- Christophe Boisvieux/Corbis
For whatever reason—weather, probably?—summer is pretty widely considered to be "wedding season." Which also makes it "spending most of your disposable income on wedding gifts" season. Fun, but also a little exhausting.
Especially if your friends have opted to forgo a traditional registry, in which case you get to deal with both the freedom and pressure that come with picking out a gift you think is the very best way to commemorate one of the most momentous occasions in a person's entire life. So! We're here to help with that, and have come up with some of the best, most universally likable options available right here in Brooklyn. With any luck, you'll never have to negotiate a department store's "homewares" section ever again.
A Year of Seltzer Delivery
As the last bastion of a once-ubiquitous New York service, Gomberg Seltzer Works (delivered by the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys)
has become a revered enough institution that there's actually an entire documentary
about the place. More importantly for your soon-to-be-married friends, though, they still deliver perfectly carbonated Brooklyn tap water door to door in classic siphon bottles. Perfect whether they're particularly into the gentle burn of bubbles on the back of their throats, or just like the look of old fashioned glass bottles on their counter.
Prices vary, call 718.649.0800 for inquiries
First Editions from Greenlight
This one's incredibly win-win: a membership to Greenlight Bookstore's "Signed First Editions Club" supports one of Brooklyn's best independent bookstores, promotes the work of new authors, and
will keep the recipients up to date on all things current and literary, and thus interesting to invite to parties even if they've disappeared into a haze of life as newlyweds. Membership guarantees one signed first edition of staff-selected fiction, non-fiction, or poetry each month.
6 months, $250; 12 months, $500, greenlightbookstore.com
Starter Kit from Brooklyn Homebrew
I was going to make a "the couple that brews together" joke here, but truthfully, I couldn't think of an especially good one. And anyway, this doesn't need an elaborate sell. Beer is always a good thing, as is the sense of accomplishment that comes from feeling that you've successfully made something from scratch, together
Introductory Equipment Kit, $90;Essentials Equipment Kit, $130, brooklyn-homebrew.com
Because not everyone is lucky enough to have an actual backyard. And also, because people love
miniature versions of literally everything. There are lots of different options for pre-made terrariums ("Grazed and Confused" and "Zombie-arium" are both good), but you can also order a custom design or
give the gift of a DIY kit.
Prices vary, twigterrariums.com
Nitehawk Gift Card
- Photo via Trendy Tripping
Granted, not everyone out there is on board with the gift card mode of present-giving. I think this is a mistake. Gifts don't have to be large, tangible, and elaborately wrapped to be wildly useful and appreciated. Especially not if they come in the form of a gift card to Nitehawk, which I maintain is one of the very best date spots in all of Brooklyn. Help the happy couple keep the romance alive
, and all that. And also, help yourself stick to a reasonable budget, since these cards come in a super
reasonable price range, starting at $25.
Prices vary, nitehawkcinema.com
Gift Box from Bedford Cheese Shop
Self-explanatory. Unless either half of the couple in question can't or won't eat dairy, which is something worth looking into before springing for this. But assuming they do, there aren't a lot of better things in this world than having a box of cheese delivered to your doorstep, accompanied by perfectly paired crackers, spreads, jams... you get the idea. The pro move here would be to give them some kind of card on the day of, then have the actual gift delivered after the dust of the wedding has settled and they've started easing into married life. If you want to really go big, there's also a Cheese of the Month Club option.
Prices vary, bedfordcheeseshop.com
Alaska Console by Nightwood Furniture
If you're looking for a big-ticket gift with some real longevity, this would be it. Serious furniture is almost as big a commitment as marriage, I think? Either way, Nightwood has been crafting beautiful, thoughtful work out of their two Brooklyn studios for a decade, and is the perfect place to go for one-of-a-kind investment pieces.
A Trip (Or Several) To A Russian Spa
Is there any better couples activity than relaxing and scrubbing yourself with a bunch of twigs in a steamy, old-school Russian spa? Other than making beer together? This is also a good option if you're looking to stick to a relatively tight budget, since admission at Sea Gate's classic Mermaid Spa starts at $30 per person (though, for a gift that keeps on giving, they also offer memberships for $300). Regardless, your friends will experience the joy of sweating profusely as a couple, followed by the joy of Russian food. This is the stuff that lifelong marriages are built on.
Admission starts at $30, mermaidspany.com
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.