If you're trying to find the perfect presents for your bridesmaids, don't be afraid to think outside the jewelry box. Sure, a simple necklace or bracelet can be a great way to show your thanks, but there are plenty of other options, too. Why not pick different gifts for each girl based on her favorite interests? Whether she's a die-hard design nut or a total foodie, we've come up with some thoughtful, creative ideas to suit all sorts of personalities. Click through to see 24 picks that are sure to please your closest pals.
With the passage of time comes a change in traditions. We know what traditional wedding gift-giving etiquette dictates, but what rules should we go with now? I polled a few hundred SavvySugar readers who chimed in with their preferences for gift-giving etiquette. Here are the results:
You can choose to skip or keep to the registry: Half of the readers say that it's OK to skip the registry, while half say it's not. You know your situation and the couple best, so it's your decision if you wish to skip or stick to the gift registry.
Spend what you can: The majority — 53 percent — think that you should spend what your budget allows for. It's not rude to underspend if your finances can't cover a pricey gift.
You can bring your gifts to the wedding: It's fine to bring your gifts to the wedding, according to readers. Some people feel it's rude to bring gifts to the wedding and saddle the newlyweds with the hassle of transporting their gifts home, but the majority think it's totally fine to do so.
Buying a gift when you're not attending is up to your discretion: It's a tie between people who think you should buy a gift and those who think you don't need to bother with one if you're not attending the wedding. It's up to you and how you feel about the issue and how close you are to the couple.
Gifts should be given on time: Some say that gifts can be sent one year after the wedding, and there are some that say it is bad manners to do so. Readers feel that gifts should be given on time and that guests should avoid the one-year waiting period.
You should always give a gift if you're attending the wedding: If you're going to be at the wedding, 80 percent of readers unanimously agree that you should always, always give a gift.
Do you agree with any of these rules?
We thought we'd seen everything when it came to types of wedding-related goods, but apparently not! For Winter brides looking to stay cozy on their big day, Ugg Australia has released a wedding collection. We never thought we'd see wedding Uggs, but then again, we were also surprised to see wedding Toms. But as weird as the sheepskin bridal shoes may seem, they are far from the strangest wedding product out there. With toilet paper or beer koozies, companies have gotten very creative with their wedding paraphernalia. Check out these offbeat gifts, decorations, and accessories and tell us: do you find them funny and festive, or just plain tacky? Weigh in now!
Wedding season can get a bit pricey if you're attending a couple this Summer. After all, each event requires yet another gift for the happy bride and groom. There are plenty of gift registry rules out there that seem a bit dated and unreasonable for post-recession survivors. Read on to have your say in which rule is still appropriate in this frugal day and age.
Wedding expert Abby Larson, editor and founder of Style Me Pretty, is well-versed in all things bridal. And she's sharing her expertise with us this wedding season with a series of articles on tips and tricks for your big day! First, she helped us out with advice on recycling your wedding, and now she's back with ideas for sentimental wedding favors that will leave a lasting impression on your guests. Abby says, "Whether it's a token of gratitude chosen to represent who you are as a couple, a nod to your family roots, or it's something that truly gives back to the world, the gifts given with meaning will always be treasured the most." We couldn't agree more! Here are nine fun favors that give back, straight from Abby.
My best friend is getting married on a beach about 2,000 miles from where we live, so I'm already spending a good deal of money to stay for the week and see her tie the knot. Since I'm spending so much on the trip, how much should I spend on a wedding gift? Honestly, I won't have much of anything left over by the time I pay for travel. My mom thinks that my presence should be the gift and that I only owe my friend a card. Thoughts?
We've gotten many questions on how much to give newlyweds, and not to mention, the preparties leading up to the big day — engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette party. With too many parties to account for and a never-ending list of things to spend money on, such as the cost of traveling to the wedding (and if you're in the bridal party, the dress, shoes, and accessories — gah!), you need to make sure that your spending doesn't get out of control.
The best way to figure out your expenses for the gifts is to set a budget for the whole wedding and split it up among the different events. Here's what our savvy pal LearnVest had to say about this:
For gifts, determine your gift budget per couple for the wedding season. Once you have this number, Eisinger recommends breaking down the gift budget by these percentages for the events:
Eisinger says the most important thing is to refer again and again to your budget: “Over the course of a year, you’re not thinking about the bigger picture of what you’re spending on a wedding. You’re thinking it’s only $50 this week and $20 this week, but it is actually $100 spread out over a period of time.”
Read on for more great wedding saving tricks from LearnVest.
Once you're invited to an engagement party, you may be facing a gift conundrum. Chances are, the happy couple hasn't yet registered, and even if they have, you may want to save those offerings for the actual big day. Engagement parties are the perfect chance to go with something more thoughtful and personal, whether that be an experience gift or a small, inexpensive present with sentimental value. Here are some ideas!
Give them something useful: After all the money they'll be spending on the wedding, a splurge like a luxe photo album for wedding pics, personalized guestbook, or thank-you cards for after the wedding would be much appreciated.
Help them make their house a home: When a dear friend of mine had an engagement get-together, I got her and her fiancé a pretty and sweet-smelling candle. I knew she had an affinity for mood lighting, but I also knew it'd cozy up their new home together. Pay attention to the little things that mean a lot to the couple but may not make it onto their registry.
Give them one-of-a-kind art: Give the couple something truly personal with a custom portrait of the lovebirds from Etsy or their favorite illustrator. Another idea is to find a cute photo of the couple and turn it into wall art.
Help the bride stay organized: Gift a wedding planning book or a purse-sized planner with a calendar to help give the bride-to-be a jump start on her to-do list. Or you could just give her a pretty journal to jot down her experiences during the lead-up to the wedding.
When it comes to wedding gifts, it's standard to select something practical, like china, off of the registry. However, if the bride and groom are foodies, why not consider presenting them with an awesome culinary experience instead? I've got six scrumptious suggestions that would also make wonderful birthday, anniversary, or Father's Day gifts.
- Gift certificate to a restaurant. Select a fancy restaurant in the couples' home town. Place the gift certificate in a pretty card and write a note suggesting that they enjoy a meal together to celebrate their six-month anniversary. (For those couples who prefer to register for special dinners, you can do so at FoodieRegistry.)
- Cooking classes. There's tons of awesome culinary classes out there, select one that suits the cooking style of the happy couple. If the bride and groom are really into cheese, purchase tickets to a cheese-making class. Likewise, if they're adventurous, present them with passes to a butchery class.
Although there are many that think cold hard cash is a very impersonal gift, you have to admit that it is practical — you know the couple will undoubtedly use it. I'm always discussing with friends what the right amount is to give during a wedding, and the most common answer is $100. Turns out, readers think along the same lines and 45 percent say they spend between $51 to $100.
The next popular choice is spending $101 to $150 with 20 percent of readers saying they give that much to the wedded couple. Then there is the surprisingly generous minority, 11 percent, who say they usually give over $200.
There are of course certain factors you might take into account, such as your relationship with the bride and groom and your budget, but do you think the number sounds about right?