Wedding Party Gifts

They've been there for you through good times and bad.

If you're the bride, they've gone with you to find the perfect dress and shoes and graciously helped to make this wedding possible. If you're the groom, they've been your buddies when you needed someone to listen, and maybe they helped you find a tux that saved you from looking like a refugee from a high school prom.

They're your wedding party. And you want to find something special to thank them for all they've already done and will be doing on your wedding day. As with other purchases for your wedding, you need to decide how much you can spend. Remember that the care with which you choose their gifts will mean more to your attendants than actual money spent.

Essential

Wedding gifts for attendants fall into two categories: those they can use on the day of the wedding and those that are everyday, useful items. Deciding on the category is as important as how much you spend.

For Female Attendants

Gifts your bridesmaids can use at the wedding include jewelry, handbags, dressy headbands, and cashmere wraps or chiffon stoles.

For jewelry, you can choose a style of earrings or necklaces (or both) that matches the bridesmaid gowns. Make sure to accommodate bridesmaids who don't have pierced ears.

Bracelets are a little trickier to buy because wrist sizes vary. If you want your bridesmaids to enjoy your gift on an everyday basis, look for jewelry that can be worn with work clothes or casual dress.

Alert

To avoid stoking any gift envy, buy similar items for all members of the wedding party. Spend an equivalent amount on the bridesmaids and groomsmen, then set aside something extra for your honor attendants.

Thoughtful everyday gifts include baskets filled with items for pampering, such as aromatherapy candles, foaming bath salts, fancy bath sponges, manicure sets, a novel to read in the tub, and after-bath body lotion. You can buy ready-made packages or assemble them yourself by choosing items that fit your budget.

A vase is a practical gift that can be used to hold blossoms either at home or the office. Personalize it with a gold or silver craft pen or use a kit to do faux engraving on the glass.

A little frame with a picture of your attendant and you is a nice present from one friend to another. Or you can give small, memorable photo albums.

For Male Attendants

Groomsmen can get some use on the day of the wedding out of a set of cuff links. However, a new tie might be a better choice if you want the recipient to wear it more often. A men's manicure set or small travel bag is also a handy gift. Alcohol-themed gifts like beer-can holders, drinking glasses, pub signs, and flasks are other popular choices.

Essential

Many places that specialize in gifts for wedding attendants offer discounts if you order items in bulk. This is worth considering if you are buying the same gifts for everyone in your entire wedding party.

For Any Attendant

Gift certificates to the local gym, CDs of the wedding and reception music, fancy pen-and-pencil sets, business-card holders, appointment calendars, address books, fancy travel mugs, even a silver-plated computer mouse all make useful gifts.

Then There's Mom and Dad and …

Sometimes the bride and groom buy gifts for their parents and grandparents. A number of companies offer monogrammed handkerchiefs for men and women. You can order double silver frames engraved with “Daddy's Little Girl” to hold a picture of you as a little girl on one side and as a young woman on your wedding day on the other. Handsomely framed pictures of bride or groom with parents or grandparents are always priceless gifts.

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