Let's face it, would you want a heavy glass mug with the wedding date of your good friend on it? Or, even your own name on it? How about a piece of jewelry that only matches the bridesmaid dress that you will never wear again? Probably not.
So why are these the gifts that we always give to the wedding party - the best of our friends and family? Wouldn't something more personal be better? But, how to keep your costs low and give a wedding party gift that is meaningful and thought- filled?
I have to be honest with you - I didn't do a really good job of this at our wedding. In fact, it is something that I regret. I gave my bridesmaids jewelry to wear in our wedding - a nice gesture because then they didn't have to pay for it, but still not a real meaningful gift for all of the love and support they gave to me before and during our wedding.
Though it would cost more money, if I could go back and do it over, I would give them the jewelry and a gift from the heart. Sometimes, spending a bit more money can be cost-effective. I would have "saved" myself from feeling bad about this, and to me that is worth quite a bit of money.
So, gifts from the heart....when I think about gifts that I have been given that came from the heart, they were usually one of two things - homemade or a gift that I really wanted or needed. Gifts that are made through the sweat and effort of a person are always from the heart. And, when you take the time to really think about what a person wants or needs - when you put in the thought-effort, your gift will also be from the heart.
My recommendation is that you first think about your own talents. If you are good at drawing or painting, you could make a portrait of each person in your wedding party and give that as a gift. If you are good at baking, you could make cookies, place them in a basket and give them to your wedding party. If you are an expert in computers, you could give each person a certificate for a free computer-rescue or installation (trust me, many people need this). If you are good at knitting you could....well, you get the idea, right? Using your skills is a great way to make a gift from the heart for your bridal party.
If all else fails, or you just don't think you have the talent, I believe that anyone can make unique candles for the females in their bridal party. (Have you ever heard of a woman who didn't like candles?) Just go to your craft store and buy some small-to-medium-sized candles, some glass dishes, and some ribbon or fancy paper. Tie the ribbon around the candle and place it on the glass dish. Or, find a poem that you like and write it on the paper and wrap that around the candle. It really isn't too difficult and I know you can do it!
But, what about those pesky boys? My then-fiance (now husband) gave a really simple, but neat gift to the men in our wedding party. He gave each of his groomsmen a gift certificate to a different store that matched their personality. He had one Best- Buy Friend, one Eddie Bauer Friend, one REI Friend, one Barnes and Noble Friend, and so on. This is a great way to budget your bridal party gifts - you know that everyone will get the same priced gift no matter where it was from. Plus, there was a large chance that each of them really liked and appreciated their gift and were able to get something that they wanted and enjoyed.
So, don't get wedding party gifts based on what everyone gives at weddings. Give gifts that are unique to the personality of the person and from the heart. I think that if you do, your gift will be remembered for years to come, even if it doesn't have your name and wedding date on it.