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Same-Sex Wedding Gift Ideas
By Dawn Bryan, best-selling author of “The Art and Etiquette of Gift Giving", and founder of Qualipedia ™

The historic legalization of same-sex marriage is expected to boost the New York economy by $285 million with an estimated 21,000 gay and lesbian couples expected to marry in the first three years.

While the basic needs are the same, here are ten tips on how to make your wedding gift for same-sex couples even more thoughtful.

1. First, recognize that the couple who have been living together for many years may not need many of the basic household items usually given for showers and weddings.  However, they may be interested in adding to or replacing pieces of their favorite crystal, china, or silver patterns--or receiving related decorative pieces such a matching candle holders or vases.

2. Appreciate that couples may prefer some wedding gift that recognize/celebrate/contribute to their gay pride.

3. Because right now most rainbow weddings have not had much planning time, give the gift of your time and expertise to help with the event itself--plan or organize; offer to video or photograph; contribute the wine, champagne, or liquor; bake cupcakes for each guest; order napkins with their new monogram;  purchase and keep the wedding guest book; offer flowers, greenery or herbs from your garden; help with or make decorations; offer your yard or home for the reception and/or wedding; make a video or audiotape of greetings from friends and family members who cannot attend the wedding.

4. Cater to their sensual side with silk sheets, matching PJ's and slippers, aromatherapy, set of DVD's, foot massages, a spa package, gifts of buffed metal or leather.

5. Give something which is significant to their relationship, such as a gift package or gift card/certificate from the place where they first met whether Starbuck's, Barneys NY, Barnes and Noble, or a local bar--or  from where they became engaged.

6.  Compile a remembrance scrapbook for the couple of photos and handwritten messages from their family and friends.

7. Select same-sex gifts which show pride in each other and in the relationship: set of two teddy bears dressed as brides or as grooms; his/his or hers/hers monogrammed towels, sheets, pillows, aprons, or crystal; jewelry with interlocking Venus symbols; matching cufflinks with their combined new monogram; game such as Our Family, a board game which highlights the contributions of GLBT-folk throughout history.  Check out internet for many other gay and lesbian themed items.

8.Choose to make your gift special by giving a voucher for a weekend stay at a B & B; kitchen appliance or utensils along with a gift certificate from Whole Foods;  a monogrammed decanter along with their favorite bottle of brandy; a set of their favorite CD's show, or music in a special leather box.

9. Relate the gift to their special interests by giving tickets to a concert, play, opera or a museum membership; movie gift card totheir favorite foreign film theatre along with a gift certificate to the coffee shop next store;  over-the-top kitchen equipment for making fancy desserts or special cookware.

10. Make your gift choice count by donating to a charity in the couple's honor; selecting a gift from the gift registries which donate 10% back to a charity in the couple's honor; planting a marriage tree or giving plants or shrubs for their yard (or gift certificate for); selecting a gift which is environmentally friendly.

Dawn Bryan is the founder of Qualipedia ™ and best-selling author of “The Art and Etiquette of Gift Giving.” Dawn’s impressive career includes being selected as a consultant and advisor for many global brands including Gucci, American Express, Business Week Magazine, Citicorps/Diners Club, Swarovski Crystal, and others.  She has authored many columns and books on etiquette, gift-giving and the quality of things and has taught international protocol to globalizing businesses and industries. Learn more at   

Same sex marriage gift ideas