Everyone Lives Happily Ever After

If it isn't that time of the year again.  You made it through Christmas (barely), you survived some birthdays, you thought serious gifting was behind you, UNTIL:  the Wedding Season!  From showers of every description (book, tool, kitchen, lingerie, you name it) to the weddings themselves, it's time to get to some serious gifting.  But never fear, dear reader.  I didn't give you heart palpitations only to leave you uninspired and alone. Here are some ideas for taking the pain out of presents.

1. Preparation:  The calendar is your friend. Write the event down in your planner, then backtrack in your calendar and write "get xxx gift" with a list of the places he/she is registered (give yourself at least a month lead time for a wedding invite; two weeks for a shower). Do not stick invitations to your fridge in the vain hope that you will remember to go and get a gift - you will, the day before the ceremony when the sole item left on the registry is a $500 pet groomer that's only sold online.

2. Upgrades: Don't be afraid to go off the registry. I know, I know. Please brides, don't hurt me. But if the bride is someone you know well enough to match her taste, and you LOVE antiquing but would rather perish than enter a Bed Bath and Beyond, then go and get her something fabulous. Better yet, get her an upgrade of something on the registry - you will know that you're fulfilling a need, and she'll cherish that antique silver salad server years after the Crate and Barrel plastic ones have gone to the kitchen in the sky. If she registered for 400 count sheets, but you saw a sale for 600 count sheets in the same color - buy the 600 count!

3.  Gift Wrap:  Buy wrapping products in advance.  Places like Target or Kate's Paperie have beautiful bags, tissues, and bows in bridal themes.  If your friends are all sporting something glittery on their ring finger come January, then get thee to a store and buy up a variety of bags and papers.  When you purchase gifts later there won't be extra trips to find ways to wrap them, and the pinch on your wallet will feel like a little less too.  

4.  Calling 911:  If you've already blown it or you're scared you're going to, then leave the gifting to someone else (no, not your hapless spouse or friend).  There are professionals with good taste and the ability to take Mastercard to see you through this trial.  One of my all time favorites is Oooh La La Cadeau (hand wrapped frame, above), for her exquisitely wrapped gifts. After peeling away layers of fine french paper, silk ribbons, and rustling tissue, no bride will remember that the beautiful picture frame or set of fine linen napkins wasn't on the registry - and your thank you note will include a lot of exclamation points. 

With a little planning, we can ALL live happily ever after. 

Wedding images, marthastewart.com. Blue and White China, victoriamag.com. Wrapped gift image: ooohlalacadeau.com.


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