Hi, lovelies! Today we’re talking about bridesmaid gift giving and answering your biggest questions such as why are bridesmaid gifts given, when do you give bridesmaids their gifts, and how do you wrap bridesmaid gifts before you give them as presents?
Plus, the most-asked question on gift giving: how much should you spend on bridesmaid gifts?
The answers to these questions — plus a few key suggestions and tips for bridesmaid gift-giving — are below. Let’s get to it!
Best Tips for Giving Bridesmaid Gifts
Before we get to the rules, let’s talk about why gifts are given, when, and how to package bridesmaid gifts.
Why Does the Bride Give Gifts to Her Bridesmaids?
First, why are bridesmaid gifts given?
A bridesmaid gift is a way to say thank you for being a part of your wedding. When you’re a bridesmaid, you give a lot of time, attention, and money to make the wedding perfect for the bride. This can include helping with the shower, planning the bachelorette party, answering a million questions from the bride, and other costs including a bridesmaid dress, hair, makeup, shoes, and gifts for the shower, bachelorette, and wedding.
(PRO TIP: Save money on bridesmaid dresses, read this post for the best places to shop!)
That’s a lot of work! And it is all done as a labor of love to make your day as wonderful as possible. Giving bridesmaid gifts is a way to show your appreciation for all they do and the support they’ve given you as you begin your marriage.
When Are You Supposed to Give Bridesmaids Gifts?
The best time to give gifts to your bridesmaids is at your rehearsal dinner. If not possible at this time, early in the day prior to the wedding ceremony is perfect. Some brides like to have a bridal suite set up for the wedding party to meet, enjoy brunch, get hair and makeup done, and relax before the ceremony. This is a wonderful time to give gifts, too.
As a general rule of thumb, any gift that is being worn by or used by the bridesmaid on the wedding day itself should be given the morning of the wedding.
For instance, if you’re giving bridesmaid pajamas or robes to wear, or even champagne flutes for toasting, it is easier to give the gifts on the wedding day and have everyone wear them while getting ready, rather than expecting everyone to remember to bring theirs. :)
If a bridesmaid gift is not intended for the wedding day itself, you can give bridesmaids their gifts at the rehearsal dinner.
How Much Should You Spend on Bridesmaid Gifts?
This is a question we are asked a lot, and it can vary with each couple: how much should I spend on bridesmaid gifts? The general rule is to expect to spend $75 to $150 per bridesmaid gift.
– Can you spend less? Of course.
– Can you spend more? Absolutely.
– Is it completely up to you? Yes.
The idea is to give gifts that show your appreciation; it’s not all about the money. The gift, however, should be thoughtful, meaningful, and align with costs they may have incurred.
For instance, if the bridesmaid dress was very expensive, perhaps you give a more luxurious bridesmaid gift (or even cover the cost of the dress, if you are able).
Or if there was a lot of travel involved, consider buying a more elaborate gift.
If you are worried your gift won’t be elaborate enough, don’t worry! A gift is simply that — a gift! — and your friendship isn’t/shouldn’t be based on expensive gifts. Spend what you can afford (here are bridesmaid gifts under $20 so you can buy a few and bundle them together!) to give with your whole heart; pick something that is unique and meaningful.
How Do You Package Bridesmaid Gifts?
How should you wrap up gifts for your bridesmaids? There are a few ways to do it, depending on your own style and budget. When giving any gift, be sure to include a hand-written card with it, whether funny or heartfelt.
– Tote Bag: A tote bag is a reusable bag that can be personalized with her first name or monogram on it. It can be filled up with her bridesmaid gifts and used again for library books, groceries, the beach, or weekend errands.
These tote bags are one great option, as they’re made with eco-friendly burlap and are also water-resistant, with a vegan leather handle. It’s a great size, slightly oversized so she can fit a lot of things inside. By TotesBurlap.
– Personalized Gift Bag: A simple gift bag and some colorful tissue paper are a great option for packaging up your bridesmaid gifts. You can take it one step further with personalized gift bags, like these bridesmaid gift bags we spotted at GoldandGlamour. Just add tissue paper. Voila!
