a house after they get married, consider a gift certificate toward housing an intricate wine cellar in one of the rooms. Or, gift them an elegant serving station with the upscale Kenwood Wine Bar.
3. Help them build a presentation station
While many couples will register for an “everyday” set of wine glasses, few will go all in and request a tried and true wine presentation station (basically, all the accessories necessary to present and serve wine to a gathering of friends).
If you want to make a sure statement, select a decanter or two that reflect the wine glasses that they’ve already chosen (or see our handy glassware buying guide if they haven’t chosen anything) and a gorgeous tray for it all to rest on.
If you feel like treating the couple, choose a wine dispenser that keeps open wine bottles fresh — you can even print the couple’s names or monogram their initials on this WineKeeper dispenser. Bonus points if you can source a sleek beverage cart for it all to rest on.
4. Accessorize their collection
Most couples will have a corkscrew… and often, that’s about it. If you want to help them check a bundle of items off their personal wish lists, choose a selection of quality accessories they’ll use for years to come.
My favorites? A gorgeous, easy-to-maneuver corkscrew, a simple yet sleek aerator, a lightweight pourer and a set of stoppers for both wine and champagne. Add a few choice bottles of wine and a heartfelt card, and you’ve managed both a useful and personal gift the couple will remember for years to come.
What’s your wine-related wedding gift of choice?
About the author: Lauren Caselli is a professional event planner and freelance writer, specializing in articles about weddings, etiquette and entertaining. She’s planned over 100 events from 10-person intimate dinner parties to 300-person industry conferences.