Making wedding gift decisions can be overwhelming – there are so many choices on the gift registry – but going off registry and giving a unique wedding gift has its benefits. Our customers tell us all the time that the unique cutting board they personalized as a wedding gift was the couple’s favorite gift.

Personalization has been around for millennia – archaeologists in South Africa have found engraved water carriers made of ostrich eggshells that date back about 60,000 years.

But the notion of giving personalized gifts is a little more modern and, according to some experts, it’s largely an American phenomenon. From engraved silver pieces to those kitschy license plate key chains and pencils that were endlessly popular with elementary school kids from the 1950s through the ‘80s, the people of America just love gifts that are personalized, especially if they are Made in America.

Here are 6 reasons to get personal with your gift giving, even if it means going off the gift registry:

They are unexpected.

For one thing, they are guaranteed to be unique and that’s exciting. Everyone likes opening something that’s unexpected and unusual. Even if they think they need that extra place setting of china, it’s still more fun to open a personalized cutting board that is a complete surprise.

They communicate that you really care.

Not only do personalized gifts often have the element of surprise, they also – very skillfully – send the message that the gift-giver really cares. To personalize something requires thoughtfulness and a little extra planning. You can’t wait until the day you’re giving the gift to run into your nearest mall and grab something generic. You must make a conscious decision to order and personalize the gift. You decide what it will say. All of that shows you care.

They help deepen relationships.

Every time your friends or family use the personalized gift – whether it’s a cutting board or something else – it will trigger the memory of opening it for the first time. They’ll think of you and reprise that warm feeling they had when they first opened the package. All because you cared.

They become heirlooms.

Because they are imbued with those fuzzy feelings – and because they are marked with a name or personal message – gifts like these become special keepsakes, even heirlooms. They’re not something that will get tossed off to Goodwill after a few years of use.

They honor the occasion.

Personalized gifts are especially appropriate for weddings and wedding showers, since weddings are loaded with symbolism related to names. Whether your friends will be sharing one last name or sticking with two, a personalized gift represents their union combining two families into one.

They can make you feel good, too.

As wonderful as it feels to receive a gift that is unique and personal and perfect, it feels even better to give one. Psychologists and business experts have proven that the act of giving releases hormones and lights up the parts of the brain associated with pleasure.

All this said, giving a unique wedding gift does require a little extra effort on the part of the giver. Make sure you’ve got the name correct – everything about it. Check, before ordering, to make sure you know which name or names the couple will be using. Confirm its spelling, and then confirm it again.  

Your friends will thank you!

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