California's beaches, mountains, vineyards and world-class cities are bursting with wedding gift ideas, so whether you can't decide what to give the bride and groom or you're trying to figure out what types of things to gift to your wedding party, California's colorful landscapes provide plenty of presents, gifts and edible offerings.
Southern California Citrus and Sparkle
Even during the Great Depression, California was seen as a place full of opportunity and plentiful plantations. Today trees bearing Valencia oranges, nectarines, and lemons line southern California back roads and highways, suggesting a truly Californian gift basket for the bride and groom full of fresh fruit
and topped off with the huge faces of cheery California sunflowers
. It was tradition at southern California Spanish missions in the late 1800s for guests to bear gifts of fruit, flowers and grains. For gifting edibles that may perish, order your fruits, flowers and grains ahead of time, but request they be made and delivered fresh, possibly straight to the honeymooners' penthouse door. If your favorite newlyweds or your loyal wedding party are Hollywood movie fans, consider gifting a classic movie series such as Audrey Hepburn
or Marilyn Monroe's
greatest films. Pretty much anything that sparkles represents the wealth of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, so shiny tennis bracelets, diamond earrings, or even jewel-studded sunglasses
will accent the receiver's skin as they ride down sunny Hollywood Boulevard in a drop-top classic convertible.
Vineyards and Nut-Bearing Trees
No central California gift would be complete without at least one bottle of famed California wine-country Merlot or Chardonnay. Consider gift baskets filled with several fine, local wine selections
and include various cheese rounds and preserves that accentuate the chosen wine's flavors. Choose wine from the year of the wedding and give a whole case to the bride and groom to store and open on future anniversaries and special occasions. Whether you choose to buy a case from a huge, widely-known Napa Valley winery
or go with a family-owned Yosemite mountain winery
, buying a case of wine should come with a discounted bulk-rate price tag. If your gift recipients aren't wine drinkers, perhaps taking advantage of Sierra Nevada area tree nuts and honey would be more appreciated. Indigenous California black walnuts
and pine nuts mix well with honey-roasted almonds and California nut oils
to create non-perishable gift baskets laden with healthy snacks that are pleasing to the eyes and the taste buds.
Gifts from the Redwood Coast
Northern California's Pacific Ocean coastline is teaming with fresh ideas for wedding gifts. In northern California's Native American tradition, nothing goes to waste, including redwood tree scraps, driftwood, river rock and the meats of local animals. For example, the redwood coast is known for its hand-carved puzzle boxes and jewelry boxes found at tourist hot spots along the Redwood Highway 101. Most anything can be etched these days with the bride and groom's names and wedding date or a special message. Gathering smooth, rounded river rock from the Smith River Fork
or driftwood and seashells from rugged northern California beaches for personalized nature gifts
will leave your recipient with a lasting memory of the wedding day and can be enjoyed in an entryway or garden. Authentic Native American smoked salmon can be found along the Redwood Highway in addition to fresh fish caught and smoked at northern California bays like at Trinidad Pier. Include accentuating cheeses and crisp sesame-seed crackers for a smoked fish delight.
Authentically California Gifts
California is home to the Jelly Belly company
, which makes flavorful candy giveaways. Also try California-created chocolates in the shapes of major landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge
. For bridesmaids, candles and fancy soaps
in Californian colors and scents like eucalyptus, citrus, berry or grape will refresh your bridesmaids' memories of the wedding every time they smell the sweet aromas. For the men in your wedding party, depending on their chosen sport, personalized golf
, tennis, basket, or soccer balls are sure to be used often. If your group of guys enjoys fishing along the many rivers and lakes in California, shiny lures marked with the man's initials
make a special addition to any tackle box. If your groom's best buds are Oakland As, L.A. Lakers, or L.A. Dodgers fans, you'll have no trouble finding fine polo shirts, hats, and other sportswear embroidered with their favorite team's logo.