If your bride and groom are particularly proud of their home state, why not get them a wool felt pillow in the shape of said state? I am dying for the California one, though I admit, the Washington (above), Pennsylvania, and Oregon are a more natural pillow shape ($42.00, from LoveCalifornia on Etsy). If state pride is not their style (hello? what's wrong with you people?) here are a few other good pillow shops: Leah Duncan, Nola Feather, The Loaded Trunk, Honey Pie Design.
A really stunning piece of pottery is always a treasure. I love the lotus designs by YogaGoat (a personalized one is above), and Etsy has tons of potters in their listings. But I also recommend a local potter, if you can find one. Go to your local arts center and see if they have a directory. (My own favorite local potter, Jennifer Coffin, who I've blogged about before, is having a sale this weekend. Find out more.)
I bought this awesome iron candleholder for a Spoon and her husband one year for Christmas. Alas, they only have an apartment now, so there isn't much use for it, but it really is cool, and would be a neat wedding gift. The seller, Bacon Square Farm, has a lot of cool stuff, and is just so sweet to deal with. They also have birdhouses, which would be a charming gift for a home-owner bride and groom.
My parents traditional wedding gift is dessert plates. You can have lots of them in different styles and colors, because they don't have to match you other dinner and serving ware. So you can have a lot of fun picking them out and collecting them. And, really, you can never have too many. They are perfect for parties, for dinners, or for family celebrations. Our main sources for dessert plates are: Anthropologie (Zinna plates, above), Dansk, CB2 and Crate and Barrel, and chinese markets (online, you can find similar stuff at Pearl River).
Is the bride and groom a foodie? They why not get them some sort of fun food related item? A jam of the month club, perhaps. Or a sampler pack of Mystic Monks Coffee. Or buy lovely olive oil (and adopt an olive tree while you're at it!) There are also cheese of the month clubs. And wine clubs from your favorite wineries.
The bride and groom will have a lot of thank you's to write, so perhaps some personalized stationary will be welcom. I love these from Rifle Paper Company, above. Other options: Dingbat Press, Dahlia Press, Twee Cards, Tatalou, Felix Doolittle, or Mr. Boddington's Studio. Or get a beautiful hand carved return address stamp.
Table linens are wonderful too! I love these handprinted ones by Margot Bianca (below). And tea towels are all the rage right now, and there are tons of beautiful ones on Etsy. I love: MilkaLOOM, Flock Home, StudioPatro, Darling Clementine, and the site To Dry For has a ton of really awesome ones! This would also be a super fun shower present.
My number one gift for weddings, however, is a Nativity set. People never think of giving those things, and you can often find extraordinary hand crafted ones for the bride and groom at ethnic shops, like Ten Thousand Villages for a whole range of prices (see their Olive Wood nativity from Isreal, below.)
What are you favorite things to give for weddings? And your favorite gifts you received?