Arts & Culture

The Ultimate Southern Wedding Gift Guide

Loving ways to wish the newlyweds well


When I got married, some of my favorite wedding gifts all had one thing in common: utility. They feathered an otherwise bare nest (and garden!) in a practical way, or started a collection of something we’ve added to over the years. Below are versions of those practical yet meaningful presents that you can turn to again and again for the newlyweds in your life.

Antique Rose

With a little luck and a lot of nurturing, marriages grow over the years. Giving the couple something living is a thoughtful way to express that idea. This winner from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas is still flourishing at my house. $23; 

Cast-Iron Skillet

We use our North Charleston–based Smithey cast-iron skillet every single weekend and most weeknights. It’s a workhorse and beautiful to boot. $200;


Two of the first items I folded and put away when I got married were quilts handed down from my paternal grandmother. And while quilts and quilted everything are having a moment in fashion and home goods right now, I’ve always loved them and always will. To me they represent resourcefulness and tenacity and remind me that scarcity can lead to creativity and charm. And I’ve never seen a Dusen Dusen quilt I didn’t adore. $298–$318;

Oyster Plates

I didn’t really understand the Southern oyster plate obsession until I moved to South Carolina after growing up in the landlocked foothills of Virginia. But now I get it. And yes, you can use them, but they’re awfully pretty on display, too. Some of the dreamiest options are vintage (like this blue-and-white stunner made in the thirties), and available via the online collection at Weston Table. $345;

House Artwork

When my little sister got married, my mom commissioned a rendering in watercolor depicting my sister’s first house, and I’ve always loved the thoughtful, place-based sentiment. Kelsey Kelley of K. Kelley Designs, based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is just one artist who offers such custom pieces. $250–$300;

Bourbon Decanter 

My husband is a bourbon fanatic, so this was probably the highlight of our nuptials: a handmade glass decanter by Made in the South Awards finalist Nate Cotterman. $170;


The gifts I love most to give and receive by far are cookbooks. Right now it’s July in the South, and I’m loving most this newly released one about, well, not really cooking. But you can find great classic Southern cookbook options here. $31;

Task Light 

A proper light to read by, otherwise known as a task light, is a necessity in a new house, as are gobs of good books to read. I love the idea of gifting a Southern book canon—and this handsome light by Mitzi to light up every passage. $278;


If you are truly stumped about a gift for a Southern couple, here’s some advice: Just send them an original Pawley’s Island rope hammock. $230;


I can just feel the eye rolls, but listen: Southerners get the details right. I challenge you to take note of the various wastebaskets when you visit Southern homes. Most of the time, they’re a little different and more artful than a plastic bucket from a big-box store. Ruth Runberg, of R. Runberg in Charlotte, offers up these lovely options every so often. Sign up for her newsletter to stay in the know and send her a direct message on Instagram to order. Price varies;

Table Fan 

The idea that Southern houses might need an extra fan or two is a given, and I never tire of this classic by Hunter. I appreciate that the style hasn’t really changed since the thirties and that it creates soothing white noise and a breeze. $78;

Biscuit Basket 

Baskets in general are amazing gifts because they’re gorgeous, organic, and have about a million different ways they can be used. But years ago, I had breakfast on a tropical oasis of a patio in New Orleans and biscuits arrived in a basket very similar to the one below from the Avenue. The idea struck me mid-butter application that a biscuit basket should be a quintessential Southern wedding gift. $38;

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