What do you get an agnostic couple for a wedding?


I have a dear old friend who is getting married. She used to be a practicing protestant…not sure which denomination. Anyhow, the last few years, she fell away from her faith and really started questioning the whole existence of God. Her fiance is sort of where she is.

She knows where I stand as a Catholic. I don’t hide my faith, but I don’t push anything on her. Whenever we talk, I usually bring the subject up and just ask her where she is at.

Anyhow, she and I haven’t talked in about 6 months and I just got her wedding invitation in the mail. It’s outside…on a farm…with hayrides and a bonfire. OK…so I take it she’s no closer to practicing Christianity than the last time we spoke.

What would you get her for a gift? I don’t want something that’s in-your-face-you’re-going-to-hell, but I would like to get them something distinctly Christian so as to plant a seed. Ideas?


A gift subscription to the “Magnificat”


I’d get them a gift card from Bed, Bath and Beyond and avoid shoving religion down their throat. You can get a nice wedding card and sign it “Wishing you God’s blessings.”

I have a friend who is determined to get me to leave the RCC. What has happened is that I limit contact with her to sending her a birthday card and holiday cards. That’s it. No letters or phone calls.

Why do you think it’s your job to bring them into the church? Drop the subject. You’ve made your position known. That’s all you can and should do.


Good idea. It will go from the mailbox to the recycling bin. If my timing is good, I can then pick it up at the recycling center and I get it for free! True! I actually do go to my local recycling center and pick up all kinds of magazines and books that people don’t even bother to unwrap from the plastic wrappers. Everything from Reader’s Digest to Martha Stewart Living. No, it is not stealing. I have a letter from the city manager giving me permission to take what I want for personal use. Saves me a ton of money.


Q: What do you get an agnostic couple for a wedding?

A: Something they can’t really believe they got.



Remember that saying… “always preach the Gospel and, when necessary, use words.” If you try to push this friend to Christ, you’ll only push her away.

Kill her with kindness. Live as an example of Christianity and when the time is right (God’s time, not ours) she’ll start asking you questions.


GOOD POINT, Jabronie! I would give them something they want - check out their registry if they have one - and be a living example of Catholicism for them to see.


Good advice!


One of my favorite quotes! I just try to be careful that I don’t use it as an excuse for not using words when necessary.


They are not registered. I don’t even know if they want gifts since they are older and already have two houses established.

I’m not looking to shove anything down her throat. That’s why I asked for ideas that are more subtle. She does not have an animous toward religion. Her daughter goes to a private Christian school. If she wasn’t open at all, I wouldn’t even consider anything Christian. Agnostic means questioning…

I’m not going to get her a large wall hanging cross. I was thinking more along the lines of a book that’s still truthful, but not necessarily apologetic.


Does cooking or country living appeal to her (them)? If so, I would suggest a gift subscription to “Taste of Home” or “Country” magazines. Both by Reiman Publications, they don’t contain any adds, but are full of charm and have a distinctly Christian “flavor” (you should pardon the pun). “Taste of Home” has become my gift of choice for weddings (especially when the bride and groom already have everything). You can get more info at www.tasteofhome.com.



You said that you hadn’t heard from her in 6 months. Her doing or yours? She’s not all that open or you’d be yakking together about all things spiritual quite often. Sharing this info and that website and books, etc. That’s not happening. She’s an adult. She is giving you a chance, here. Pay attention. Be her friend and accept her as she is. Why the rush for her to convert?

My friend that I mentioned earlier feels as though God has commanded her personally to convert every person she meets to her way of thinking. Her own brother threatened to kill her if she didn’t back off. I have put the friendship on the back burner because she will not listen and leave me alone. Do you want to lose your friend?



The information you originally offered was designed to get a particular response. You did not want gift ideas on what to give an older engaged couple. You wanted gift ideas that would influence them spiritually. Please put yourself in their place. Have you ever been on the receiving end of gifts like that? I have. It’s annoying at the very least and infuriating at most. You learn to dread the arrival of the package or envelope because you already know what you’re going to get. To the trash it goes. Money wasted and no joy received. A wedding is not the time to try to evangelize, no matter how subtle you are trying to be. Take your sadness and pray for her every time her name comes to your mind. That’s the best thing you can do. Reiman also has Cooking for 2, a great magazine for smaller families. It’s easier to double a recipe than to scale down.


