Arts & Culture

The Ultimate Southern Wedding Gift Guide

Ten ways to wish the newlyweds well


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

Magnolia Tree

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 magnolia from Fieldshop is still flourishing at my house. $42;

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;

Sheets and Towels

I continue to be in awe of the cotton sheets and towels by the family operation at Redland Cotton in Alabama. The vintage-inspired lace edge on the bedding looks like something my grandmother might have handed down to me. $260 for a King sheet set; $125 for two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths;

Oyster Plates

It took me forever to figure out where this delightful turquoise oyster plate we received came from, because most of the dreamiest ones are vintage, but I finally solved the mystery: the Alexandria, Louisiana–based Abigails. $49 each;

House Artwork

When my little sister got married, my mom commissioned a rendering in gouache depicting my sister’s first house, and I’ve always loved the thoughtful, place-based sentiment. $45;

Bourbon Decanter

My husband is a bourbon fanatic, so this was probably the highlight of our nuptials: a handmade glass decanter by North Carolina’s Terrane Glass. $160;


The gifts I love most to give and receive by far are Southern cookbooks. I’ve added to our collection since I received the first one (the Martha Foose classic below), and you can find more classics in the canon here. $25;

Porch Swing

Full disclosure: We did not receive this when we got married, but I wish we had! You could practically live on it during the cooler months, and it would instantly convert any screen porch into a sleeping porch due to the width of the cushion. A lovely (and incredibly generous) gesture for a new couple. $4,755;

Dry Sink

My parents gave us one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our house to this day: a dry sink similar to the one below that they bought as young newlyweds for the farmhouse my dad built my mom. We now use it as a bar and serving sideboard in the dining room—an unexpected use for an item that was traditionally relegated to the bedroom, and it grounds some of the more modern pieces in our house with a bit of history. $1,275;

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