Wedding Party Gifts

I have a huge family and I am a wedding planner.  I have attended quite literally hundreds of weddings.  As a little girl I was the go to flower girl, and served that lauded function no less than five times.  Oddly enough, though, I’ve only ever been a bridesmaid twice.  (The two experiences were very different, but both helped to shape my vision of what a wedding planner would be.) 

The thing is, being in a wedding, as a flower girl, a bridesmaid, groomsmen, whatever, it requires a large investment.  Generally travel is required.  Bachelor(ette) parties and showers to attend and buy gifts/drinks for.  You have to buy or rent clothing and shoes and sometimes pay to get your hair done.  You’re looking at several hundred to several thousand dollars, all for the honor of being in someone else’s wedding.  That is why it is traditional for the bride and groom to give those people gifts, a little thank you for going to all the trouble of being in someone else’s wedding.  

So we all know that this is tradition.  We also all know that this is a good idea.  What we all are unsure of, is what that gift should be.  I’m not going to lie.  This isn’t an easy thing to know.  First, the bride and groom are also spending an awful lot of money and it’s hard to come up with several hundred more for gifts.  Second, once that money is allocated, what should you buy with it?  You don’t want to buy something that is meaningless, or will end up in a drawer.  Below I’m going to share with you a list of the top five best wedding attendant gifts for the guys and the girls.  Hope this helps!

From the Groom-

Dress socks - More than likely you're going to wear dress socks. Even if you're having a casual wedding, dress socks go with khaki pants and even denim. You know what else? Fun socks make a fun photography group shot. If you want your guys to wear a certain dress sock, why not supply them with it? 

Featured dress socks: Happy Socks Diamond Dress Socks by DSW

Magazine Subscription- Different I know, but hear me out.  Got a buddy that loves fly fishing?  One who’s a civil war buff?  And of course Phil who only cares about craft beer.  It’s hard to give them all a single gift that shows them you love and appreciate them.  With a subscription, each month they will get a reminder in terms of something they care about, of how much you care about them.  (Note- mag subscriptions are usually only like $10, so maybe spring for a cool pair of socks to wear at the wedding too!)

Personalized Toiletry Bag or Dopp Kit- This is one of those items that not every man has, but every man should have.  You’re giving them something that they will use every time they travel, and bonus, it will remind them of you and your wedding.

Featured dopp bag: 'Chapter' Travel Kit by Nordstrom

An Experience- Instead of buying a trinket schedule a time for you and the guys to go play golf, or darts or whatever it is you do, together.  Buy a round.  Make a speech.   Tell them why you chose them to stand up with you on one of the biggest days of your life.  

Custom Ties or Bow Ties- Now, I do know that not everyone wears ties, but that’s precisely why this makes a great wedding gift.  Instead of asking your dudes to buy a $30 tie that they’ll never wear again, gift them that part of the attire for the night.  It’s a weight off their shoulders and they’ll look sharp.  

Featured bowtie: Basketweave Mint Bowtie by Knottytie

From the Bride…

Shoes- if you want your girls to wear something specific, and since you’ve already asked them to purchase a dress, having the accessories be your gift to them is a nice way to ensure what you want while still giving them a nice gift.

Featured shoes: Franco Sarto Anthem Pump by DSW

Jewelry - to compliment the option of shoes above, if you're requiring a specific piece of jewelry that you'd like your bridesmaids to wear, gifting them the necklace and/or earrings is always a nice way to go.

Featured necklace: Riviera Delicate Pendant by Banana Republic

A Clutch- OK, so this is only a good gift if it is cool enough for the girls to take on a night out later, and if you fill it with sweet day of essentials- tissues, lip balm, floss, etc.  It looks great with the overall bridesmaid ensemble and is a great thing to have on hand.

Featured clutch: 'Gamble' Grommet Faux Leather Flap Clutch by Nordstrom

An experience.  Yep.  Same thing as the guys.  What will mean more long run, a thing or that time you guys all went to play frisbee golf and Susan dated the instructor and Jamie joined a league?

Robes.  I know it's kind of a trend right now, but a robe is one of those things that I will wear into the ground, until there are big holes and I lose the belt.  Giving robes is 1. A great photo opportunity, 2. A nice gift that they’ll have for years to come that will remind them of your big day.
Featured Robe: Blue Watercolor Floral Silky Kimono Robe by the Knot Shop