As the weather warms and we approach Ordinary time, we also enter the hallowed secular wedding season. For those with friends and relatives of marriageable age, it’s a veritable blur of invitations, scheduling, lukewarm chicken, and gifts. So, so many gifts. We all want to give thoughtful gifts that stand out and hopefully offer some spiritual benefit to the happy couple. For some ideas, check out our Catholic Sistas Wedding Gift Guide. We asked our friends, our families, and women from our Facebook groups what their best ideas and gifts were, and here’s what we came up with.
Nativity and Creche
A June wedding might not scream “Christmas,” but several of our readers fondly remember the beautiful Nativity sets they received for gifts. Whether it’s from your parents, a group of friends who got together to give this substantial gift, or a handmade heirloom that is passed down through the generations, you can be assured that the couple will use this gift every year and it will be a part of their family memories forever.
Papal blessings are actually not that difficult to procure! Simply contact your diocese for advice or use this Vatican website. The cost is minimal- around $40 usually, and the blessing comes on a beautiful parchment. A great idea for a gift between spouses as well- Catherine from Milwaukee wrote that her husband had the blessing matted, framed, and hanging in their new bedroom. “Such a beautiful surprise!”
Honor Our Lady by gifting the bride with a Miraculous Medal coated in blue enamel. Available from most Catholic gift stores and website such as The Catholic Company, this is a tangible reminder that the Church is a part of even our secular traditions. Carry the “blue” theme through with some books of devotions to Mary or statues for around the house. Even statement pieces like wall hangings can make Mary and Jesus seem like “a part of the family gatherings!” (Amy from Milwaukee.)
A Personalized Bible
The family Bible is such a huge tradition but one that many modern couples forget to consider. Give the new family a personalized Bible to record their events and all the new additions that hopefully will come in the following years! One bride’s parents went further- Chelsea wrote that they brought their family Bible to the wedding to serve as a guest book. Guests would highlight their favorite passages and sign the margins with notes. This is a great idea for weddings that mix Catholic and Protestant families- most can agree that the Word of God is sacred and the best advice for the new couple! These can be found at most Catholic gift stores and online. A lovely example is available here.
(Note: If you’re going to have guests mark your copy, make sure to have Bible highlighters available to protect the delicate pages and a note reminding guests how sacred the Word of God is to us.)
Those of us who have been married for awhile know that you can never have it completely figured out. Help the bride and groom along with some good Catholic marriage books. We at Catholic Sistas like these:
Three to Get Married, by Fulton Sheen
Holy Sex!, by Gregory Popcak
Life Giving Love, Scott and Kimberly Hahn
Liturgy of the Hours (a set for husband and wife)
Catechism of the Catholic Church Hannah writes, “It seemed really random at the time, but has been pretty useful to have around the house!”
Offer the new couple a chance to dig deeper together- a newlywed or young adult retreat can be a perfect way for them to remind themselves of their love for each other and also get closer to God. Options vary across the world, so get in touch with the Office for Family Life at your diocese for some good options. Remember- the wedding day is the beginning, not the end!
New Home Blessing
Starting out is hard, no matter how happy the couple is. Make sure that they are beginning their lives in a happy Catholic home by arranging for a home blessing. Any priest is capable of performing this simple and beautiful ritual- promise to bring food and wine and turn it into a dinner party to make it a celebration of their new home as well!
This small box that is made to contain a consecrated Host for transport to those who are unable to attend Mass is an unlikely but thoughtful gift for a couple that is truly promising to be together in sickness and in health. Lora writes, “we as a couple is called to bring Christ to each other and the world. We have actually used it quite often through sickness or bedrest.”
Pyx can be purchased at gift stores and online here.
Throughout my research, so many women responded with, “A crockpot was the best gift I received.” At first, it seems like that is not terribly spiritually fulfilling. But, the couple has to eat. The parents have to nourish their children. A home and a life have to be built from nothing. All of that requires things to aid in our devotion to our homemaking, whether full time or not. So give a crockpot, or a toaster, or a blender, or mixing bowls. Give them with prayers and include a note reminding the bride and groom to use them in building and maintaining their own domestic Church.
The Greatest Gift
Sometimes, the greatest gift is one of bending to God’s will and the desires of our (soon-to-be spouse.)
Annaliese tells this beautiful story of her favorite wedding gift from her husband:
“I’m Catholic and he grew up Baptist. We were living in West Virginia at the time and there aren’t too many Catholic Churches around. He agreed to have a Catholic Mass for our marriage which was so important to me and agreed to raise our children Catholic. I’m sure this couldn’t have been easy, especially not growing up with many Catholics and so much misinformation and misconception there regarding Catholicism given the large protestant foothold. But I am grateful and thankful, especially as he is now becoming Catholic this Easter!”
The sacrifice of the Mass is one of the greatest gifts Christ gave us, and it can be one of the greatest gifts you give your husband or wife.
So there you go, some fun and unique Catholic gift ideas. Above all, remember to keep the bride and groom in your prayers. They are truly the best gift we can give.