Sunday, December 14, 2008

That Wedding: The Gift Exchange

When scrolling through pictures and descriptions of wedding after wedding during my planning stage, the pictures I always looked forward to without fail were both the first look and the bride and groom gift exchange photos. Even though these two things are non-standard for LDS weddings, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into ours. That Groom was hesitant of both, to say the least, but I think he realized how much I wanted them both to happen, so he went along with it the day of the wedding.

Now that it is over, he admits it was a really special moment we shared. I had no idea how he would interpret the gift exchange after I gave him no hints on what I was giving him, and he had no idea what I would I could possibly get him that he could truly appreciate. I think we both surprised each other with our thoughtfulness.

While I was getting ready, I sent MOH Shay and Photographer Kelli to deliver the goods and document the reactions. I started things off with this card by Sugar Street Cafe. Of course, being the good little Mormon couple we are, we had no experience necking before the wedding. I just thought the giraffes were cute. :)

It was nice to take a moment to write down the reasons why I wanted to be married to him.

My gift to him was a Blurb book that tells the story of our first year as a couple using photos and short little descriptions of the adventures we had.

That Groom, the kind of guy who hates receiving gifts, loved it.

We ended up with hundreds of engagement photos and so I took the opportunity to fill the book up with them. The quality isn't "studio album" like you get from a photographer, but I believe it is worth it for the price.

The book now sits on display in our entertainment center/bookcase and every single person that comes over to visit picks it up and flips through it. I plan on making one and giving it to That Husband as a wedding anniversary present annually.

After presenting my gift to That Groom, MOH Shay returned to the "bridal suite" with a very special package.

I was not just surprised to see her giving me that little black box, I was stunned. That Groom is a very private person and had told me he didn't really feel comfortable giving me a gift when so many people would be around to watch me open it. I'm very glad he changed his mind!

He had been talking excitedly about the card he included for a few weeks.

It really fits our relationship perfectly. We have a strange sense of humor.

What could it be?

No way, did he really? How could he possibly have done such a fantastic job choosing a wedding day gift for me?

I opened the box to find a beautiful pearl necklace. A necklace that would look absolutely perfect with my dress, something I know That Groom could not have figured out on his own (I showed him pictures of the dress, just none of me in it). With all eyes on me I couldn't seem to get the clasp undone.

MOH Shay swooped in to save the day once again, making it look easy to undo what I had thought was a really difficult clasp to open. Little sisters are the best!

I'm pretty sure That Groom didn't buy the necklace with the thought that I would wear it on our wedding day (his mind just doesn't work like that) but as soon as I had it on I knew I wasn't taking it off.

Here comes That Mother to check on my progress. Oh no! That Mother and Father gave me a gorgeous necklace and earring set to be worn on my wedding day. Would her feelings be hurt that I was choosing That Groom's necklace over theirs?

This is the necklace my parents gave me just a few hours before I received the other pearl necklace from That Groom.

I think it's safe to say that she likes it. My parents are so wonderful and understanding. After the wedding That Mother told me that she would have asked me not to wear her gift and instead wear That Groom's gift if I had attempted to do it differently.

Making this gift exchange happen took quite a lot of work. I not only had to create my own gift, but I had to frequently remind That Groom about it during the weeks leading up to the wedding so he wouldn't forget about it. The morning of we had a hard time coordinating the schedules of MOH Shay, Kelli, That Groom, and myself to make the exchange happen. I'm so happy we worked to make it happen though, because taking the time in the middle of all the morning madness gave us a chance to remember, separately, why we want to be together.


Blablover5 said...

That's a gorgeous necklace. All the gifts were wonderful.

Single Girl said...

I AM A HUGE Fan of the wedding gift Exchange. It is sad that not many LDS couples see the importance of it.

It's A Jaime Thing said...

That is the sweetest thing, beautiful pearls and I love that book you made for looks awesome!

My husband bought me my wedding day jewelry, and then we bought each other really nice his & hers watches as our gifts to each other. I've worn my wedding day jewelry every day since we've been married...for almost 6 years now! It's a really pretty set - what fun would it be to keep away in a jewelry box? ;)

Enjoy your pearls - they can be dressed up or down, you can even wear them with jeans so have fun wearing them! :)

Jaime :)

EthidiumBromide said...

Your adorable post makes me even more grumpy that my husband failed to get me anything. He stinks at buying gifts, because he doesn't understand that it is the thought value that counts, not the monetary value... so since he couldn't come up with anything he liked for less than several hundred dollars, he just decided at the last minute to not get me anything (but didn't tell me this, so I still thought we were exchanging gifts up until the first meet and he thanked me for his gift and said that he didn't get me anything... loser). I got him custom made cufflinks out of maps, one with a picture of Washington, DC (where we met) and the other from Philadelphia (where we married)... also representative because they are the two locations where we will each be when we are in our long distance marriage. Meaningful for us, and not several hundred dollars!

Christa said...

Aw, how beautiful! I did not exchange gifts with The Beard, as I knew that he probably wouldn't remember and would have trouble picking something out if he did. Oh well, getting married was gift enough!

Kaitlyn said...

Both of those gifts are so wonderful.I love the timelesness of pearls, so gorgeous. Definitley love these photos, and that card! Heck, all of it :).

Cate Subrosa said...

In the very first photo I saw of you, just hours after the wedding, I remember just how that necklace perfectly completed your look. Amazing.

*Michelle said...

I think your hubby has impeccable taste... in bride and jewelry! =)

Laura said...

You guys are so thoughtful to each other. I really enjoy reading this one plus seeing those great pictures of your happy faces. You gave a him a very special gift which he would surely cherish for years to come. That pearl necklace is stunning! Your groom has a nice taste.

Jenna said...

Thanks Laura :)

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