By Shannon McCarthy
It’s a longstanding tradition to give a token of thanks to the people who helped you get hitched without a hitch. Find presents for bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, parents and even thoughtful little gifts for guests, right here.
The best weddings are a celebration of the two individuals bringing their lives together, and while the bride and groom are understandably the focus, what makes their marriage vows even more touching are the friends and family gathered to witness their pledge of devotion. These folks are often an integral part of the ceremony as well. How should you thank your loved ones? Read on for gifts that express gracious gratitude.
Bridesmaid Gifts: Girl Power
The best thank you gifts for a bride’s bevy of girlfriends run the gamut from casually cute to elegantly delicate. Personalized totes, such as budget-friendly cotton canvas versions or pricier leather bags, can be gifted on their own or filled with extra trinkets: Tuck a Bridesmaid Survival Kit inside for one-stop stress relief. Specialized photo frames come branded with the word “bridesmaid,” while others can be etched with her name or initials (personalizing a gift means you can buy everyone the same item, yet still add a personal touch for each recipient). Engraved glass photo vases multitask beautifully, while monogrammed cashmere scarfs can be given to all, or perhaps saved as a special gift just for the maid of honor. Other popular gift picks include glass jewelry boxes, makeup brush and pouch sets and candles.
Groomsmen Gifts: Include the Dudes
As with that matrimonial gathering of gals, if you’re buying the same gift for your gang of guys, personalizing the presents will show you went the extra mile. Think: monogrammed flasks or flask sets, engraved charging stations, or cuff link and tie clip sets etched with their initials. Even practical gifts like backpack coolers and travel mugs can be emblazoned with the groomsmen’s names. A classic gift for the masculine side of the wedding party is a macho multi-tool, and, of course, these can be personalized as well. Engraved sets of pilsner-style beer glasses are a great choice, especially if you include the dude’s favorite brew to christen them with. Our pick for the most unique groomsmen gift is a hit with grillmasters: Personalized steak branding irons make the hottest initial impression.
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Gifts: Thanks a Tot
The youngest members of the wedding party deserve a little something for adding that all-important cute factor to the proceedings. Popular flower girl gifts include silver-plated jewelry boxes in heart and star shapes, a miniature-sized pearl jewelry set, or initial necklaces with flower motifs symbolizing her place in the ceremony. Ring bearers will be happy with a racecar or tractor bank, especially if you add lots of loose change ahead of time. Books written especially for the ring bearer or flower girl are a multi-purpose gift: given pre-ceremony, they both inspire and instruct your small charges in their duties, and pay tribute to their place in the wedding. If you’re going really young with your junior attendants (say, pre-reading age), plush toys fill the bill. Personalized Plush Pals or other wedding-themed teddy bears or stuffed animals will be a huggable hit.
Parent Gifts: All in the Family
Thank the matriarchs and patriarchs of the two families with gifts from the heart. The most sweetly symbolic is a double invitation frame made to hold a photo of the bride and groom on one side, and a copy of the wedding invite on the other. (Some fancier versions feature an engraving of the invitation in place of a paper copy.) More specific “father of the bride” and “mother of the bride” frames are also on offer, as are “my daughter’s wedding” and “my son’s wedding” photo albums to commemorate the day. Engraved bud vases for moms, or a golf flask for dads, are useful presents. Monogrammed robes are an indulgent double gift for both Mom and Dad, as are a set of personalized hand-painted wine glasses, or a cutting board, serving tray, or set of coasters bearing their monogram.
Guest Gifts: Do Me a Favor
The “welcome bag” is a well-known wedding tradition, and it’s a thoughtful present for both out-of-town and local guests. What you decide to load it with is up to your wedding theme, your budget and whether the ceremony will be a casual affair, all-out luxe or somewhere in between. You’ve got thousands of options to choose from, as wedding favors, tiny treats and token gifts abound. Choose simple bags and tissue paper for wrapping, or make the container part of the gift with more elaborate fabric or leather totes that guests can re-use. Design your own labels to mark the day and present personalized water bottles, mint tins, filled candy jars, small snacks, pens, note cards, even silver-plated engravable luggage tags: If you can imagine it, it’s likely available as a wedding favor.