Remember the wedding day with personalized gifts

Tammy Hogan, store manager at Things Remembered in the Victoria Mall, checks on an engraving job being done by her trainee. The machine was engraving one of the most popular groomsman gifts at the store, a beer stein with a silver plate for a personalized message.

How will your bridal party remember the day you and your spouse exchanged vows? And how will you remember those who came to share that day with you? Some couples gift money clips, necklaces or glasses while others may look for something other than a guest book for family and friends to write well wishes.

A timeless tradition is to engrave items with the names of the couple and date of the wedding or anniversary ceremony. Tammy Hogan, store manager at Things Remembered in Victoria Mall, said she has seen a lot of things come through the store in 16 years.

"Unique is not something you see a lot of in weddings," she said, adding that the store has made the gamut of usual gifts for members of bridal parties. Things Remembered's more popular items are money clips or flasks for groomsmen, and necklaces and trinkets are often chosen for bridesmaids.

The store is able to work with different wedding themes if the bride or groom is looking to extend the beach, cowboy or classic feel into his or her gifts. With an on-site engraving machine, Hogan is able to work words or small graphics onto an item to make it special.

Redneck wine glasses, which are mason jar glasses turned upscale stemware, are a popular item that some brides have brought in to the store to be personalized, she said. The quirky glasses offer a change from the typical wine glasses or champagne flutes.

Another new trend for weddings, Hogan said, is to use alternatives to traditional guest books. A popular option is a plate, which can be signed in lieu of the bulky counterpart.

"It's something you can display versus something that gets stuffed in a drawer," she said.

Instead of the unity candle ceremony, she said couples have been moving toward a sand ceremony where they will fill a vessel with different colors of sand, which symbolizes the blending of two lives into one unit.

All of the experience she's had working with couples for weddings and anniversaries has solidified what she is going to do when her special day arrives: She is not going to stress out.

Hogan said she's worked with brides who stress out from planning their wedding and doesn't want to follow in their footsteps. What she does want is what her store specializes in: "I want to be able to remember my wedding."