Selecting Gifts for your Bridesmaids
A gift list is one of the fun tasks when it comes to planning a wedding, but not all the presents on the day are intended for the bridal couple. It is traditional to thank your mother and mother in law, by giving them an impressive bouquet at the reception. It’s equally important to show your appreciation of the bridesmaids for their support and friendship, both before the wedding and on the day itself, by giving them a small gift or memento.
Modern gifts might be monogrammed kimonos and flip flops for the pre-wedding spa or an engraved cocktail glass for toasting the happy couple. The common theme is that the gift is something to keep and something of value. Traditionally, though, the gift has been jewellery.
Bridesmaids’ Gifts - Etiquette
The guide to etiquette compiled by Debrett’s is the last word in what you should do, say and buy for all occasions. Naturally they have a section to lead you through wedding etiquette, and though weddings are much less formal these days, it makes a good read. On the question of gifts for the bridal party, it says,
The chief bridesmaid should receive something of greater value than the other bridesmaids; jewellery is a popular option.
The presents for the bridal party are usually given out during the groom's speech. If, however, the present is a necklace or earrings that can be worn on the day, then they can be given on the morning of the wedding.
BABY BRIDESMAIDS AND PAGES
Their presents are usually given out during the groom's speech; it is a nice gesture to give them something they can keep for the future.”
Often the bridesmaids are given matching, simple jewellery before the ceremony. They don’t have to be identical - maybe choose something from the same collection for each girl. Anything with a knot motif is a great idea, carrying on the theme of ‘tying the knot’.
Jewellery designer Rosemary Griffin owner of Biba and Rose, says, “A bridesmaid gift is a token of appreciation, a special gift to say thank you. With that in mind, it should be something personal and individual, perhaps something that can be worn on the day, but also something that can be treasured as a keepsake.
“Jewellery is the perfect solution. Pearl jewellery has always been a popular traditional bridesmaids’ gift and now with more modern and bespoke designs available, it is even more popular.”
It’s often possible to find jewellery to match your wedding theme – for example oak leaf pendants to symbolise long life would be appropriate for an autumn wedding. If you’re marrying on a beach, a shell or seahorse might be suitable, and floral themes are always popular. Pearls have long symbolised the purity associated with weddings and, if the budget will stretch to precious stones, you could choose something to match the girls’ dresses.
Jewellery – Points to Consider
- If it’s to be worn on the day, make sure the design is a good match for the bridesmaids’ outfits. A neat pair of earrings might be a better option for dresses with elaborate necklines than necklaces. Alternatively, lariat or longer length necklaces that fall below the neckline work well.
- Jewellery for younger bridesmaids or flower girls needs to be dainty. Hair slides are a good alternative.
- If you do choose earrings – remember to consider whether the girls have pierced ears.
- As with the dresses, choose something your bridesmaids would pick for themselves, otherwise the gift will spend more time in a drawer than being worn. It’s important to think about the personality and interests of the bridesmaids. If in doubt, go for something that will stand the test of time.
Presents need not be expensive. Whatever you choose, include a personal note – short and simple just to say thanks, or a longer note expressing why you chose that person as your bridesmaid and what it means to have their support on this special occasion. This is often the most valued gift of all.
Images kindly provided by:
Biba & Rose