Sometimes weddings seem like a gift-a-paloza. You have gifts for the engagement party. More gifts for the bride at the bridal shower. Then there are the gifts for the couple at the reception. Then there are gifts to all the guests at the end of the reception. It is an outpouring of generosity. Perhaps the most important gifts are from the bride to her bridesmaids and the maid of honor. Not only is it one of the most important but it also requires some of the most delicate etiquette. But what makes the bridesmaid gifts and the maid of honor gifts so important?
To understand why those gifts are so important you must understand what the bridesmaids and maid of honor are responsible for. For one thing, they must buy a dress that they might have had no say so in choosing and the matching shoes. This is expected to be done without complaint or criticism. They are still responsible for the same types of gifts everyone else is as well so you can see that the monetary cost is already running high. On top of that they are expected to be a liaison between the bride and guests, to answer question that they might have. They are or might be ask for input on anything from the decorations to the catering to the bride’s married name. The last one is a new thing as more and more women opt to keep their maiden name for professional reasons. They are expected to help decorate if asked. After the wedding it doesn’t end. They are expected to dance with the groom’s men to the assigned song and work the receiving line. Finally, they are to act as hostesses for the event. That is a lot for work for something they just paid a lot to do. They have earned a token of gratitude.
Well, they have earned a gift but what should you get them? What is the etiquette? Really, there are no hard and fast rules, only suggestions, guidelines and common sense. Some brides decide to get each of them something different, something that reflects them. That is not a bad idea but you do end up with more shopping and more thought at a time when your mind is racing plus the additional problem of trying to keep them all in the same price range. Many people find that getting everybody the same thing to be a much better idea. If that sounds like something you might want to do you might consider a piece of jewellery that they will wear during the ceremony. A pretty necklace that they can wear again and again has the added advantage of looking nice with all your bridesmaids wearing one.
Now your maid of honor has even greater responsibility during the planning of the wedding and the ceremony. Now if you went with the jewellery you have two options for her gift. You can get her one that is just like the bridesmaids and then an additional gift or a nice one that matches the bridesmaids’ jewellery. As with everything about your wedding the choice is up to you. It is “Your day.”
Gifts are a token of affection and gratitude and your choices should reflect that. You should pass them out when you are all together and as this is such a personal occasion, it is considered good form to add a hand written personal note to each one. It is the sweet thing to do for these women that have been there for you during all this.