Saturday, March 9, 2013

Who Gets a Wedding Gift?

As your wedding draws near, you've undoubtedly felt a glimmer of anticipation at the thought of the mountain of gifts you are likely to receive from guests and well-wishers on your wedding day. Kind of makes you feel like a kid at Christmas time, no?

But what about all those fine folks to whom you, as the bride and groom, need to give gifts? Yes, that's right - in case you've forgotten, apart from being the recipient of gifts as your wedding approaches, proper etiquette requires that you'll need to give a few, too.

Put your most gracious foot forward and show your appreciation to every individual who deserves it with a clear-cut gift giving guide. Read on to ensure that you don't overlook anyone who should be on your gift list. And if you start feeling a little frustrated and exhausted at the mere thought of having to shop for gifts, worry not -- I've got some excellent tips and ideas which will take the guess work out of gift giving, making it much easier than you likely ever imagined it could be.

Who Gets a Gift?


Tradition requires that you acknowledge each of your bridal party attendants with a thoughtful gift of appreciation for their time, effort, and participation. This means you will need to purchase gifts for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, honor attendants, flower girl, ring bearer, page boys if you have them, junior bridesmaids, and anyone else who is part of the bridal party. Remember that the members of your bridal party incur costs, invest time, and sometimes even work hard to be a part of your wedding - a gracious bride and groom knows to treat them with kindness and gratitude.


Unfortunately, in this busy hustle bustle world, more and more couples are forgetting about a very special set of people who are very deserving of gifts of love and appreciation on the wedding day - their parents! Children of all ages sometimes have a habit of taking their parents for granted and failing to appreciate them. Regrettably, many couples make this same mistake even at a time as special as a wedding. It is traditional to present your parents with a gift of appreciation on, or very near, your wedding day - and it is also an important show of consideration and respect. Don't be neglectful - honor them with a gift which communicates the affection you feel for them, and let's them know that they remain an important part of your world, even now, that you are all grown up and starting a brand new life as a married person.

Hosts / Hostesses of Parties & Showers

Good manners require you to present a gift of appreciation to any individual who has been thoughtful, gracious, and generous enough to host a celebration in your honor. This includes events like engagement parties and bridal showers, as well as any other gathering at which you are the honored guests. You can approach this in one of two ways: Bring along a gift to present to the host/hostess either when you arrive at the event, at some point during the festivities, or at the conclusion of the celebration; or, send a gift, along with a note of thanks, immediately following the party or shower (no later than one week after). Either way, be sure to verbally thank your host/hostess for his or her hospitality and kindness on the day of the event as well.

Special Helpers

At any wedding, there are bound to be people who have gone out of their way to provide their assistance, or who have given generously of themselves, either at your request, or without ever being asked. Of course, we are not referring to hired service providers who are being paid, but rather, to Aunt Sally who insisted on baking your wedding cake. Or your crafty cousin Katie who enthusiastically agreed to help make your bouquets and floral decorations. Or your mother's best friend Maimie who offered to arrive at the reception hall hours before the event in order to put her decorating talents to good use. These helpful souls are all well deserving of an expression of your appreciation, so select a special gift to let them know their effort and kindness has not gone un-noticed.

Special Guests

You may have certain extra-special guests at your wedding who have earned this title either because they have put in considerable effort to be in attendance, or because they hold a very special place in your life or in your heart. It may be fitting to express your fondness for them by honoring them on this very special day, just as you will do for your parents. Your old room mate and her husband from Detroit, who have driven 2000 miles in sweltering July heat, may be worthy of a welcome gift when they arrive. Think along the lines of a gift basket or a bottle of wine. A childhood nanny who holds a special spot in your heart, a special aunt or uncle, Godparent, or grandparent.... All of precious people may be worthy of a gift which says "you matter" on this important right of passage in your life.

Wedding Guests

Wedding guests get gifts too? You bet! They're called favors, and they are small token gifts traditionally given by the bride and groom to say "thanks for taking the time out of your busy lives to be here on our wedding day!".

Last But Not Least...Each other!

Had you thought of that? Don't feel bad if it hadn't occurred to you - sometimes we are all so oblivious to the obvious! It's not uncommon for couples to get so caught up in all of the "ins and outs" of wedding planning, that they forget this is a gift-giving occasion to be shared by the two of them!

But then, the big question... What in heaven's name do you get for the love of your life on this most important of all occasions? Many brides and grooms struggle with this very dilemma. Of course, it has to be something extra special... and very romantic... but somehow the ideas just don't seem to flow.

Your gifts to one another should be of a very long lasting nature - something with solid 'keepsake' value. A pair of socks or some kitchen gadget may be fine beneath the Christmas tree, but you'll want to shoot for something with a little more impact on your wedding day.