Liene's Holiday Gift Guide

Friday, November 26, 2010

I am not a big shopper. I've managed to go my entire life without lining up with the masses on Black Friday, and I've never indulged in the more recent Cyber Monday specials either. I love a good deal, but crowds or clicking around poorly designed websites in a race against the clock to find gifts? Not so much. I do however, love supporting small businesses, and I love that there are so many talented companies in the wedding industry that offer products even for those who aren't tying the knot. Here are a few of my favorite things right now from wedding-related companies. It's certainly not an exhaustive list, but if you're stuck on a gift idea, these items may help you spread some holiday cheer.

personalized mugs and dinnerware

Jessica Rust’s eponymous designs made the blog rounds a few years ago, and I think it’s time for a blog comeback. Her dinnerware is whimsical and sweet, and best of all, can be personalized for the occasion. A custom mug is included in the swag for The B-List conference each year, and each one holds a special place in my heart because they remind me of all the incredible people I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with in the wedding industry. I’m not a big collector of stuff because I like the things in my home to mean something. So dinnerware that is pretty and has sentimental value? Winning combo. Added bonus: free shipping on orders over $25 before November 30th. No code required. You can find dishware for all your friends and family here.

stylish rolodex

Who keeps business cards in a digital age? I do. Yes, all the info gets put in Highrise so it can be accessed online, but there’s something about paper that helps jog my memory. All I have to do is pull a card and I remember who gave it to me, what they were wearing, where we were, what the event looked like, the cocktails served, etc. Originally created for the HOW Design conference, Envelopments shared their colorful Roll-O-Decks on their blog and the Internet swooned. Use it to keep your cards organized or to file recipes, inspiring quotes, as a creative mailing list registry on your store’s check-out counter or just as a colorful pick-me-up on your desk. The stand isn’t included, which is perfect because then you can find one to fit the style of the gift recipient: clear acrylic for the minimalist or a vintage Mad Men-esque original from ebay for the corporate ladder climbing hipster-at-heart. Roll-O-Decks can be purchased here.

jewelry dish

If anyone has a success story they can trace directly to the power of blogs, it’s Caroline at Paloma’s Nest. “Discovered” by two top design blogs within a week of launching her line on Etsy at the end of 2007, Caroline has worked hard to keep that success going ever since. Others featuring her talents include Martha Stewart Weddings, Vogue and Better Homes and Gardens. A personalized spin on her trademark Ring Bearer Bowls (yes, she’s also managed to change wedding tradition in the past three years – busy lady), can be purchased online at Anthropologie or with a custom message at her shop. I use mine to keep my go-to earrings easily accessible. I also love this gold-plated vintage key, perfect for city-dwellers looking to give Santa some help (and their smart, curious kids a viable story).

letterpress thank you note

The handwritten note is still the highest form of social media. For all of the benefits technology brings, nothing replaces opening the mailbox and receiving a card from a friend, a card whose very presence says you are worth taking a few extra minutes for. I love the minimalist white-on-white designs of these notecards from Simplesong Design, perfect for people who want to forego fuss as well as a non-feminine option for men who need to send a note. Each letterpressed piece is hand fed on an antique press in artist Suann's studio, The Hive at 1511, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. You can order your set of custom cards here or peruse Simplesong's ready-made line.

luxury bedding

This luxe bedding from Bridal Bar and home goods designer Jennifer Adams is on the pricier end (either a splurge or an investment depending on your view), but if you’re looking to buy a gift for someone who has everything and enjoys the finer things in life, these sheets are it. Bridal Bar founder, Harmony Walton, sent me a set as a housewarming gift when I moved to NYC earlier this year, and they are the softest sheets I have ever come across. If you know a workaholic who needs some motivation to shut off their computer and get more sleep, a set of these may do the trick. You can save 35% if you purchase your set from the Jennifer Adams Home website, with code bbfriends35.

What's on your gift guide this year?

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