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artemis

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My niece is getting married this summer. For her shower, I am giving her a box labeled "Things you asked for" with gifts from her registry. In a box marked "Things you didn't ask for" I will put useful things that you don't think of til you need them. Like, masking tape and sharpies, a couple of tools... I thought a small booklet of advice would fit nicely in the "didn't ask for" box.

I'm curious what advice would you give, or what items would you add to this box?
 

Skylantern

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I love this idea. What a thoughtful gift. She's very lucky to have you as an Auntie.

Surviving the first year kit: ear plugs, aspirin, emergency chocolate, journal, a book of handwritten memories and photos so when she feels she's losing touch of herself she can ground herself in the memories of who was she was before the "we."
 

earlene

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For a wedding shower, I used to fill a laundry basket with essentials such as a scrub brush, kitchen gloves, an apron, scouring powder, dish-washing sponges (now I'd make that scrubbies), a bottle of dishwashing soap, some kitchen towels, sturdy toilet plunger & toilet scrub brush and that sort of thing. The toilet plunger is something you don't know you need until you need it and don't have it, so it's a must for any new household in my opinion.

I love your idea of a 'couple of tools'. I particularly like a tool set that includes a mini hammer, and at least two types of screwdrivers. I prefer a feminine look to my tools because that prevents my husband from commandeering them and moving them into the garage, never to be found by me again. I don't know how many tools I came into this marriage with that he has commandeered to the garage the moment he laid eyes on them. So a woman's tool kit is the best option, IMO just because men seem to think they own the tools and the wife owns the cookware. (I know, not always, but more often than not.)

For the wedding, a set of huge bath towels & matching hand towels & wash cloths; most towels I ever received as gifts were always the smaller bath towels, so I make an effort to get the large ones as a wedding gift. If it's family, depending on how closely related, a down comforter, especially if they plan to live anywhere that gets really cold nights even if only in the winter; or high thread count good quality Egyptian Cotton sheets with matching pillow cases. Those are always my go-to wedding gifts. If I know they already have all of those, I may swing for a duvet cover of their choice (if on the registry), but I've only done that a couple of times.

The most used wedding gift I have ever received and still use 55 years later, came from my Auntie at my first wedding. She gave me a complete set (a huge set, maybe a combination of 2 or 3 sub-sets) of Farberware pots & pans plus an electric skillet as well, AND a whistling tea kettle. The tea kettle finally gave out about 5 years ago (maybe a bit less; maybe a bit more), but every other item is still in great shape and I use them all the time, except the electric skillet. I don't use it very often anymore since I stopped eating meat and don't make spare ribs anymore.

Good bed linens lasted a long time, too, but the cookware surpassed the longevity of almost everything I received as a wedding gift. And I always remembered my Auntie who gave them to me; I have no recollection of who gave me quality bed linens or even luxurous towels. So there is something to the type of gift and remembrance, if you want to think about how your gift honoring their marriage will be remembered.
 

Tara_H

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My niece is getting married this summer. For her shower, I am giving her a box labeled "Things you asked for" with gifts from her registry. In a box marked "Things you didn't ask for" I will put useful things that you don't think of til you need them. Like, masking tape and sharpies, a couple of tools... I thought a small booklet of advice would fit nicely in the "didn't ask for" box.

I'm curious what advice would you give, or what items would you add to this box?
I don't know how a 'shower' works exactly so this may not be relevant, but for my sister's hen party we had each of the guests write suggestions for date night on a nice little card and they went into a box to be drawn at random when the newlyweds felt like some inspiration.

I use them all the time, except the electric skillet.
I don't know if yours is anything like mine, but all it gets used for these days is I turn it on very low and use it to warm up my jars of solid oils to make them easier to pour out 🤣
 

Skylantern

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You can use pot roast liners with the electric skillet to make infusions, melt butters and waxes and then just pull the liner out and pour into your containers for storage or tins for product. It's all contained within the bag so there is nothing to clean up. I use ours all the time for crafts too ;)
 

KimW

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My favorite wedding gift is still a homemade "book" of recipes and scanned pictures of my closest friends. Just about 20 pages of plain old copy paper with one or two recipes from each friend, and then a page or two of scanned pictures of me with that friend, or of me taken by that friend. The scan and print quality isn't the greatest, but that little "book" is priceless to me.
One of them, from a co-worker buddy who was a hard core bachelor (we finally got him set up, btw!), and with who I shared many outdoor/sporty adventures, goes something like this (and was followed by three full pages, front and back, of pictures):
How to make Pasta.
Wash pan because all your dishes are either dirty or misplaced.
Put water in pan.
Put pan on stovetop.
Turn on burner. Do not forget this step.
Boil the water.
Put in the pasta. Do not forget this step either.
Boil for 10 minutes, but don't leave the house to play frisbee, even for just a few minutes.
Get the pasta out of the water.
Open a jar of spaghetti sauce and pour over pasta, or put a big spoonful of butter and cheese on top of the pasta, or do both.
Enjoy!
 

Primrose

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Not quite along the lines of what you are doing (which I LOVE btw), for my ex-sister in law's wedding, I gave them a freshly made and sliced loaf of Castile soap.

I included a note explaining what Castile is; a soap that has stood the test of time, as their love will. A soap that is dependable and solid as a rock (like their love for one another). I wrote that the fragrance may fade, like the glitz and glamour of their wedding day, but the soap - just like their marriage - will only get better with time. And I suggested they use the first bar on their first anniversary
 

dibbles

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artemis, this is a fabulous idea. One thing to consider is if they have had their own places for awhile or have been living at home. I love the ideas you mentioned so far, and might add rubber bands to the list. Bandaids, antibiotic cream, ibuprofen or similar, a thermometer. A small cutting board - I use my small ones more often than pulling out a bigger one. Also a small colander - for two people, I find I use my small one the most - and silicone collapsible ones are great space savers. Safety pins. A ruler/tape measure. You've had a lot of great suggestions from the others.
 

Tara_H

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Bandaids, antibiotic cream, ibuprofen or similar, a thermometer
If you're thinking in this direction, a properly stocked first aid kit can be a pricey investment but is invaluable when setting up home for the first time (if that's the case) and getting to grips with DIY and other such things. Burn cream, gauze and eye rinse are not glamorous but the sort of thing that when you need them, you need them NOW.
 
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