Here is the last line from your original post:

I would like to get them something distinctly Christian so as to plant a seed. Ideas?

Blue Rose offered the suggestion that you get them a gift subscription to a magazine. You replied: BLUEROSE – thanks so much. I love that idea. That is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

No it wasn’t. Be honest. If that’s what you want, you can also use Family Circle or Woman’s Day magazines to evangelize, since one of them, I cannot remember which one at the moment, has scriptures on the margins of the pages.


Since they’re not registered, I assume you’ve asked what them they want. Did they say they want nothing, or are they just being coy? People very often don’t like to volunteer gift ideas, or they just don’t know. If you give them two or three choices, though, they are more likely to volunteer a preference.

If they’re being politely coy with you, you could ask the daughter or another relative for ideas. If the couple truly has everything they need and want nothing, you can find out if you share any philanthropic causes. They might love it if you donated money to a food bank or the American Heart Association in their name, for instance. Also, you might ask her if they like to eat out, and if so, where they go when they splurge. This would be especially nice if the restaurant were in the same place where they plan to spend their honeymoon…make sure they know they have it* before* they leave, though! You can also look for the “I wouldn’t spend it on myself” angle…a gift card to their favorite music store, if they’re musicians, for instance.

As nice as it is to go the extra mile, though, a gift card at a store you know they would shop is a very practical gift…either a bed-and-bath store (because towels and sheets always wear out) or a general-purpose store like Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Sears*.

As for the cross, that qualifies as art. Be very careful about giving art for a wedding gift. The couple might think you will be expecting it to have a prominent place on their wall when you visit. The same goes for magazines…if they don’t want it, they’ll still wonder: will you be expecting to see it on the coffee table when you come by? Will you ask if they’ve read some particular article? You don’t want gifts that might make them fear being put on the spot.

Farm wedding does not mean non-Christian wedding, by the way. Catholic weddings take place in churches, but not all denominations have that constraint. I attended a Christian wedding this summer that took place on the farm of the bride’s parents. Even agnostics like to hear “what God hath joined…”

(*Sears, by the way, not only holds jobs for National Guard troops called up by the Pentagon, but makes up the difference for wages lost.)


Get them a tree, a sapling. They can plant it and it is full of symbolism.


A statuette of a bride and groom? A “Cana” cross, which many other denominations use? I like the sapling idea, also a rose bush or two is good.


wacky&wonderful – I’m sorry that you’ve had some bad experiences with people in this area. It is obviously a very important issue for you.

I didn’t go into details about my relationship with my friend. All of the experiences that you described don’t come anywhere close to the kind of relationship I have with my friend. I really just wanted to pick people’s brains. I didn’t want a debate about the merits of the type of gift I want to get.

Your posts imply that you know my friend better than I do. Your posts imply that by getting her a certain type of gift that she is going to feel “X”. I didn’t mean to come across as a self-righteous religious zealot who needs everyone around her to be Jesus Freaks. In fact, I’m not. If anything, I probably do less evangelizing than the dear Lord would have me do. I probably shy away from it more than I should, to be perfectly honest.

Since you don’t know me and you don’t know my friend, and since not every experience that you have had equals other peoples experiences, you will just have to trust me when I say that a gift that leans Christian will not offend my friend. If I thought it would, I wouldn’t get her anything like that for fear of pushing her further from her faith.

And as for responding to bluerose about that idea, it was the first post that I thought answered my original question and I was grateful. As for the magazine suggestion, my friend is not really into cooking, so I wouldn’t get that for her – but that type of suggestion was really the kind of thing I was looking for. So, I was being honest. :slight_smile:


My advice is to just get them a gift that you know they would enjoy as a couple, such as a gift certificate, even to a nice restaurant for a romantic meal would be nice. They will always think of you as a friend that is thoughtful and kind.

Then pray for them, and don’t stop! And when the time is right in their lives, which is the work of the Holy Spirit alone, this friend will turn to those whom she feels comfortable with in sharing her spiritual concerns. And this just very well may be you. And even if it isn’t, you know your prayers are not going unnoticed, they are effective! And you will show your caring for her in offering up your prayers.

St. Paul tells us to be prepared to give an account of our faith and Christian hope when we are asked. I think it is great advice worth heeding. And it is advice that brings great peace when followed. You are not resposible for preaching to everyone, unless that is your particular gift and calling.

God Bless,

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