When it comes to finding the perfect wedding gift, many people rely on gift registries selected by the engaged couple.  

One Cody resident is not one to follow traditional. Uninterested in garden-variety gifts such as crockpots, dinnerware and home decor, this guest has come up with a novel idea: donate a park bench dedicated to the newlyweds as a wedding gift.

“Typically, it’s something we don’t have a lot of requests for,” Cindy Baker, city clerk, said when introducing the request during a recent city council meeting. 

The Cody citizen intends to keep this gift a surprise until about a week before the wedding when he’ll tell the happy couple about a new bench in City Park installed to recognize and honor them and their marriage. A dedication plaque will go on the bench after the wedding. 

To help maintain secrecy, the Enterprise chose not to share the citizen’s name until after the gift presentation.  

An important step was to obtain city approval to install the bench, and also for the council to accept the donation as city property, which means the city would assume all responsibility for its care, maintenance and repair.

According to the donation agreement, the donation is valued at $1,800, including bench purchase and a concrete pad with Americans With Disabilities access. 

The Cody resident will pay for the bench and coordinate with park staff on its location and installation. 

This is the third donated bench the council has accepted over the past 12 months. 

Last fall, the Wilder family donated a cement and ornate iron bench and paid for its installation in honor of family matriarch Marge Wilder. It sits on the sidewalk next to the Cody Heritage Museum at the corner of 11th and Sheridan. 

The bench honored Marge Wilder on her 90th birthday and commemorates the instrumental role she and her late husband Dick played in turning their vision of a local history museum into reality.  

Last spring a life-sized Buffalo Bill bench sculpture donated to the city was installed at the corner of 12th and Sheridan in front of the Irma Hotel. 

The wedding gift bench is also the third donation added to City Park this year. A music park and bronze statue of an Italian folk singer were dedicated this summer.

The personal nature of this latest donation led Glenn Nielson to ask fellow council members if they worried accepting such a gift would  establish a new precedence.  

“I’m concerned we may end up with more and more things like this,” he said. “Do we just start putting names all over the city that don’t have meaning?”

Following that silence, a motion to accept the donated bench dedicated to the Cody couple was passed unanimously.