Weddings are tremendous undertakings that often require an immense outpouring of time and resources from the family and friends of the happy couple. Yes, it's your day, but sending a thank you gift to the people who helped make your wedding dreams come true can go a long way toward making everyone feel appreciated.
You do not need to send a gift to every friend or family member who attends the ceremony---simple wedding favors, like individually wrapped chocolates or flowers will suffice. But the key people are those who either were integral to the wedding planning or played a special role in the ceremony.
The people who should receive a thank you gift:
The bridal party, including all attendants, such as bridesmaids, groomsmen/ushers, flower girls and ring bearers. Give your maid of honor and best man a special present.
Friends/family members participating in the ceremony, such as by singing, playing an instrument or giving a reading.
The best thank you gifts are personal and meaningful both to the giver and the receiver. Standard gifts for female members of the bridal party might include jewelry meant to be worn at the ceremony. Other traditional gifts include silver flasks for the groomsmen and picture frames for the parents.
While customary gifts are nice, do not let yourself and your partner be limited by them. Choose gifts that are memorable and special, and your loved ones will appreciate the time and effort you spent.
Here are some ideas for interesting thank you gifts that will be remembered long after the wedding day:
Spa Get-Away: Give your bridal party a chance to relax by treating them to a rejuvenating day at a spa. Let the attendants choose their favorite treatment.
Hole in One: Get your friends and family out on the links with a complimentary round of golf. Finish out the day with a round of drinks at the 19th hole.
In Vino, Veritas: Are the members of your bridal party wine lovers? Give her a bottle of your favorite wine and a pair of personalized glasses.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame: If your group includes many sports enthusiasts, get group tickets to a sporting event. This gift does not have to be pricey. Even minor league baseball games can be a lot of fun with your friends.
Be sure to match the gift to the individual. If your best man is a teetotaler, the wine club membership probably will not be appreciated. The message of thanks will more meaningful if the effort is truly personalized.
It is common for gifts to be given at the rehearsal dinner, especially when the gifts are items to be used/worn at the ceremony. However, event gifts, such as spa days or golf games, may happen either before or after the ceremony. If gifts will be given after the ceremony, be sure to acknowledge your friends and family with a special card before the big day.
Remember that no one is in your wedding in the hopes of getting a nice gift. A thank you gift is a symbol of your appreciation for the hard work and support your friends and family are giving to you.