One of the first things people think of when they see wedding is GIFTS in big, bold letters. Whether it’s your guests gifting you and your betrothed or you gifting the people who stood up there with you while you took your vows, we go through it all.
From you to them:
Giving a gift to your bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents (plus your in-laws) is pretty customary and is very open to what your style is.
The bridal party: For bridesmaids, it often makes sense to give them some sort of jewelry that they can wear the day of (since you’ll likely be gifting them the morning of the wedding), but it can also be some sort of token to mark the day and how they’ve supported you, complete with a heartfelt note or card. For the groomsmen, it can be a bit more difficult since dudes generally don’t get excited about shiny things, but things like cuff links or money clips are both easy and practical gifts. If you want to get extra fancy, gift the guys some engraved flasks (because who doesn’t want a flask?).
The family: What do you give your mom, dad and future in-laws? At the very least offer them a nice, handwritten note or card, thanking them for everything. Especially to your future MIL and FIL, make sure to take a second and show your gratitude for raising the person you’re going to marry, ensuring you include how you plan to spend your life making him as happy as he makes you. If you want some tactical options, jewelry and framed photos are all great options, but you know your family best. Don’t forget to thank anyone else who was directly involved, whether it was your sister doing a reading at the church or your brother walking you down the aisle (like mine).
The guests: Favours are a very personal thing to do for your guests and can range from something super simple to super sweet (literally”we’re talking candy and chocolate here) to something practical (or impractical”I’ve been to those weddings, too). You can DIY your favours or order them”but whatever you do, it should be something that represents you as a couple and is at least semi-practical for your guests (shoutout to my friends who got hitched last summer and gifted the best jars of honey I’ve ever tasted!). The alternative to giving gifts is taking the budget you would typically allot to gifts and donating it to a cause near to your heart instead.
The groom: Okay, so you marrying him is kinda gift enough, but it’s not unheard of to sneak something over to your betrothed. Often, brides will gift their grooms a nice watch, while others go for the more personal gift of boudoir photos. We’re sure both are a hit!
From them to you:
Wedding gifts can be hella awkard, especially if you’re not registering for actual gifts. In this day and age, if you’ve moved out of your parents’ house (and have been living with your fiancé© for any amount of time), chances are you don’t need stuff (or, in my case, have no more room for any more appliances in my already full condo) but actually could do with some extra cash instead. Whether you’re using the money to help chip away at wedding costs, buy a bigger home for those small humans that often come after the wedding or are hoping for an indulgent once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, money is often the best option for newlyweds. But, how do you ask for that?
Struggling with how to approach this myself, I did some asking around. For a lot of European (Italian) weddings, money is a given so you don’t really need to put anything on the invitations, but for some people, it’s not the norm. The best way to tackle it on the invitations: don’t ask for cash, tell people what you’re working towards instead. I asked my MoH who asked her mom (these two have rapidly become the go-to for all things wedding etiquette”thanks KB and Mama B!) offered up a really great example:
The best wedding gift we can imagine is getting married surrounded by the people we love. That said, if you’d like to give us a hand with married life, we are saving for our dream honeymoon”two weeks in Bali.
Simple and sincere, this lets people know that you have all the kitchen gadgets you need. Some people may still bring something other than money, and that’s fine”the gifts really don’t matter if the people you care about are there!
The Wedding Planner is an ongoing series where we give you some real-life wedding planning advice, from finding the dress to dealing with that ever-growing guest list, over the next few months as we figure it out ourselves.