Solving the Wedding Gift Conundrum

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It's wedding season, and that means the conundrum of what to buy for a bride and groom who already have everything -- or a bride and groom whom you want to surprise with something more than a Target gift card.

Cat has felt that pain, and years ago she came up with a solution: antique linens. They're beautiful, elegant, extremely personal and look more expensive than they are. Most couples wish for a lovely tablecloth with matching napkins when an important family dinner rolls around, but they will rarely go out and splurge on a set for themselves. So Cat has found that this gift lasts so much longer -- and comes with so many more delightful memories -- than just another blender or card stuffed with cash.

Her source: Cynthia's Antique & Vintage Linens. There is always a wide selection and an even wider range of prices. Cat suggests looking first for a cloth that is 50" or larger with at least four napkins. If nothing strikes you in that selection, then go for a small cloth and napkins or mix and match from all over the site. They'll come cleaned, beautifully packaged and on time. Cynthia has even completed an overnight delivery when Cat forgot about a ceremony happening the next day.

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Or, if you need something less than $50, try a set of Laguiole cheese knives from Sur La Table, which clock in at $39.95. Laguiole has sort of storied cult following, and this set is particularly beautiful.

The image above is a 1940s-era cutwork and embroidered off-white tablecloth with seven napkins and a dozen cocktail napkins; $125.

The image below is an antique embroidered and cutwork 72x86" tablecloth and dozen napkins from Madeira, Portugal; $450.

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