Whether they are marrying late in life or taking the plunge again after being divorced or widowed, it's common for older couples to head to the altar. While most brides and grooms are just starting out in life and typically need gifts like blenders and towels, an older, more established couple has a different mindset. Giving money is perfectly acceptable, but an older couple would also enjoy a more personal gift or one that helps them spend time together.
It is likely that the couple is paying for the wedding themselves, so cash would be an appreciated gift. Gifts.com recommends writing a check to either the bride or the groom, not "Mr. and Mrs. Lastname," unless you give the gift after the wedding. With an older couple, it is more likely that the bride will not be changing her name. If you are unsure, giving cash solves the problem of what name to write on a check. Emily Post advises that an older couple may request a monetary donation to a charity in their name; if this is the case, you should respect this decision and not give the couple a separate gift.
The bride and groom may have set up a gift registry, although an older couple's registry list will likely be smaller and different in scope than a young couple's. If you'd prefer not to give a run-of-the-mill gift, like glassware, The Knot suggests choosing an upscale item from the list, such as a gourmet coffee machine.
Give an Experience
The gift of spending time together can be the greatest one of all. If the bride and groom have always talked about going hot air ballooning, give them a gift certificate for a flight. Foodies would enjoy a gourmet cooking class or a gift card to a fancy restaurant in town, while a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast or posh hotel would give the new couple a relaxing weekend away.
Give Something Personalized
If you're going to choose a present that isn't from a registry, Gifts.com recommends checking that the couple hasn't already registered for something similar. If they haven't, then feel free to be creative -- but make sure your gift is something the bride and groom will enjoy and use. Think of items that they could use in their home, such as a picture frame with a photo you took at the wedding, a crystal clock engraved with the wedding date or an afghan with the couple's name and wedding date embroidered on it. Send your gift within a few weeks of the wedding; ideally it should be sent no later than three months later, according to Emily Post.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images