Wedding Gifts That Make A Difference

Every wedding is different; some couples offer a registry with all of the essentials for starting a new life together, and some may not request anything in particular from their guests. No matter the values set in place by the couple, as a guest, you can do your part to offer alternative gifts rooted in sustainability. Some of the most meaningful gifts are those that are purpose-driven and made to last for years to come.

If you are planning a sustainable wedding and aiming to be as zero waste as possible with your registry, create a HoneyFund for guests to donate to your travels after the wedding. There is also the option of creating an eco-registry curated with eco-friendly and zero-waste wedding gifts. If giving back is more your style, create a charity-driven registry instead. This allows guests to give back to charities of your choice.

For those hopping on the wedding guest train, below are zero-waste wedding gifts that are not only meaningful but eco-friendly, consciously-made, and provide a little extra love for the couple just starting out on their journey together.

1. Zero-Waste Cleaning Supplies | Supernatural

Supernatural is putting conscious and zero-waste cleaning supplies into people’s homes. Through Their “kits” of refillable glass spray bottles and reusable natural concentrates, their products offer aromatherapeutic benefits and an easy switch for a more conscious clean. For a couple just starting their life together, this gift offers them a lovely alternative for cleaning supplies.

Shop | $34+

2. Gift Card To Create A Wedding Book | Artifact Uprising

Creating a wedding book is such a meaningful way to preserve the special day that can be kept forever and opened anytime. However, creating a wedding book can be expensive. Artifact Uprising uses recycled paper and low-impact printing methods to create timeless memory books—plus, you can send a gift card via email to cut down on additional paper waste.

Shop | $30+

3. Dried Bouquet Art | Etsy

Not only is this a beautiful way to preserve the flowers from the bouquet and the wedding, it helps to eliminate waste from having to throw away the dead flowers afterwards. The key with this gift is to make a plan with the bride beforehand, as long as she doesn’t already have something in mind for preservation. This gift is incredibly meaningful for the bride and a lovely art piece for the couple to share.

Shop | $75+

4. Pantry Kit | Package Free Shop

This is an awesome starter kit for the newlywed’s zero-waste kitchen. The jars are pre-filled with organic spices and made to be refilled, and each jar is also embossed with the name of the spice. This gift will last for years as a meaningful, zero-waste kitchen staple.

Shop | $130

5. Candles | Cozier Studios

Candles are always a lovely gift, and we love gifting candles in vessels that can be used after it runs out. These candles from Cozier Studios are vegan, nontoxic, and their beautiful clay vessels can be used for plants, vases, or a lovely decor accent.

Shop | $60

6. Painted portrait of the couple | Etsy

For this gift, you can let the couple know that their gift will be coming after the wedding photos are ready—or you can also opt to use a picture from their engagement photos. Ask the couple ahead of time what their favorite picture is, and have the artist create the portrait from that. This is a wonderful way to honor local artists and gives the newlyweds a truly meaningful piece of art.

Shop | $100+

7. AirBnB Gift Card | PayPal

If the couple does not already have a travel fund in place on their registry, this is a simple way to add to their newlywed adventures. PayPal sends an electronic gift card, versus other retailers who ship a physical plastic gift card.

Shop | $50+

8. One Year Anniversary Shoot | Local Wedding Photographer

Some couples are a bit more camera shy than others—but if the couple does enjoy taking pictures together, research a local photographer and offer to pay for their one year anniversary shoot. These pictures last a lifetime and will be an amazing way for them to honor their first year of marriage. Here is an LA-based photographer we love.

Shop | $300+

9. Vintage Home Decor | Etsy

A keepsake vintage or antique home decor element is a one-of-a-kind offering for the newlywed couple. If the couple has a registry, opt for trying to find a vintage or antique item that is similar to an item on their registry—like this set of antique copper bowls.

Shop | $50+

10. Natural Hand-Dyed Homewares | Tinta

Naturally dyed home goods are not only sustainable, but are also unique, standout decor staples that the newlyweds may not get for themselves. These luxurious silk pillow cases are made hand-dyed in Melbourne with plant dyes made from flowers and fruit.

Shop | $75+

11. Custom Engraved Cutting Board | Wood Be Mine

This beautiful home decor element provides a warm, personal touch to the newlyweds’ home—plus, it’s functional. When finding an engraving artist, make sure to ask if they use reclaimed wood vs. virgin wood to make their pieces, along with what oils they use to treat the wood.

Shop | $50+

12. Zero-Waste Picnic Setup | The Little Market

Set your loved ones up for zero-waste dates in the summertime with a picnic basket and some essentials like a picnic blanket, playful wine glasses, and cloth napkins. Top off the gift with a list of local outdoor picnic-worthy events or farmer’s markets that serve up plastic-free produce and local fare. Many of these things can also be purchased secondhand, too, so keep an eye out.

Shop | $58+

Finding a wedding gift for a newlywed couple is a fun opportunity to give newlyweds a gift that is meaningful and enriches their lives. Enjoy spending time searching for zero-waste and consciously-made keepsakes as your offering for the beginning of their journey together.


Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Check out her blog and Instagram for her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.