Is it bad etiquette not to give gifts to the wedding party?

February 13, 2013 | By
wedding ring holder for men
by Lodigs

Question by Sheena: Is it bad etiquette not to give gifts to the wedding party?
I am having a wedding in a year and my husband and I are trying to keep the budget down. It's gonna be mostly family and close friends in the wedding and I know they know about our financial situation. If we didn't get them gifts they probably wouldn't care but i think i would feel bad about it. Let me know !!

Best answer:

Answer by beautiful623
I think that there can be other ways of giving them a gift. I myself am also getting married on a budget. I was given the idea by my future sister-in-law to buy the girls in my wedding their jewelry to be worn in the wedding and for the groomsmen, to either rent their tux for them or purchase something small and personal to each. If they all know your situation they should understand and just be honored to be a part of your day. Congratulations!

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Comments (19)

  1. Married Goddess

    Yes, you must give gifts to the members of your bridal party – to thank them for being in it.

  2. Sara B

    If you’re expecting your wedding party to buy their own dresses and rent their own tuxes, it is nice to give the girls a necklace or some small token of appreciation and the guys something small. It is just meant to be a token. If you pay for their dresses and tuxes, then you don’t really have to give them anything.

    If you aren’t having a big fancy wedding, though I’m sure your wedding party would understand about not getting gifts.

  3. McyD

    You should give them something. Give your bridesmaids jewelry that they wear in your wedding. You could find something like that at Walmart. The guys you could give a beer pilsner or something like that. You could probably find them at Walmart as well.

    Good luck!

  4. pinkdenial

    Yes, its very bad ettiquette to not give them gifts. Considering that they are purchasing/renting their own outfits, buying accessories, making travel arrangements, booking their own hotel rooms, etc., they deserve at least a small gift.

    Why not make them something? Or check out jessicaswedding.com, they have good gifts like keychains for not much money at all. Then, just add a nice handwritten card of thanks.

  5. kevinswheat

    Maid of Honor/Bridesmaids – These are the women who will be helping you with the wedding planning and the actual day. They’ll throw showers/parties for you, take you out to lunch to relax, pick up your dress from the seamstress, etc. They’ll also most likely be the ones to buy those dresses and dyed shoes that they’ll wear only once. So it is nice to thank them with a small memento. The Maid of Honor generally receives a gift of greater value, but this is not mandatory. Ideas: Bud vases, photo frames or albums, bath oils, crystal bowls, gift baskets, Limoges boxes or other collectibles, key chains, clocks, some part of their wedding attire (hair clips, jewelry).

    Best Man/Groomsmen/Ushers – These are the guys who will throw the bachelor party, help you with your tuxedo, help with honeymoon arrangements, walk family and friends to their seats during the ceremony, etc. They may travel a long distance to make the wedding, and will most likely rent their tuxedo to match the rest of the wedding party. It is therefore a nice gesture to thank them with a small gift. The Best Man generally receives a gift of greater value, but this is not mandatory. Ideas: Desk clocks, business card holders, photo frames, key chains, pocket watches, Swiss Army products, high quality pens/pen sets.

    Flowergirl(s)/Ring Bearer(s) – These children add a sweet touch to your wedding ceremony and they are thrilled to be a part of such a grand event. While they generally do not play a large part in the planning aspects of the wedding, they do often spend a lot of time practicing for their “big and important role” in your wedding. It is generally customary to give them a small token of appreciation to commemorate their role in your wedding day. Ideas: A framed photo of him/her with you on your wedding day, a small collectible (figurine, box, bowl, etc.), a small item of jewelry, a stuffed animal, a hair clip.

    Anyone who plays a special part in your wedding – Do you have a special uncle who walked you down the aisle, or a friend who sang a solo during your ceremony? Anyone who does something that you find especially touching should receive a token of appreciation. Ideas: A note expressing your appreciation or a framed photo from the wedding

    SIZE OF THE WEDDING PARTY
    If you will be having a large wedding party, it is oftentimes a better idea to choose two gifts – one for the males and one for the females – and buy them in bulk. This helps keep costs down (large weddings can be expensive!) and helps save time. Clocks, pens, key rings and photo frames all make elegant statements and can be easily personalized with engraving.

    For smaller wedding parties, you may opt to select more personalized gifts for each member of the wedding. Tickets to a local sporting event are great for the sports fan, while a bottle of a good vintage wine would be more appropriate for the wine connoisseur. Generally these people will have played very active roles in your wedding planning, since they number fewer than in a larger wedding party. Why not recognize their roles with individualized gifts?

    COST OF WEDDING GIFTS
    Couples on a budget need not worry about breaking the bank when purchasing gifts for their wedding party. The cost of the gifts is dictated by what the couple can afford. The adage “It’s the thought that counts” holds true here. A little creativity and thoughtfulness can go a long way. Write a poem that expresses how you feel about the individual. Do they like outdoor events? Offer to take them camping – drive and bring the food. Other ideas include creative gift baskets, small vases, clocks, and spa items (bath oils, soaps, etc.). Whatever you chose to do, all gifts for bridesmaids should be of equal value, all gifts for groomsmen should be of equal value, etc., whenever possible.

    PRESENTATION OF THE WEDDING GIFTS
    Presentation of a gift is almost as important as the gift itself. First, be sure to enclose a short, personalized note thanking the individual for the important role he or she played in your wedding and mention any details that you especially appreciated. Second, be sure to elegantly wrap the gift. Nice paper, bows, and tissue paper help to make a nice gift even more charming. Some couples opt to incorporate the wedding colors into the gift wrap, tissues and bows.

