Friday, July 8, 2011

Gifts for the Wedding Party

A $225 dress. A shoulder to cry on. A trip to Vegas. Overcoming a fear of public speaking to make a toast. A large bachelor party beer tab. Not only are your bridesmaids and groomsmen responsible for preparation and wedding-day duties, but they also shell out a lot of cash for the many purchases that come with being in a wedding party. Therefore, it is customary to give the members of your wedding party a gift in return for their efforts, support, and financial costs.

When it comes to picking out a gift for your bridesmaids or groomsmen, there is no default or expected gift. This means that you have both the large range of ideas to choose from, as well as the difficult task of picking an appropriate and desired gift. The goal in choosing a gift for members of your wedding party is to pick a gift that fits your budget and means something to you, and also pleases your attendant in a way that they feel appreciated and rewarded.

So, what’s your budget? Of course many bridesmaids would adore a piece of jewelry from Tiffany’s or a plane ticket to the Caribbean, but it is easy to assume that most of us could not afford to dote on our chosen friends and family members with such lavish gifts. Typically, the gift that you give to your bridesmaids will correspond with 1) the budget of your wedding, and 2) the cost of wedding expenses that your wedding party was responsible for. If you have an extremely low-budget wedding, and your wedding party members wore an outfit they already owned, or bought their ensembles from a discount retailer, then they will probably not expect an expensive gift. However, wedding party members may feel disappointed if their participation in your Plaza wedding is rewarded with a cheap, poorly thought out present. Keep in mind that the gift they receive is thanks for the work they put in, and should be chosen after careful consideration of the occasion, the wedding party members, and the costs involved.

Like any other holiday that involves gift giving (Christmas, birthdays, the occasional Flag Day...), giving a gift for a wedding should involve considering the receiver, and if they’ll even like it. In other words, it is not required that you get all of your bridesmaids/groomsmen the same gift. Inside jokes, charm bracelet additions, or hobbies and passions can all be honored.  On the other hand, if you find a gift that each member of your wedding party would adore, buy in bulk!

A gift for a member of the wedding party does not always have to come in a gift-wrapped package. A nice spa day, a boys’ night out on your dime, or something homemade can all be great gifts. As well as that, gifts can often be practical if helping out a friend with wedding expenses. Instead of excluding a bridesmaid because she won’t be able to afford the expensive dress you had in mind, you can chip in to help her pay for the dress as a present. Although her help will support you on your wedding day, being in a wedding party is a huge event for anyone and a great honor. Assistance in paying for expensive wedding items allows him or her to be included, without drying up funds.

Bottom Line: Above all, gifts for the wedding party need to be carefully considered before purchase. Even if all of your bridesmaids or groomsmen are dressed alike, it is not mandatory that they receive the same gift. They were likely chosen based on their unique personalities and the relationships that you share, and so the gifts they receive as thanks should reflect their individuality. Even if you get the same gift for each member of the wedding party, make sure the consistent gifts given are applicable to all. Your wedding party is here for you, so show them how much their support and love means to you on your wedding day.

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