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Bridal Guide: Tips for saying thank you with a gift
Whether your wedding party consists of two people or 12 people, it is tradition to show your appreciation for everyone who participates with a small gift.
Gifts can range from jewelry for the ladies and cufflinks for the gentlemen to something more personal like books or CDs. Here are some tips to assist you in your shopping.
Make a list. Write down the names of everyone in your bridal party--the maid of honor and best man, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the junior bridesmaids and groomsmen, the candlelighters, the flower girl and ringbearer, the ushers, etc. Ideally, you should purchase or make a gift for everyone who takes part in your wedding. If you cannot, you may want to limit the gifts to the main members of the wedding party, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, for example.
Once you know the number of gifts you need to purchase, you can set a budget. Gifts need not be expensive. Setting a limit of $5 to $10 per person will suffice, though, if you wish, you can spend more on select members of your bridal party. If your maid of honor and best man have really gone above and beyond the call of duty, you can purchase them a somewhat more expensive gift. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and create envy among your wedding party. Try to get everyone the same number of gifts in the same price range when at all possible.
With a budget set, you can start thinking about what to buy. You can go the traditional route and select gifts pertaining to your big day--earrings to match the dresses and ties to go with the suits. If at all possible, try to select gifts that will work not only for the wedding but for other events as well. You can go the personal route and select gifts that reflect the recipients’ tastes--a doll for the flower girl and some comic books for the ringbearer. You can go the humorous route and select gag gifts for everyone on your list. You can take the convenient route and purchase gift cards for everyone on your list. You can do away with individual gifts altogether and buy a group gift, such as group passes to a local sporting event or an attraction at your destination wedding.
Once you have some idea of what to buy, you can start the shopping. You can shop almost anywhere for gifts--locally and online. Just remember to take into account any shipping delays and fees involved with purchases online. Don’t be afraid to shop for deals. There’s no harm in saving a buck here and there. You might even save enough to throw a little pizza party for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to get together a few weeks before the big day to hang out, chat and open a few gifts?
Presentation is everything. Wrap the gifts you purchase, attach a handwritten note and find the appropriate time to deliver them. Many brides and grooms choose to hand out gifts at the rehearsal dinner; this works particularly well for gifts intended to be used at the wedding. For other, more personal gifts, especially those that vary widely in price, it might be best to hand those out individually at times convenient to the recipients. Again, you do not want to create envy with your gifts. With any luck, the bridal party will not compare notes.
Selecting the right gifts for your bridal party takes time and thought. Put forth the effort, and the smiling faces will make it all worth it in the end.
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