We all know that the best wedding gifts are the sentimental ones – a family heirloom that’s been passed down through the ages, or a sentimental note or token that you’ll treasure forever.
But here at IndyBest, we’re really interested in… well, the actual stuff you get too.
Whether you’ve already set up home together or not, tying the knot is the perfect excuse for your nearest and dearest to treat you to one of those luxury items you’d never dream of buying for yourselves, but have always dreamed of owning. Yes, that fancy vacuum, travel voucher or (whisper it) even a coveted KitchenAid could actually end up being the memento of your marriage you never knew you needed.
If you’ve landed on this article, perhaps you’re composing the requisite gift list for your wedding and need inspiration, or you’re shopping for a couple who seemingly already has everything, but you somehow still need to find a present for regardless.
Either way, to help you out, we asked 14 already married couples to tell us about the very best gift they got on their big day, and exactly why it’s so brilliant. No spoilers, but it turns out half of their favourites weren’t even on their wishlist, so don’t be too afraid to go rogue…
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Begolden luxury large leather wedding album
We had said we weren’t going to bother with an actual print off and fill wedding album – why would we, when everything’s digital? But actually I’m really glad my aunty ignored us. I love the fact it’s so nostalgic and tangible; the smell of leather and sound of tissue paper between pages reminds me of looking through my mum and dad’s album when I was little. I also love the idea of our son looking through it, asking who people are, forcing out old memories to relive it again.
– Steph and Mark, Kent
Three ring napkin jewels (set of 4)
These napkin jewels were something we would NEVER have bought for ourselves (far too luxurious!). When we first saw them, Robert said “no one is going to buy them for us”, and then his aunt and uncle ended up getting them! Every time we have people round for dinner and get them out, we laugh about it, and our guests always say how beautiful they are; like jewellery for the table. Most importantly though, we both love that they’re something we can pass down to our children.
– Blair and Robert, London
This was a lovely unexpected gift from my friend’s parents. Whisky Frames produces hand-crafted photo frames from retired whisky barrels, and as staunch whisky drinkers who often base our travels around distilleries, the perfect next logical step beyond our growing collection of bottles was to bring a little bit of the barrel home too. Each frame is hand-numbered and so ours really does feel as unique as a rare aged dram.
– Tal and Maor, London
Cuisinart toastie maker
One of my cousins bought this for us as we were obsessed with toasties when we are younger! It is literally the simple pleasure of cheese and bread as to why we use it so much – it’s also great for a comforting fridge clear-out lunch/dinner when you can’t be bothered. I think we love it because it feels like kids food but acceptable – it’s honestly the best thing ever.
– George and Claire, Reading
Bluebell Collection personalised alphabet letter placemats
We were gifted these Bluebell alphabet placements – one for each of us. Then when we had children we got one for each of them too and they love organising the dinner table and deciding who sits where. Plus it helped them learn their letters early.
– Kate and Robin, Wiltshire
Le Creuset cast iron round casserole
Our Le Creuset casserole looks as new ten years later and is so versatile. It’s used at least once a week, often more. It’s super expensive, so not something we would usually be able to afford to buy for ourselves – it was on our list, but we were surprised at how incredibly generous people were and didn’t expect to be bought it.
– Iain and Anna, Belfast
Vinturi wine aerator
Simple, stylish, and used far too frequently! We always raise a glass to the person who bought our wine aerator. It wasn’t on our list actually but it has been such a welcomed addition and unfortunately for our waistlines, it gets used an awful lot.
– Nicola and Alex, Kent
Dualit 3-slot vario toaster
This Dualit toaster was on the list we had at Peter Jones when we got married in April 2000. 21 years of regular use, and it’s still going!
– Elizabeth and Andrew, Chester
National Trust membership
My friends from uni clubbed together and bought us National Trust membership. It wasn't on our list, but we love being outdoors, walking and exploring so it was a brilliant gift. We have lots of National Trust properties near us and we use it a lot when we were on holiday or weekends away in the UK. And the free parking is not to be underestimated either – a lot of the outdoor spaces and coastlines we like to walk along offer NT parking so that was an added, unexpected bonus. Plus it was the first document with my new married name on, which was exciting.
– Jenny and Andy, Surrey
The Pig gift vouchers
We got a rather lovely voucher to stay at one of The Pig hotels for a minimoon, as we had to cancel our honeymoon, and we were thrilled to receive such a kind gift. We also got a food gift voucher to eat there by chance – we only got married last week, so we’re staying at The Pig on The Beach next month.
– Anna and Henry, Bath
Roberts record player
I won’t profess to know anything about comparable record player quality, but what I do know is that this Roberts turntable has brought endless hours of joy to me and my husband while we’ve been indoors during lockdown. Although this is on the pricier end of the present scale, we used a gift list service that enables a few people to chip in for a more expensive dream product. Bluetooth speakers have their moments, but there’s nothing quite like popping on a vintage record on a Sunday afternoon.
– Harriet and Ryan, London
Dom Perignon 2005
Having amassed three households' worth of tat after various house and country moves, we opted for a books and wine gift list. As wonderful as collecting all the past Booker winners was, the best gifts were boozy. We received four bottles of 2005 Dom P, which have been drunk at various life stages since: our honeymoon, a house move, the birth of our son and most recently, my husband's 40th. It's light, sweet and weirdly doesn't induce a hangover.
– Cathy and David, London
Samsonite s‘cure DLX spinner, XL
My mum got us two really nice Samsonite suitcases. They were a thoughtful gift because it suggested that we would have years of travel together ahead of us. Ideally we would have wanted some personalised luggage a la The Darjeeling Limited (we had Wes Anderson-themed tables at our wedding), but these are more practical, built to last and, importantly, they hold stickers well.
– Ciaran and Lucy, London
KitchenAid 175 artisan 4.8l stand mixer, ice blue
The KitchenAid is a beautiful piece of machinery that has transformed the way we cook. From sauces to cakes to meringues, there is no recipe that can’t be improved with a twirl of its beaters. We’ve ended up using the thing so much we’d even stir our tea with it if we could!
– Caroline and David, London
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