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Gifting Your Bridal Party

122013-bridesmaids-02They’ve been there for you through the thick and thin of your wedding planning – from excitement over your engagement to parties to shopping, planning, and maybe even a little drama. They’re your bridal party, and whether they’re new friends or buddies from childhood, it’s important to say thank you to them before your big day.

Brides and grooms traditionally do this by giving each member of the bridal party a gift. What should you give, when should you give it, and how much you should spend? Keep reading for the ins and outs of giving gifts to your bridal party.

What should I give?

It goes without saying that yes, you should give your bridal party thank you gifts. This includes bridesmaids and groomsmen, maid/matron of honor, and best man as well as the smallest members of your bridal party: junior bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearers. It also doesn’t hurt to give a little token of appreciation to those you’ve asked to be ushers and readers.

But what should to give? Traditional gifts include:

  • Jewelry that matches the girls’ gowns
  • A handbag that matches the girls’ gowns
  • Engraved flasks
  • Cuff links
  • Money clips or wallets

If you’re giving one of these gifts, consider whether it is timeless and re-useable. Can the jewelry be worn with other outfits? Is the bag multipurpose so that it doesn’t look too formal or like a wedding purse? Do your guys already have money clips or wallets they love? A gift that will collect dust isn’t really a gift at all.

Instead, it’s better to think about each person and her or her interests and hobbies. There’s no rule that says you have to give everyone the same thing. Each person will know you purchased the gift with them in mind. Not sure what to give? Watch our blog – we’ll be posting creative ideas for guys and girls over the next couple of weeks!

How much should I spend?

The cost of bridal party gifts should be part of your larger wedding day budget. Don’t let this cost surprise you! Include it when you plan how much you’re going to spend.

How much you spend depends on your budget and what you’re asking your bridal party to spend. Is the dress or tuxedo expensive? Do they also need to buy shoes and accessories? Will travel to the wedding and other related parties (like showers) be expected? A $25 gift might look cheap if you’re expecting your bridal party to spend hundreds of dollars on your wedding. As a general rule, most couples spend $50-$150 per bridal party member. You’ll spend more on the maid/matron of honor and best man, and you’ll spend less on minor players like ushers and readers.

When should I give the gifts?

When you give your gifts is up to you, but most couples choose to do it at the rehearsal dinner when everyone is gathered together. Make a toast of thanks to your bridal party, and present them with your gifts. If that’s not your style, other couples give the gifts at a luncheon or brunch the day of the wedding. Just make sure you vocalize your appreciation to your bridal party.

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