Gifts for the Catholic Bride and Groom

Sara and Justin Kraft

Gifts for the Catholic Bride and Groom

It’s wedding season!  As we celebrate the Catholic couples in our lives that are joining their lives together in the sacrament of marriage, we want to give them a gift that will enhance their Catholic faith and help them make their home into a domestic church.  “The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the ‘domestic church’ where God's children learn to pray ‘as the Church’ and to persevere in prayer. For young children in particular, daily family prayer is the first witness of the Church's living memory as awakened patiently by the Holy Spirit,” Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2685.  As such, most Catholic wedding gifts we give are focused specifically on how the couple can support their own domestic church in their home.

One way that has been helpful in our own home is to have “primes” displayed. Primes are images that make us think of God and remind us to pray. Some of the primes we have displayed are traditional, such as our crucifix and statues. Others are more subtle, such as the large photo we have displayed of our wedding at the church. This photo helps to remind us that our marriage began in prayer. Because primes have been helpful in our own domestic church, we enjoy giving them to couples and that’s part of the reason many of these wedding gift ideas are images or statues in order to prime their home for prayer.

Here are some of our favorite wedding gifts we’ve either given or received throughout the years.

While some online links have been provided, we would encourage you to support your local Catholic bookstore if possible so they can continue to support your community.

Family Crucifix – perhaps an obvious gift, but we have enjoyed getting couples a nice large crucifix to display in their home. This crucifix will remind them to pray, and of their role and purpose within their home as a domestic church. Perhaps a sick call crucifix might be a suitable choice. These usually include a crucifix, two candles, a vessel for holding holy water, and a stand. Priests can use them if they are called to their home for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. You can find out more about a sick call crucifix at here.

Printed Family Mission Statement – when we work with marriage preparation couples, one of the things we encourage them to do is make a family mission statement so they know what their purpose and goals as a family are.  Over the years, the couples have come up with some really beautiful family mission statements. When that is the case, it is neat to have the family mission statement professionally printed (or in calligraphy) and framed. They can then display the mission statement in a place where they can read it every day and hopefully inspire them to live up to the mission statement.

Book of Life – one of the favorite wedding presents we received was the Book of Life from the monks at Conception Abbey. This gorgeous book allows us to physically write down the important faith and sacramental dates in our family. It also includes 13 pages of genealogical charts to help our children know our family history. It is a gorgeous keepsake that we will enjoy for years to come.

Image of the Holy Family – another favorite wedding present is to give an image of the Holy Family to the married couple. This gives both the bride and groom something to reflect on as they work to emulate the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and the child Jesus.

Sacred Heart Statue or Image – Our family has a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart, and in particular, the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart.  This beautiful tradition has the couple placing a statue or image of the Sacred Heart in a prominent spot, and declaring Jesus as King of their home.  This is a particularly appropriate devotion for families because one of the 12 promises of the devotion is that Christ will grant peace our homes. More information and resources about the Enthronement can be found at in this previous blog post.

Book of Household Blessings and Prayers – This book, published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a great resource to help facilitate the liturgical life of the home. There are prayers for almost any occasion, including liturgical seasons and days and blessings for the family. There’s a prayer preparing near the birth of a child that we also really appreciate.

Nativity Scene – A nativity scene is a great gift to give newlyweds, especially if it is a set which can receive later additions in the future.  

Advent Wreath – While not a traditional wedding present, an Advent wreath with beautiful candles is a great way to keep the spirit of Advent alive in this busy world. Many do not have an Advent wreath, and it is a gift that can get used for many years.

Parenting:  A House United – While not specifically Catholic, Parenting: A House United by Nicholeen Peck has changed the way we parent.  It is by far the best parenting book we have read. It provides much more than just parenting techniques. It will help young couples develop a vision for their families and instill self-control in both their children and themselves. It has made us more patient and helpful parents. We’d recommend this to all parents, and would give this as a wedding gift as well.  

Printed Wedding Verse – Another of our favorite gifts is a large wall hanging with a verse from our wedding readings. Ours is from Romans 12: 2, 9-12 “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect…Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” We chose this verse as inspiration for the way we want to live our marriage and face obstacles. Seeing a key verse from their wedding readings can inspire that new married couple in the same way. 

We hope these ideas help make this wedding season easier, and encourage you to inspire the couples you know to more fully enter into their domestic Church.