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bye-bye wedding gift blues give a great gift without going broke 
by Michele Caldwell | 1 2 3
continued from page 1

cheers! the gift of good drink

Obviously, the gift of alcohol may be inappropriate for your Church friends or your college roommate whose AA sponsor is a guest, but it can be a fun, memorable, appropriate and affordable gift for others. Recently, my favorite gift to give is a decent bottle of champagne and two champagne flutes. The twist is packaging the gift in a box within a box. The outside box should be wrapped per usual, but the inside box should have a big sign on it that says, "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL (insert 1st anniversary date here)." This is a gift to open long after the wedding whirlwind is over, and a great way for the bride and groom to remember you a year later.

Second, martinis are fun! Ketel One vodka is around $20.00 per bottle. It's the best for martinis and often comes in a promotional package that includes a martini shaker. Add a set of affordable martini glasses, which you can buy at any discount store (think TJ Maxx) a bottle of cheap vermouth, and a bar strainer and you have a great gift that you may even get a chance to share when the newlyweds have a housewarming party! If you're feeling extra generous, add funky coasters or kitschy swizzle sticks, even a How To Make Martinis bar booklet….

It's the same idea with Margaritas. Tequila is very affordable. (For a good margarita tequila under $30, try Sauza Hornitos.) If you aren't afraid of an extra heavy box to carry into the reception, a gallon of margarita mix is cheap, too. Add two colorful and surprisingly affordable margarita glasses and you've got a fiesta! Again, if you have a few extra bucks then you can add margarita salt, an interesting pitcher, a Jimmy Buffet CD, or His and Her tropical shirts (just kidding!) If you bought the couple a blender as a shower gift, this gift would be most appropriate.

alcohol-free fun gifts for non-drinkers
If the bride and groom are caffeine freaks, supply them with a setting of really great coffee mugs. Coffee mugs come in a huge variety of funky shapes, sizes, and colors… and they won't break the piggy bank! You can buy six for under $20 if you go to the right place. (Think Target, not Williams-Sonoma.) If the bride and groom are, in fact, coffee fans, then no doubt they' registered for the latest in coffee makers. Add a bag of gourmet coffee from their favorite coffee haunt or a bag of stolen flavored creamers from the gas station (disclaimer: once again, just kidding! Petty thievery is not encouraged.)

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