I am getting married this winter and I have some questions about gifts for my wedding party. Who do you typically give gifts to and how much money should you spend on them? I know you are supposed to give gifts to the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, but what about the flower girls and the parents of the bride and groom?
I am also going to be in a wedding in a few weeks. I am wondering what I should get for the bride and groom? Should you shop off their registry or get them something extravagant or both? I could use any advice that you have for me. Baffled Bride
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Dear Baffled Bride
Gifts for your wedding party are discretionary. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are standing up for you in support of your love for each other - so showing your gratitude through a gift is a customary and sweet gesture that represents your friendship. You could give a traditional gift or come up with something unique and special that you think your wedding party would appreciate.
Some idea's for personalized unisex traditional gifts are: engraved picture frames, letter openers, or flasks. Ties, cuff links and money clips are also useful and easy gifts for men and ring bearers. For the ladies, yo might consider giving jewelry or any type of scarf or accessory for them to wear the day of the wedding.
If you want to get a little bit more creative, make your own CD for them. Better yet; you could buy them iPods with pre-loaded play lists of your favorite songs that you've listened to together. Here are a few more suggestions that I've written about in a past post as well.
Giving gifts to the parents of the bride and groom should act as more of a heartfelt thank you. A good idea is a framed family picture from the wedding day or putting together a wedding album of their own. If you choose to not go the gift route, a thank you note is a must!
To answer the last part of your question, sticking to the engaged couple's registry is not required but can be used as a good guide for ideas. How much money you spend is completely up to what you feel you can afford. Use your judgement and consider how long you have known the couple and how close you are to both of them. Good luck on your big day!