Take a good look around the next time you’re gathered together with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. These are friends you’ll find only once in a lifetime, sisters you’ve shared secrets with, a sister-in-law-to-be who’s become a fast friend, the brother you’ve always admired. Let’s face it: You might not even be headed to the altar at all without this special group. Remember when your college roommate said she had met THE guy for you? Turns out she was right.
And these are the companions who’ve been with you throughout your wedding planning, every step of the way, from celebrating the arrival of a sparkling new engagement ring to addressing invitations to taking time away from work for a long wedding weekend. Now it’s time to say thank-you, not only with a handwritten note that expresses your feelings, but also with a gift that’s worthy of this momentous occasion. It can be presented to your attendants as a group at the rehearsal dinner, or separately at the bachelors’ dinner or bridesmaids’ luncheon.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider this: The perfect bridal party gift shouldn’t break your budget, but it should be chosen with care and reflect your impeccable good taste. Among tried-and-true bridesmaid favorites you’ll find personalized bridesmaids gifts such as silver jewelry boxes, silver lockets, picture frames and key chains. Groomsmen are known to appreciate handy flasks, mugs for their favorite beverage, money clips, watches or stylish cuff links. But what’s the real beauty of these traditional favorites? All are easily engraved and personalized, for the absolutely perfect finishing touch. Nothing says “I care” or “I couldn’t have done it without you” like a gift that you’ve taken the time to personalize.
Incorporating a cherished friend’s name or monogram, or even your wedding date as a happy reminder of time spent together, makes their gift even more of a treasure. If you’re feeling poetic, compose a sentimental message of your own for each gift that includes something personal about the recipient. The lucky attendant on the receiving end is sure to be touched by the extra time and effort you’ve put into enhancing a special token of your affection.
Once you’ve selected the gifts for those who’ll stand by you on the big day, devote some time to that all-important gift for the one you’re about to wed. Chances are, you’re about to marry your best friend, and your gifts to each other should say just that. They need not be extravagant, simply heartfelt. Elegant trinket boxes (to hold a special piece of jewelry, naturally!) can be beautifully engraved, or you can personalize a watch or sentimental locket with a romantic message or simply your one-and-only wedding date. At a loss for words? Try something as concise as “Forever Yours,” “I Give You My Heart,” or “Now We Are One.” When you’re thinking about personalized gifts, don’t forget to seal your promise of happily-ever-after by engraving a special sentiment inside both of your wedding bands, too. Ask the jeweler to add your names, your wedding date or a short verse you both love. After all, this is about forever, so say just that in the ring that symbolizes your new married status.
Last but not least, set aside some quiet time right before your wedding – when last-minute decisions may be overwhelming and you need a reminder of why you became engaged in the first place – to present your gifts to each other. Enclose a love note that recounts the day you met or the moment when he first said “I love you,” or write a few verses of a favorite poem to accompany the gift that’s sure to become a keepsake for life.