The Second City’s Guide To Wedding Gifts The Happy Couple Actually Needs

By Stacey Zapalac | Jun 21, 2017

Summertime is prime wedding season, and finding the right wedding gift for the new Mr. & Mrs. can be a challenge. Here are some practical gift ideas sure to help the newlyweds achieve wedded bliss. 

The Gift of Crowd Funding

Gifting a beautiful painting of the city where the couple met and fell in love is a charming wedding keepsake. However, the newly married duo will have to proudly display the thoughtful present between the Boyz II Men and Twilight posters on the bride’s childhood bedroom wall. With mounting student loan debt and no post-grad jobs in sight, the Mr. & Mrs. will be forced to shack up with the in-laws. Instead, set up a GoFundMe account where wedding guests can contribute toward that ever-elusive 20% down payment on a mortgage. 

Help the twosome consummate their marriage in a room that isn’t a time capsule of the bride’s teenage angst.

The Gift Of Superiority

The radiant glow from a salt crystal lamp is a great de-stresser for all the wedding anxiety the happy couple faces. Between trolling Instagram and Pinterest posts for wedding ideas, to spying on your friend’s wedding dress fitting, they’re developing Obsessive Comparison Disorder. Instead, opt to give the gift of superiority to the bride and groom-to-be. Plant a seed with the betrothed couple that their friends Jake and Trish are in pre-wedding couple’s counseling, Addison and Taylor used cheap cardstock for their wedding invitations, or Chris and Brook can’t afford monogrammed cocktail napkins for their upcoming reception. 

Give them the illusion every other engaged couple’s wedding will be a circus side-show in comparison to theirs. Seeing other people’s failures is an instant anti-depressant. 

The Gift of Denial

A “breakfast in bed” themed basket complete with a personalized serving tray, Oprah’s favorite Teavana chai tea, and matching Mr. & Mrs. mugs would make those long lazy mornings at home even more delightful. After all, the latest round of corporate layoffs has given the bride and groom-to-be all the time in the world! Rather, consider giving the couple a DIY business card kit, some faux building I.D. access cards (with retractable badge holders), and mouse pads with the couple’s engagement photo printed on them. 

This will give the happy couple the feeling of being a part of an office without leaving the comforts of their own home.

The Gift Of Benevolence

You could gift the adorable lovebirds the matching Louis Vuitton carry-on bags or the hot air balloon ride listed on their registry. These gifts would match the ostentatious duo’s upcoming nuptials. From a rose petal cannon pelting guests with fragrant blossoms the moment the couple says “I do” to the Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise five-tier wedding cake knock-off, this social-climbing couple is out to impress. Instead of feeding into the couple’s grandiosity, why not make a donation in honor of the Mr. & Mrs. to Habitat for Humanity or the Humane Society? 

Oh, and don’t forget to give the newlyweds a compass. Maybe they can find their literal and moral bearings while using it on their hot air balloon ride.

The Gift Of Health(care)

Giving the gift of health–such as a post-wedding bone broth detox and lymphatic stimulation spa package–surely would be a stress reliever the wedded duo would enjoy. However, what would really alleviate their stress is to know they can seek medical attention without having to take out a home equity loan to cover the cost. A CVS Minute Clinic gift card would allow the newlyweds to address that latest eczema flare up, get a typhoid vaccine, or deal with that nagging ringworm issue they have been putting off.

Love may not cost a thing, but healthcare sure does. 

(PS: Everyone loves the gift of laughter. Get the perfect pair *two* Second City gift cards, so they’re easier to divvy up in the pre-nup.)


Stacey Zapalac (@smzapalac) is a Chicago-based humor writer who has studied improv and writing at The Second City Training Center.  She also enjoys consuming trans fats, watching the Chicago Cubs, and yes, Zapalac is her real last name.  To see more of her work visit

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