Wedding Party Gifts Are Supposed to Be a Thank You to Your Attendants, Not a Sneaky Way to Dress Everybody Alike!

Happy Saturday to My Readers!

Today’s topic is sort of a preemptory lecture for all of my clients out there, but it’s also very useful guidance for every bride.  The gifts you purchase for your wedding attendants — bridesmaids and groomsmen — are supposed to be thank you presents for the time and energy they are putting into your wedding (not to mention the fortune they have to spend).  It is not an opportunity for the bride to buy matching purses, earrings, necklaces, or other jewelry for your girls so that they match on your wedding day.  This is also not your chance to buy matching shoes for all the groomsmen to wear to the wedding.  Thank you gifts for your attendants should be focused on them — not on your wedding!

By the time most people get married, we’ve already been an attendant in somebody else’s wedding.  You may have already been the recipient of a selfish attendant gift.  God knows I have!  I think I have worn the faux pearl, dangly earrings Deedee gave us for her wedding one time since she got married five years ago — and I think I wore them to dinner at her house.  They are not my style, although they are lovely on someone else.  However, as a bridesmaid gift they were sort of disappointing (I can say this because I’m positive that Deedee does not read my blog and therefore will not have hurt feelings).  On the flip side, the best gift I’ve received was when I was Maid of Honor in Cathy’s wedding and she treated me to a spa day at Elizabeth Arden.

I’m going to assume that all of my readers have gotten the point and that I don’t need to beat a dead horse any further.  So now I’ll move on to giving you some good suggestions of appropriate gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen in your wedding.

Bridesmaids:
— any spa gift certificate (if she lives out of town, consider getting a gift card from Spafinder.com or Cloud9Living.com so that she can use it in her hometown)
— jewelry that is not intended to be worn on the actual wedding day (for example, one bride I know gave silver Tiffany initial pendants on chains to each of her girls, and a gold one to her Maid of Honor)
— any major department store gift certificate
— a Waterford ring holder for her dresser or kitchen (you can never have enough safe places to stash your good jewelry)

Groomsmen:
— a monogrammed grill brand (available at Williams Sonoma and Red Envelope — what could be more manly?)
— monogrammed cuff links (this works for a younger wedding party, but if your guys have each been in five weddings, they have plenty of cuff links)
— a round of golf at a local course (for the big spender)
— a fishing trip on your wedding weekend (something to do on the day of the wedding while the girls are getting pretty)
— an Amazon.com gift certificate

You should spend at least $50-$100 on each attendant.  It’s okay to spend more, but spend evenly (as in, spend the same amount on each bridesmaid/groomsman).  You should spend a little bit more on your Maid of Honor and Best Man.  If you cannot afford to spend that much money on gifts for your attendants, you cannot afford to have that many attendants.  Better to cut down on the bridesmaids than plan to screw them on the gifts.  Let’s not pretend that nobody will notice.  They will.  Even if they don’t say a word to you about it, they will talk amongst themselves.  And they will be right.

Be sure to put the money in your budget for attendant gifts from the very beginning, and then you won’t be surprised when it’s time to pay for them in the end.  In fact, there is no reason you cannot purchase the gifts six or more months ahead of your wedding and stash them in your “to be packed” box until the big day.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques!  Have you started planning your 2011 wedding yet?  It’s time!!!

Sandy

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