Planning a wedding is a bear. It all looks heart-warming, fuzzy and tame on Pinterest but it can maul and destroy even the strongest woman without proper self-care and planning.

We have wonderful friends who came alongside us while we engaged. Here are some gifts they gave us that we highly recommend.

1. The Best Wedding Planning Resource: The Knot Book of Wedding Lists

My sister-in-laws were rockstars during my wedding. One of them gave me this Knot book of wedding lists the week we got engaged. You’d think 109 pages of things to do would be overwhelming. But it’s not! It’s a relief to have it all on paper and out of your head.

Other great resources: A Practical Wedding Planner, The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner

2. Fun Desk Reminders to Build Anticipation

Our aunt gave us a countdown calendar that sat on my desk. True, my colleagues mis-arranged the numbers almost every week, but it was a fun way to build anticipation.

Here are some other ideas for helping your friends build anticipation. Keepsake Book, Classy Desk Frame

3. Delicious drinks

Nothing helps you make endless decisions like some liquid comfort. We’re talking red wine, chocolate milk, gatorade, kombucha etc.

If you’re a total overachiever, you can even get custom-made labels for bottles like this or this with encouraging and personal messages. I saw an engaged friend cry when she got a bottle with a message like this. It’s the little things.

4. Soothing Self Care Tools

A sweet roommate gave me this scalp massager just after we got engaged. It was the perfect combination of extravagance, self-care, and goofy fun.

Other great self care gifts — face masks, bathrobes, cozy socks


Ultimately, the best gifts I got were time and attention. Thank you to my friends who were willing to listen to my explanation of four different flower arrangement and the pros and cons of creating our own envelope liners (a cumbersome but affordable way to fancy up wedding invitations by the way).


If your friends are engaged, go out of your way to plan time with them. Brides-to-be have to make so many decisions under such weird pressures, that it’s a relief to count on your friends to choose time with you.


Just married? Or having friends get married? What were some of the best gifts you’ve given or received? I’d love to hear.