Hartland by Simon Pearce cake plates will be the centerpiece of any entertaining the bride does. Available in different diameters (7 to almost 13 inches) and made of hand-blown glass, they can be used individually or stacked for impressive presentation. $95-$175. Simon Pearce, 1333 Lenape Road, West Chester; (610) 793-0949, simonpierce.com.
These days, most brides work and are short on time. Help her get dinner on the table with a new Smart Pot Crock-Pot in stylish metallic red. It comes with a range of programmable features. Definitely not your mother’s slow cooker. $49.99. Available at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens-N-Things.
Remember when people used to doodle heart-filled initials in school notebooks? Give the bride a stepped-up version in the form of a one-of-a-kind print from Sticks and Stones depicting her and her new husband’s name, spelled out with photographs of different “letters” in nature (sticks) and architecture (stone). Hey, even Tom and Katie have one. $129.99-$189.99, sticksandstones.com.
Unless she’s got a secret family recipe for “gravy” (that’s Italian for sauce), every bride could benefit from a perfectly stocked Italian pantry. Get her started on the right track with tomato sauces and extra virgin olive oil from Donatella Arpaia, co-host of the new Food Network series The Next Iron Chef. Sauces include a spicy arrabiata, tangy puttanesca and savory marinara, along with a pomodoro sauce. Sauces $8.95-$9.95, olive oil $22. Available at area ShopRite supermarkets or donatellastyle.com.
More great gifts …
Some of the world’s best chefs train at the Culinary Institute of America. And if the bride is a Food Network addict, she’ll love getting CIA-branded cooking tools like the Hyde Park 2-Piece Starter Set. It includes a 7-inch “Santoku” knife (an Asian-style all-purpose utensil for slicing, chopping, mincing and dicing) and a 3.5-inch paring knife. These blades could last longer than the average marriage—they’re made from a single piece of high-carbon, no-stain German steel. $99, ciacook.com.
For the “green” bride who doesn’t want to sacrifice style or luxury but still wants to save the earth, Haven by Hotel Collection linens use organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes. Purely Organic towels range from washcloths to bath sheets in eight colors; Purely Organic sheet sets (queen and king only) come in four colors. Towels $10-$50, sheet sets $80-$110. Available at Macy’s, 680 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; (610) 337-9350, macys.com.
It’s no fun spending a plane ride shivering under a flimsy airline blanket. The bride will definitely stay cozy on the way to her honeymoon with a gorgeous cashmere travel wrap. It’s generously sized (81 inches by 36 inches) and big enough to share with her honey. Available in nine colors, including maraschino red and dark chocolate. $275, whiteandwarren.com.
The Balance Ball Chair makes for a well-rounded present for the telecommuting bride. She’ll achieve stronger core muscles just from sitting in it every 9-to-5. And come bikini season, she’ll thank you for that. $100, gaiam.com.
Give the bride the gift of no wrinkles (on her clothes, not her face) with the Whirlpool Fabric Freshener, a portable steam closet that gets out creases and gives clothes a freshly laundered smell. Designed like a pop-up tent that fills with steam, it can be stored in the closet or the laundry room. When not in use, it’s about the size of a small storage box. $199, whirlpool.com.
Want to give the bride a gift card for her shower? Why not kick it up a notch by personalizing it through Cardways.com, which allows you to upload a picture of the blushing bride (or any photo, for that matter) and add it to a gift card from Linens-N-Things, Macy’s, Overstock.com, Best Buy, Waterford.com, CompUSA or Travelocity.com. $4.50 plus the value of the gift card, cardways.com.
So now it’s coming down to the wire, and you still have no idea what to give the bride. Time to think on your feet and buy her an emergency kit stocked with 30 must-haves for avoiding a wedding-day disaster. Necessities include clear nail polish (to stop pantyhose runs), a drinking straw (so the bride can stay hydrated without wrecking her lipstick) and tampons (just in case she gets a surprise “guest” on the big day). It even has wedding bands, lest the best man screw up. $49, msandmrs.com.
In Father of the Bride, Annie calls off the wedding when her future husband buys her a blender. It’s doubtful any smoothie-loving girl would do the same if you gave her a Bullet-to-Go handheld blender. The little gadget is small enough to fit in her Bebe bag (it’s about 10 inches tall and weighs 2.5 pounds) and runs on batteries. $69.99, bullettogo.com.