Bag Lady and Shopping Siren love a good wedding.
The beautiful dresses. The happy couple. The "awws" when someone giggles/sputters/stops to wipe a tear during the vows.
And then there are the gifts.
Have we ever mentioned in this space that we love shopping for gifts?
Um, we do.
You get the idea.
It's the first thing Bag Lady and Shopping Siren thought of when we heard U.S. Sen. Susan Collins had gotten engaged. Well, that and, "Wow, she looks really happy." Because she positively glowed, a blissfulness rarely seen in a sitting senator. (Though maybe it helped that she was sitting in a hand-crafted Thos. Moser lounge chair at the time of said glow.)
We haven't been invited to the August wedding — a simple oversight, we're sure — but that hasn't stopped us from scoping out would-be gifts. All Maine-made, of course. All worthy of a senator and her new husband . . . or your friend/family member/co-worker, should you be so inclined to honor the happy couple in your life.
Because nothing says love like a gift from the heart.
* Gourmet Baskets, Lewiston, Ella's Chocolates, Lewiston, $40
Since the vague online description notes only a "great variety of chocolates," it's hard to tell exactly what's inside this gift basket. However, the photo shows a lot of tantalizing red boxes. Perfect for the senator because red is her color! Funny, chocolate is ours.
* Sixty-minute hot stone massage, Cloud 9 Day Spa, Lewiston, $90
We're feeling all loose-limbed and relaxed just thinking about it. You should, of course, gift the happy couple two massages, one each. It's unfair to bait newlyweds with something to bicker about.
* 14k Gold Ladies Mountain Ring, Harvest Gold Gallery, Bethel, $875
Stunning yellow gold mountains against a gorgeous rose gold sky. Certainly the senator and her fiance already have their wedding bands picked out, but we couldn't help but suggest this to those couples still in the ring-picking-out stage. We're not sure, but we don't think there's any breach of etiquette if a close friend or family member wants to purchase a wedding band for the bride- and groom-to-be. Just make sure you present it to them before the ceremony. Hide-and-seek is not so much fun when it involves frantically seeking a wedding band that's hidden somewhere among 100 identically wrapped wedding gifts.
* Personalized cursive "Love" napkin ring, Adriot Jewelers via Etsy, Bar Harbor, $12 each
Copper and silver-colored wire intertwined to spell the word "love." Adorable and sweet without being sickeningly so. A set of these beats a crock pot. Every. Time.
* Chine Chaise, Thos. Moser, Lewiston, call for pricing
The seat that helped bring the senator so much apparent joy. Again, we urge, buy two. (Though we're pretty sure "call for pricing" suggests you may want to brace yourself.) We can see pulling these lounge chairs up oceanside, lakeside or, heck, bogside. Ah, Maine in the spring.
* Assorted bags, Sea Bags, Portland, $5-$285
Made from recycled sailboat sails. Our favorites included luggage tags ($5) and shaving kit bag ($40). Send the happy couple sailing off into matrimonial bliss without breaking the bank.
Best find: Hot air balloon ride, Great Falls Balloon Festival, Lewiston, $200 per person
Imagine it: Lewiston-Auburn, sunrise, a champagne toast and a pair of newlyweds wrapped in each other's arms as they float serenely above the treetops. Happy sigh. All marriages should start out this picture-perfect.
Think twice: Not this week. No wedding should start with anyone thinking twice.
Wanted: Your favorite bargain buys of the moment
For a future column we'd love to hear about products you're currently loving that are under $5. Food, accessories, sunblock — the door's wide open. Please drop us a note with the item, its rough cost and the name of store where we can find it locally. Thanks!
Bag Lady and Shopping Siren's true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who love hide-and-seek, frantic or otherwise) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.