We are now counting down to my little brother’s wedding. In T minus 16 days, I’ll be the proud big sister standing with the other bridesmaids watching every moment up close.
When I think back to my wedding, one of those last minute details was personal gifts and thanks yous to those who mattered most: bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, and others who significantly helped in the journey to the day at the altar. If you read my Favors from Friends a great way to Save blogpost then this will be an expansion on my last important note: don’t forget to tell them Thank You!!!
Traditionally brides give their bridesmaids a small gift the day of the wedding usually as everyone is getting ready. It is common for this gift to be jewelry such as earrings, a pendant necklace, or bracelet that the bridesmaids can wear that day.
As you may recall, I had a family friend make bracelets with purple glass beads and a golden clasp for my bridesmaids. These bracelets was casual enough my bridesmaids could wear them again buy classy enough for the wedding.
But you do not have to be traditional and give jewelry. How about some lip gloss, or small sample-size hand lotion? Maybe you can’t budget-in these gifts. You can alway make a small personal keep sake or of course keep it simple and write a thank you card. The gifts are no where near as important to your female friends and family then a personal thank you note recognizing their help in getting you to this significant day.
Luke chose to give out nice hunting knives to his group of Northwestern groomsmen. Although guys are not as apt to write detailed thank you notes, it is a good idea to have something small to recognize they chose to be there for you and to thank them. How about a beer or coffee mug? Sunglasses if it’s a summer wedding?
Or maybe you just want to take some time to get coffee, a beer, or a burger with them before the wedding hits. (Some time other than the bachelor party); low key hang-out which you can do with everyone or each individually.
Ring bearer, Flower Girl gifts
For a kid being in a wedding requires a lot of patience, wearing fancy clothes all day, and a large amount of time spent with grown-ups. So taking the time to thank them for being good is important. I chose to buy my flower girl jewelry from Claire’s: a little costume pearl bracelet set and a necklace.
Again, you do not have to give jewelry. What do little girls like? Bubbles, coloring books, dolls, stuffed animals, get creative!! I did not have a ring bearer but think about giving him small toys like bouncy balls, hot wheel cars (or a cheap version), coloring books, toy dinosaurs etc. Of course remember to buy age appropriate toy!!
I had good friends volunteer to do my hair and another to do my makeup. I knew neither one of them would accept a check for their services. So instead I bought them both gift cards for facials from our esthetician friend. You may have all paying services, but if you have asked a friend to MC, be the DJ, wedding coordinate, take photos/video, or professionally do everyone’s hair/ makeup and they are not getting paid for it-consider at least a 5 dollar Starbucks thank you card.
I gave these thank yous to my helpers the day of the wedding but you can always mail it to them later if you are concerned about them getting lost in the after wedding clean-up.
Mom: (person that helped you plan/coordinate the most)
For me it was important to recognize my Mom. She was my right hand women during the whole engagement process: dealing with my stressed moments and helping me make decisions, stick to a budget, and a timeline. So I bought my mom a ring with amber and amethyst colored stones which she could wear at the wedding.
Your mother may not be your go-to girl. Maybe it is your maid of honor, a sister, a cousin, a roommate, or best friend. Whether you can afford a gift or not taking the time get to coffee or drinks, or just pulling them aside in the middle of pre-wedding events to share your appreciation is important. You know that without them you would have given up on trying to properly get down the aisle and given into the temptation to elope months ago.
In some circles it is also tradition that the night before the wedding the bride and groom give each other a small gift; something simple to say “thank you for getting through the past few months of craziness with me”. After the wedding rehearsal, Luke and I sat in the car for a few quiet moments alone. It is then that I chose to give Luke a card expressing some thoughts I felt more comfortable writing out for him then reading out-loud the next day. With this card came a Princess Bride themed mug that said “mawidge is what bwing us togevver today” and a bag of expresso beans from our favorite coffee shop. He now uses this mug for coffee breaks at work.
Again, these gifts do not have to cost much or anything at all. Maybe it is important you express how you are feeling about your wedding the next day or want to give each other a card that says so. Or maybe it’s important to just have a few minutes together: go on a walk, get coffee or ice cream; something simple, something normal.
The most important thing for all of these people is to express that you are grateful they were apart of your engagement and are there to support you on your wedding day. It doesn’t matter how you express your thankfulness or how much you spend on their gifts-you know how best to tell them thank you.