  6. Bitter

    You should give them something. Do you know one of them likes to write? Consider getting them a nice journal. Think about each person in your party and do things that aren’t terribly expensive. I’m sure a movie buff would appreciate a gift card to the movie theatre so they don’t have to spend that $ 10 or 12 bucks the next time a new release opens that they want to see. If you can’t swing even $ 20 or $ 25 a person, consider throwing a nice brides maid’s luncheon, and have your groom do something for the guys. The luncheon is tradition, but most brides don’t do it. If you make the girls a nice lunch with just the party, and have girl chat, they’ll appreciate spending the time with you.

  7. blonde_mama

    If they are all family and close friends and are aware of your financial situation, as you say, then I don’t think they would probably mind not receiving a gift. But a thank you would definitely still be in order… perhaps a heart-felt, well thought out, handwritten note to each individual would be enough for them to feel that their efforts have been acknowledged and appreciated.

    Or perhaps you could simply purchase inexpensive (but thoughtful) gifts… such as a $ 25.00 engraved mirrored compact for the ladies and an inexpensive flask or beer stein engraved (or not) for the male attendants. It doesn’t have to be a pricey gift… and if you aren’t having your wedding for a year then you probably have time to budget for it if you’d like too. You can also keep an eye on sales and grab things on clearance that seem like they would be appropriate gifts…

    Best wishes and congratulations on the forthcoming nuptials!

  8. yums

    read tip and articles on weddings that will help you on this site

  9. christy b

    my brother just got married in october of last year and i was in it as well as my daughter and husband and we my daughter and i got a gift certificate to get our hair done the day of the wedding and my husband got a 25 dollar gift card to bass pro and a cigar something him and my brother enjoy doing so don’t go all out just remember they are probably in your situation and will understand good luck and congratulations

  10. cass

    We were on a budget also. I bought my bridesmaids and maid of honor an initial necklace and flowers on a comb for their hair. My husband bought his groomsmen gifts that were under 20.00 each, not all the same but suited to their likes.

  11. Nat the Brat

    If you are on a budget then make something for everyone. For yoru family and wedding party you can always give them a gift after the wedding as a thank you, when you might be able to afford it then.

  12. Ex-Patriot

    Ok, I must be out of the loop here but I´ve NEVER heard of the bride and groom giving gifts to the wedding party. Isn´t it enough that you´re paying for the food, cake, music, etc? Thank you cards should do just fine.

  13. TN girl

    you need to give them something, it doesn’t have to be anything big. i’m gettting married on a budget too. i’m going to buy a little scrapbook for each of my 3 bridesmaids and for our mothers and put pictures of all of us in them, it will not cost much, but it will be special. as for the guys, i dont know what i’m doing yet.

  14. maria b

    I think you are somewhat wrong—they probably will care. That’s just human nature. I had friends show up at my wedding—and then not send a gift. I am still friends with them, but yes–that was odd, come to my wedding—and no gift. I brushed it off, then another friend who got married a couple years earlier happen to ask me if I got a gift from our friend. Later revealing she did not receive a gift either. My point is, that we are human. This is how we think.

    Anyway, it may just seem like all they have to do is show up. But, your bridesmaids and groomsmen are doing a lot to be in your wedding. And so are others like parents…and good friends of the family. First of all, they are buying or renting attire, shoppig for these things…then they need shoes….etc. Then they take time to help plan showers parties…and show up. Rehearsal dinner,the day of the wedding. Getting hair, nails done…etc. Yes, you need to thank them. My husband and I paid for our wedding, and we tried to stay on a budget. But that is one expense you don’t want to cut. I did like another bride and bought jewelry for each girl. My girls were wearing the same color dresses, different styles—and I found a necklace and earring set to match each girl’s style. My husband was wearing navy linen jackets—and so were his groomsman. Under, they wore white shirts and khaki pants (anything they could have had at home)…and we bought matching jerry garcia ties. We spent about $ 50 for each. In the scheme of things, what’s another $ 250 in order to appreciate and say thank you to your friends and family. I also gave two of my girls that went the extra mile to help plan some things in my old home town—we were living 1300 miles away. I gave them gift certificates to a day spa. To use for their nails…etc. You aren’t the first or the last person to be on a budget for your wedding. Cut corners in other areas—not your friends.

    For ex, flowers are a huge expense. I didn’t need a huge bouquet—I am petite. So, I ordered mine to be the size of a bridesmaid, and my bridesmaids got a jr bridesmaid size. they were actually happy about it—it wasn’t bulky. Also, no flowers at the church. A church is beautiful enough.

    Good Luck!!

  15. CCL

    I agree with everyone who suggested either buying them their jewelry or some other small token of appreciation. If you’re crafty or know someone who is, making them a gift could save you some money. And, they’ll always have it as a remembrance of your special day. Good luck!

  16. FaZizzle

    You don’t have to get them something huge. It is nice to get them SOMETHING. Make it if you like.

    Just thank them in some way.

  17. Go Cats

    I would do something for them, a card thanking them for sharing this moment with you two. Something, I don’t think anyone expects a present, but maybe you can be creative and think of something to give them.

  18. michiganwife

    Thats horrible etiquette. Find some cheap jewlary at target that you will want them to wear and give it to them. Thats like not sending thank you cards!

  19. etiquettegal

    You don’t technically have to purchase them a gift– a nice expressive thank you note would be sufficient, but…

    Can’t you get them each a little something? Even if it is a two-dollar photo frame with a pic of you and the individual person inside– that’s a sentimental and non-expensive gift.

    I’m on a super tight budget too, but there are options you can figure out without dropping down to nothing at all, for gifts.