Event planners and culinary professionals share some suggestions to help couples celebrate the season in style.

By Ivy Manners

The coronavirus pandemic has given new meaning to being home for the holidays this year. Most newlyweds will have to celebrate their first Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or New Year’s Eve in more intimate settings because of social-distancing requirements, but they can still do it in style.

Chefs and event planners weigh in on some of their favorite, meaningful gifts for couples, including vintage wine, coffee table books and essentials for creating flavorful dishes in their kitchen.

Nathalie Cadet-James

The owner and founder of Luxe Fête event planning and design studio, based in Miami.

“I love gifting couples a bottle of fine vintage wine from a year that is special to them, such as when they met or started dating, which they can toast with during the holidays. My favorite is Château d’Yquem, Sauternes, a beautifully lush dessert wine from a stunning estate in France. Websites like wine-searcher.com can help you find the perfect vintage wine for your gift.”

2018 Château d’Yquem, Sauternes; about $361 for full bottle.

“While it may not be feasible for newlyweds to travel right now, you can give them the next best thing with a Taschen art travel book, which features inspiring locations around the world. These books make great conversation pieces and let you daydream about future trips. They’re beautifully constructed and are an experience in itself with mesmerizing photography and colors.”

Taschen “Great Escapes Mediterranean: The Hotel Book,” by Angelika Taschen; $60.

Aarón Sánchez

A New Orleans-based chef, restaurateur and author of “Where I Come From: Life Lessons From a Latino Chef.”

“In Mexico, it’s customary for older women to give brides a molcajete. The traditional mortar and pestle set is seen as a symbol of love and the delicious food that will be made and shared in their new home together for years to come.”

Williams Sonoma 8” molcajete; $49.95.

“A good set of knives is essential for any kitchen. I live in New Orleans and love Coutelier for the amazing craftsmanship in all of their products. The husband and wife culinary experts who own this shop work with multigenerational master blacksmiths in Japan to create high-quality cutlery. I also like giving gifts from this shop because I think it’s important now more than ever to support our favorite local businesses.”

Takamura Tsuchime Pro 3-piece Set; $430.

Rebecca Gardner

An event and interior designer and the founder and creative director of Houses & Parties, based in Savannah, Ga. and New York.

“Everyone gets excited about building a tabletop, but it’s also a good idea to first make sure you have essentials for an elegant cocktail party, no matter how small. That way you can entertain without having to wait to have the larger dining table or bigger home. A sterling silver serving tray is a beautiful gift that lasts forever. It can be used for liquor bottles on a bar, a grouping of nibbles in small bowls, to pass drinks when guests arrive, or to serve a cocktail buffet. Choose a simple style that will adapt to changing décor tastes, like clean Art Deco lines.”

Puiforcat Ruban Large Tray; $3,600.

“Nothing says ‘I’m an elegant, married grown-up’ like a set of linen cocktail napkins. They never go out of style and help make any cocktail delicious. They’re an excellent gift in sets of 4 or more and charming to mix and match.”

Houses & Parties Citrus Cocktail Napkins; $186 for set of four.

Olivier Cheng

The owner and founder of Olivier Cheng Catering and Events and an owner and a founder of Destination Home, based in New York.

“One of my favorite tabletop items is the MOOD by Christofle egg-shaped capsule flatware set. I’m obsessed not only with its beauty, but also its utility and surprise factor. I love gifting this because it’s a gorgeous, yet functional décor piece.”

Christofle MOOD silver-plated 24-piece flatware set; $1,510.

“For the couple who loves to cook together, I would say the one thing they need is a classic cast iron skillet. One of my favorites is the Le Creuset Signature skillet. It’s so versatile and can be passed down to future generations.”

Le Creuset 10 ¼” Signature Skillet, $180.

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