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Wedding Party Gift Giving Etiquette

Dear Sugar
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

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

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!

Join The Conversation
dhernand76 dhernand76 10 years
Personalized and engraved flasks are great gifts. sells personalized flasks for only $12.95 a piece.
herbiefrog herbiefrog 10 years
i like the hand written thank you notes withe the words spoken from the heart more valuable than anything you could buy
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
I think jewelry for your bridesmaids is a great idea. Most brides want the bridesmaids to look exactly alike, so just pick out some necklaces that you like. OR you could be like me and just prepare 'pamper baskets' for the girls. I just put together baskets with Victoria Secret sprays and lotions, Facial Mask, Bath beads, candles, and a book. For the guys my husband just took all of his groomsmen out to dinner and had a total guys night on us. As for my flower girl, I took her out and had a girls day with her. We went shopping, I took her and got her a HUGE cookie from The Cookie Co. I got her new earrings to wear in the wedding. Basically just let her have princess day, since she's helping me on mine ;) I didn't do anything for the ring boy, oops. For our parents we got both sets cards and took them out to dinner (separately) ...and I think that's it.
findblancomeow findblancomeow 10 years
one suggestion that i would make is not to give the bridesmaid's something to wear on the wedding day. i have been the recipient of more than a few of these, and it's almost kind of a non-gift in a way, or at least it seems to me, because it's usually jewelry that isn't your taste, that you feel obligated to wear the day of the wedding, and you will never wear again (often not unlike the goofy bridesmaid's dress you end up wearing!) :) if you are going to spend the money to get your attendants a gift, get THEM a gift, don't get them a gift that will probably only be useful for YOUR wedding. sorry, just my two (ten?) cents.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
my mom said something similar to me; "when it die i will leave everything to you. UNLESS you get pregnant before you are married in which case i will leave everything to 'friends of cats'!" i guess that worked too, lol.
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
yea i was lucky .. i dindt pay for a nickel of my wedding. well mine was guaranteed. as long as i can remember my mom said "caroline when you get married ill give you the fairy tail wedding you can only dream of, BUT if you get pregnant before hand ull get married at the JOP in a little grey suit and I wont even but the little grey suit" lol needless to say it worked lol
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
if mine had paid for our wedding i would have hired a sky writer to say thanks, lol. they didn't offer and we didn't ask.
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i gave my parents thank you notes for bothe being wonderful parents thru the years and paying for the weddin :)
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
what is the thank you note to the parents for? is that for them paying for the wedding or their years of love and support, or what? i have never heard of this before. when i got married it was popular to have a part in the ceremony where the mothers of the bride and groom were given a flower or small bouquet, but i didn't really get why that was.
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