The Best Wedding Gift I Received (That I Now Give to Everyone)

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My husband and I had a very hard time registering for our wedding. (We would have gone without a registry entirely, but our families insisted.) We had already lived together for years and we were in our 30s when we got married — we just didn’t need all that much. We registered for a KitchenAid stand mixer (which I still can’t believe I got!), some simple dishes, and a few random odds and ends.

Our guests were incredibly generous, and we loved every single present we received — we just happen to love one the most. No offense, everyone else!

Our friends Dave and Christine (Dave actually performed the service, which was also an amazing wedding gift!) had our wedding invitation decoupaged into a glass tray. Yes, that thing you’re looking at above is our actual wedding invitation — in tray form.

It’s entirely food-safe and can simply be wiped clean, although we don’t even use it for serving. Instead of hiding it away in the kitchen, we keep it by our front door; it’s where we drop our keys when we get home at the end of the night. This way, we basically have to look at it at least twice a day.

It, of course, wasn’t something we had asked for. I didn’t even know it was an option until we unwrapped it! But I was so glad they went off-registry for this gift. It was such a thoughtful and unique present, and I love that I get to look at something from my wedding every day (aside from my husband). It doesn’t hurt that I still really like our invitation (I have a thing for ampersands!).

My husband and I have since stolen the idea at least seven times for other couples. (We always give credit, and now this story will keep me honest for all of time!) And you can too: You can build your own custom decoupage tray at Ben’s Garden. You just have to fill out a handy worksheet and send in the art (you can email a scan or mail in the actual invite, which you’ll get back when you receive the tray).

Note: This is not a fast process (it typically takes six to eight weeks), so make sure you give yourself plenty of time! You can cut the time down to a month if you’re willing to fork over an extra $60.

Start customizing: Made-to-Order Decoupage Tray, from $80 at Ben’s Garden

Do you have a go-to wedding present for couples? What is it?