Gift Giving Guidelines:
The Who, What & When of Wedding Gifts
Whether you're planning a wedding, or attending one, gift-giving plays an important role in the "big day." Here are some guidelines to help answer some questions on this part of the wedding process.
Tips for the Wedding Guest | Tips for the Wedding Couple | Who Should Receive a Gift?
TIPS FOR THE WEDDING GUEST
While it's nice to select something
from the bridal registry, a unique
gift can be just as welcomed.
So you've been invited to a wedding? Are you wondering what to do about the somewhat obligatory gift? Most brides and grooms have signed up with a bridal registry at a local department or specialty store. Does this mean you must select from this list? Not necessarily. While it is nice to help the couple complete their flatware
selection or informal place settings, remember that a unique gift can be just as welcomed.
With the convenience of shopping online, you can now purchase, gift wrap, enclose a personalized gift card and ship a gift to the couple without leaving your home or office.
Some things to keep in mind:
Do not take a gift to the reception. You cannot be guaranteed that the bride and groom will ever see the gift, as there is generally no security at the receptionwith the possible exception of a reception at the home of the couple or a family member.
Gifts can easily be damaged or misplaced. Remember, the last thing on the couple's mind that night will be gathering up gifts. It could easily be left behind. Send the gift to the address on the registry or the RSVP address on the wedding invitation.
Etiquette says that it is a nice gesture to send a gift whether or not you plan on attending.
TIPS FOR THE BRIDE & GROOM:
The bridal party is traditionally at
the top of the list for gift giving
from the bride and groom.
Planning a wedding can be a very time-consuming process. If you're like most couples today, you both work full-time, leaving little time during the week to complete the many details.
Fortunately, many excellent resources are now available online to help you to plan your big day. You can gather ideas for your wedding ceremony and reception location, locate local vendors, read tips from those who have been there, locate online bridal registeries, and purchase gifts for your wedding party.
Giving bridesmaids gifts or groomsmen gifts has long been a custom. After all, these individuals are generally close friends or family members who have given of their time to help make your day special. And taking part in a wedding generally comes with financial responsibilities with the purchase or rental of wedding attire, throwing bridal showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, and travel expenses.
Giving gifts to members of the wedding party is left to the discretion of each couple. There are no set standards on the cost of the gift, nor do all gifts have to be the same. Below are some guidelines to help you decide what is most appropriate for your situation.
WHO SHOULD RECEIVE A GIFT?
The Bride and Groom - One of the oldest wedding-gift traditions is the exchange of gifts between the bride and the groom. While this custom is followed by many couples, it is not mandatory. But why not give each other something that reflects your commitment? It's best to find something that is lasting, and if appropriate,
engrave it with each of your initials and your wedding date. Ideas: A picture frame, a poem, an elegant desk clock, a collectible,jewelry.
- One of the more recent customs is to give a gift to your parents
as a token of appreciation for all they have done in raising
you - and to symbolize your continued ties even though you are
now starting your own family. Ideas: A nicely framed photo from
the wedding, a letter expressing your gratitude, an engravable
of Honor/Bridesmaids - These are the women who will be helping
you with the wedding planning and the actual day. They'll throw
showers/parties for you, take you out to lunch to relax, pick
up your dress from the seamstress, etc. They'll also most likely
be the ones to buy those dresses and dyed shoes that they'll
wear only once. So it is nice to thank them with a small memento.
The Maid of Honor generally receives a gift of greater value,
but this is not mandatory. Ideas: Bud vases, photo frames or
albums, bath oils, crystal bowls, gift baskets, Limoges boxes
or other collectibles, key chains, clocks, some part of their
wedding attire (hair clips, jewelry).
Gifts for flower girls and ring bearers
might include a small collectible, an
toy, or stuffed animal.
Man/Groomsmen/Ushers - These are the guys who will throw
the bachelor party, help you with your tuxedo, help with honeymoon
arrangements, walk family and friends to their seats during
the ceremony, etc. They may travel a long distance to make the
wedding, and will most likely rent their tuxedo to match the
rest of the wedding party. It is therefore a nice gesture to
thank them with a small gift.
The Best Man generally receives
a gift of greater value, but this is not mandatory. Ideas: Desk
clocks, business card holders, photo frames, key chains, pocket
watches, Swiss Army products, high quality pens/pen sets.
and Ring Bearer(s) - These children add a sweet touch to
your wedding ceremony and they are thrilled to be a part of
such a grand event. While they generally do not play a large
part in the planning aspects of the wedding, they do often spend
a lot of time practicing for their "big and important role"
in your wedding.
Afterwards, it is generally customary to give them a small
token of appreciation to commemorate their role in your wedding
day. Ideas: A framed photo of him/her with you on your wedding
day, a small collectible (figurine, box, bowl, etc.), a small
item of jewelry, an age-appropriate toy, a stuffed animal, a hair clip.
who plays a special part in your wedding - Do you have a
special uncle who walked you down the aisle, or a friend who
sang a solo during your ceremony? Anyone who does something
that you find especially touching should receive a token of
appreciation. Ideas: A note expressing your appreciation or
a framed photo from the wedding
OF THE WEDDING PARTY
If you will
be having a large wedding party, it is oftentimes a better idea
to choose two gifts - one for the males and one for the females
- and buy them in bulk. This helps keep costs down (large weddings
can be expensive!) and helps save time. Clocks, pens, key rings
and photo frames all make elegant statements and can be easily
personalized with engraving.
wedding parties, you may opt to select more personalized gifts
for each member of the wedding. Tickets to a local sporting
event are great for the sports fan, while a bottle of a good
vintage wine would be more appropriate for the wine connoisseur.
Generally these people will have played very active roles in
your wedding planning, since they number fewer than in a larger
wedding party. Why not recognize their roles with individualized
on a budget need not worry about breaking the bank when purchasing
gifts for their wedding party. The cost of the gifts is dictated
by what the couple can afford. The adage "It's the thought
that counts" holds true here. A little creativity and thoughtfulness
can go a long way. Write a poem that expresses how you feel
about the individual. Do they like outdoor events? Offer to
take them camping - drive and bring the food. Other ideas include
creative gift baskets, small vases, clocks, and spa items (bath
oils, soaps, etc.). Whatever you chose to do, all gifts for
bridesmaids should be of equal value, all gifts for groomsmen
should be of equal value, etc., whenever possible.
PRESENTATION OF THE GIFTS
Presentation of a gift is almost as important as the gift itself. First,
be sure to enclose a short, personalized note thanking the individual
for the important role he or she played in your wedding and
mention any details that you especially appreciated. Second,
be sure to elegantly wrap the gift. Nice paper, bows, and tissue
paper help to make a nice gift even more charming. Some couples
opt to incorporate the wedding colors into the gift wrap, tissues
you give your wedding party their gifts? Generally, couples
prefer to present the gifts at the rehearsal dinner because
of the intimate setting with your family and closest friends.
Other appropriate times include a small gathering or party for
your wedding party the week before the wedding, or in a private
setting where you can express your gratitude to each participant
About The Author...
de Broissia works for Netique
Gift Boutique, a one-stop internet source for rare, unique
and elegant gifts, including a nice selection of gifts for the
bride and groom and the wedding party. Visit Netique at http://netique.com