– Overnight Bag / Duffle Bag: You can package smaller gifts for bridesmaids inside the larger gift itself with a travel bag! A personalized weekender or overnight bag is a present she can use for future travels or weekend getaways. We recommend an overnight bag like this or this duffel bag, both fantastic options.
Now that you know the why, when, and how of bridesmaid gift-giving, let’s tackle the rules.
Rule #1: Hand-select a gift for each bridesmaid.
It is essential to hand-select each bridesmaid gift. If you’re buying online, look at reviews of items before buying; understand the store’s return policy before making your purchase. You can, of course, buy the same gift for each bridesmaid (such as robes for getting ready or denim jackets for bridesmaids) if it is something being worn as a group.
If she doesn’t wear jewelry, skip it and gather up other cool gifts to create a tailored present. Think outside the box and opt for fun, unique bridesmaid gifts — like a cool leather strap for her camera, a crossbody bag, chic foldover clutch, a sun hat, a cozy sweatshirt, pair of bridesmaid socks, or a cozy sherpa zip-up for cozy fall or winter nights.
This sherpa is one example: it is a full-zip and features her monogram on it.
Her interests can also help when gift giving: is she crazy about a particular hobby? A bridesmaid gift should (and can!) include her interests.
As one example, if she is an avid reader, consider a custom bookmark or handmade cover for her e-reader. Add a gift card to Barnes & Noble and you’re all set!
If she likes sports, get her a favorite jersey, tickets to an upcoming game, or coveted fangear of her favorite sports team, etc.
Travel Bridesmaid Gifts
Does she like to travel? A custom passport case or personalized luggage tags may be perfect for her, or even a travel-themed gift like this cute “Travel Buddy” necklace (by Wander and Lust Jewelry):
Or think outside the typical scope of luggage tags and go with gifts such as a sleep mask, push-pin travel map, a cute bridesmaid tumbler for daily outings, this clever drawstring makeup bag, or a travel jewelry case — always a welcome gift.
Does she love sailing? Consider a nautical-inspired piece, like this nautical knot bracelet.
You get the idea. Find a gift that suits her and you’re halfway there! Here is a list of bridesmaid gifts that aren’t cheesy to help you pick out one-of-a-kind gifts for your crew.
Rule #2: Pick a bridesmaid gift that is functional.
Not sure on a particular hobby? Consider a gift she can wear again. A custom dressing robe, cozy sweatpants, or a comfy pj set is one such gift. (Plus, bridesmaids can wear ’em for getting ready photos).
These modal jersey jammies are a crowd-favorite; they’re super-soft and comfy! By SSWeddings.
Rule #3: Avoid this big bridesmaid gift mistake.
While popular, gifts that say ‘bridesmaid’ are great for giving to bridesmaids as an additional gift item – not the main gift. This is because a robe, sweatshirt, t-shirt, piece of jewelry, or bag that reads ‘bridesmaid’ will only be used for the wedding or just before; afterward, they most likely won’t use it (and it will just sit in a closet!)
Rule #4: Give all bridesmaids equal gifts in size or value.
The only exception to this rule is the Maid of Honor. Some brides opt to choose a luxury maid of honor gift or spend more since she has an honorary role.
And last but not least…
Rule #5: Include a hand-written card with your gift.
Always include a hand-written card with your gift. Say thank you for standing up in your wedding, be specific about why you value your friendship and be sincere. She’ll love the gift, but she’ll really appreciate your sincerity.
Here is an example of a card, personalized with each bridesmaid’s name, for an extra-special touch. By LeighLouiseCreative.
If you want a bunch of bridesmaid cards without personalization, you can get a multi-pack of cards here at a great price.
And there you have it: the best tips for bridesmaid gift giving! Now you won’t make any mistakes when it comes to surprising your bridal party with presents — you’ll know when to give gifts, where, and how.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comment box below. I hope it helps! :) Also, you can leave a comment about the best bridesmaid gift giving advice you would give… tell us below!