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Wedding gift - opinions please!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Our family is invited to 3 weddings in the next 6 months. All for cousins of mine, and we will be attending all three. The thing is, we are beyond broke, and at a bit of a loss for how we will afford gifts. I had an idea, but idk if it's tacky or lame or ?? so tell me what you think. I was thinking we'd bring a nice card to the wedding, and while there I would take lots of pictures, then create a collage on Photoshop, print and frame it, and mail it to the bride and groom as our gift. I am not a professional photographer or graphic artist, but both have been serious hobbies for years, and I have had some family/friends request collages/holiday cards/birth announcements, etc. and I've had compliments on some of my 'work' that is displayed in my home. So, I think it would turn out nicely. I just feel odd about it - is this a good idea, or not? Any other ideas for wedding gifts on a budget? TIA!
post #2 of 15

I think it's a lovely idea. I would love to have someone give me a nice photograph of my wedding day as a gift! orngbiggrin.gif

post #3 of 15

Not sure about your idea - do you know if any of them would be planning doing something like what you are talking about themselves already?  Or be paying for it already?  I just know that some people would be doing that or planning it themselves already.  If you are really attached to it it might be nice to make it known ahead of time.



My mom has very nicely framed people's wedding invitations as a gift (secondhand frames - she was a pro framer at one time, but it's not terribly difficult.  You could even do it in such a way that they can add a favorite wedding photo to what you've done).  With your skills you might enjoy something of that nature.  (If you like pair with a simple dish of hershey kisses, for a home full of love winky.gif).



We've also done a small selection of spices for people - penzey spices have some collections called 'spicy wedding'.  Putting something similar together yourself could also be a nice budget-friendly gift (esp. if you stock up on spices at all).  If you check out their sentiment about the lucky wedding spices, you could write up something even more personal with it and include some favorite or classic herbs/spices.

post #4 of 15

I think its a great idea!  They will be paying for their own photos probably, but you'll have a much different perspective of the wedding than the photographer (who will likely be doing lots of "formal" photos), and will be able to include photos that the photographer might not get, or be able to get.


I also think pp's advice about framing the invite would be neat, especially if you got a good photo at the wedding that you could pair it with.

post #5 of 15

I think your idea is very sweet. I would put the collage in a nice frame and make sure to mail it to the couple in a timely manner.


When I got married, I received a 'sentiment basket' from a friend who was on a tight budget. I thought it was touching and I appreciated it much. In her basket she had this poem along with the items it represented (french bread, nice bottle of wine, sea salt, fancy candle):



"Bread - So you never go hungry.
Wine - So your life is always sweet.
Salt - So there is always spice in your life.
And a Candle - So you always have light."
Just another thought on what you could do on a budget. smile.gif
post #6 of 15

IDK- i agree with the pp about the couples having a photographer already.

Can you look online and see if the couples are registered anywhere. macy's, target, bed bath beyond, etc (you can pull up the wedding registry online) and see if there is anything on the registry in your budget.  Watch for sales, coupons etc.

post #7 of 15

I think your idea is fine.

Even if they have a photographer your pictures and collage won't be the same.


other ideas-

collect a bunch of small inexpensive items in a re-usable box or basket

books- cookbook, home repair book, book about massage, etc

time capsule of the wedding date/year

gathering family recipes and have them bound or put them on recipe cards in a box


post #8 of 15

i think it is a GREAT idea.


even with professional photographers do they make collages? i have seen lots of professional wedding photographs but not collages.


a unique collage - esp since its your forte - would be much appreciated. 

post #9 of 15

I think it is a very thoughtful gift.  Professional photographers are wonderful but they don't know the guests, you do.  You'll capture small moments that might mean a lot that a professional would overlook.  I had a professional photographer who did all color and a friend (also professional but attending as a guest) who did all photo-journalist style B&W.  I love B&W.  You might consider shooting in a mode that allows you to easily manipulate the files and possibly print in B&W for something truly different.  I also have a framed snapshot someone took of DH and I that both photographers missed that is one of my favorite photos of the day.


However.....a collage frame is a very personal item as far as decorating tastes and, having just done one for my mom, can get expensive!  Maybe make sure to look at their registry to see what style they are going with then start looking now for clearance frames.  Also check discount stores (TJMaxx, etc) and watch for Kohl's sales. 


I would also concentrate on the reception as too many photographers during the service can seem intrusive.

post #10 of 15


It's a lovely idea.


I also wanted to point out that according to traditional etiquette, you have up to one year after the wedding date to offer your gift. That stretches out your budgeting from 6 months to 18 months which may be a little more comfortable financially for you. Now, you may not want it hanging over your head that long, but it's nice to have the option! 

post #11 of 15

Definitely do the collage!


Three years ago, I was a friend's wedding planner. Not only did I sing in the choir for the wedding, but I also took a bunch of pics (that she actually liked better than the pro's pics!) They had both been rather nervous during the wedding, but at the end, when our priest was making remarks, I got a great pic of the two of them grinning WIDE! :D


I had a 5X7 printed out at Walgreens for less than $2, put it in a nice, but inexpensive frame. Voila! Wedding gift I gave to the couple a week later after they returned from their honeymoon.


To this day, the bride tells me it's her favorite ever pic of her and her DH.


ETA: After seeing my pics from her wedding, the bride began urging me to seriously consider shooting weddings as a side thing, especially for more budget-conscious brides.

After seeing the photos from her wedding, I've been asked to shot another wedding, and I've done multiple baptisms and other church events (ordinations and the like). As a result, early next year, after I finish with some classes (non-photography stuff) that I'm taking, I will be opening my own side business to shoot weddings and baptism - but only for my denomination, which has quite different weddings than those in Protestant/Catholic churches.



post #12 of 15


Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

I think your idea is fine.

Even if they have a photographer your pictures and collage won't be the same.


Yep, this. Though it's likely the couple is going to pay a whole lot of money to have a pro shoot their wedding, that's just one individual's (pricey) take on the event. I think most couples really enjoy seeing their guests' perspectives of the wedding. Think of all the couples who place disposable cameras on the tables at their reception. It's a definite bonus to have a guest with serious photography skills add to the couple's collection of photos of their special day.


post #13 of 15

I think it's a very thoughtful, sweet idea. Honestly I would much rather receive a gift with so much thought and love, than a boring toaster from the mall! That being said, I'm not a traditionalist and specifically asked for no gifts at my wedding.

post #14 of 15

I think it's a wonderful idea.  Very thoughtful.  Who wouldn't want more pictures and photos the professional might never think to take.  Pictures of people's expressions while the bride and groom kissed or walked down the isle.  I really love the idea. 


post #15 of 15
We have two weddings in our church this weekend, and we too are broke. I am making them natural cleaning sprays, and the only things I need to buy are the spray bottles. Those will cost next to nothing at WalMart.
We already have baskets to put them in, and the ingredients to make powdered laundry soap, all purpose cleaner and window cleaner.
Pretty sure we will spend less then $10 for both baskets combined.
I will include cards with the recipes as well.
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