It’s customary to show your gratitude to the wedding party by giving each member a little gift. Let them know you appreciate all the time, money, and aggravation they’ve spent helping to make your wedding day something you’ll all enjoy.
For the Girls
After being on the receiving end of so much giving over the course of your engagement, you may be a little rusty on how to give—but you want to properly thank the gals who have stood by you, tried on countless bridesmaid dresses, listened to you prattle on about your new pots and pans, and have generally been patient, indispensable pals.
Possible gifts for your bridesmaids include these ideas:
• Jewelry (especially something that might complement their dresses for the wedding)
• Date book
• Jewelry box
• Handkerchiefs or silk scarves
• Gift certificates for a restaurant, spa, or boutique
It is most common to give all of the bridesmaids the same gift. If you want to do this but feel that it may seem less personal, you can individualize your gifts by monogramming them, or by giving each woman the same gift in a different color. (The same is true of the men’s gifts.)
Because bridesmaids usually wind up doing the lion’s share of pre- wedding work (compared to the groomsmen, at least), you may want to do a little extra to show your appreciation. Custom once called for the bride to take her attendants out for tea.
Since few people go out for tea anymore, many brides treat their bridesmaids to lunch or dinner several days before the wedding. If you’re getting married in the late afternoon or evening and are feeling exceptionally calm, you can take your bridesmaids out for a nice brunch on the morning of the wedding.
Gifting the Groomsmen
The groom is really in charge of bestowing the gifts on his half of the wedding party, but it won’t hurt to offer some suggestions, particularly if he’s leaning toward buying each of them a case of beer.
Possible (tasteful) gifts include these:
• Money clip
• Date book
• Travel or shaving kit
• Gift certificate to a sporting goods store or restaurant
• Something related to a favorite hobby of each man
You know your friends and family better than anyone else, so with a little thought you should be able to find something suitable for everyone. Don’t forget to get a little something for the children in the wedding party—it’s doubtful that a boy under fourteen would appreciate a shaving kit. Many kids love gift certificates to their favorite toy store.
Don’t Forget Your Parents!
Parents (yours and your groom’s) are often forgotten in this whole gift-giving frenzy, though heaven knows why. Whether they’re providing most of the funds for the wedding, or are simply lending moral support, it’s a nice touch to acknowledge the people who have given you so much already (you know, life and such).
A gift certificate for a weekend getaway (to relieve all the wedding stress) might be just the ticket; they might also enjoy a gift certificate for a nice dinner or a round of golf. Maybe they insist that they don’t need thanks; they love you and they haven’t for one moment thought twice about helping you plan the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. Thank them anyway. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.