Wedding Wednesday- Final Thoughts on Gift- Giving

by - Saturday, September 22, 2012

Alright, one of the other things I couldn't really talk about during the process of preparing for the wedding was gift giving! This, to me, is a very important part of any event, because I just genuinely love giving presents. I feel like it gives me an opportunity to show people how much we love/ appreciate them, so we spent a lot of time/ discussion on what would be a good gift to give. 

As a bridesmaid, you basically always get the same gift- the jewelry you wear for the wedding.

 I tried to get them jewelry that was really cool and special- I bought them from Jennifer Jones Jewelry on Etsy ( you can find her shop here- The ones for our wedding were in all of our colors and had all sorts of neat vintage earrings on them. I felt kind of torn about them once I got them, because they were so my style and not the girls, necessarily, but I think they liked them. I had spent a long time deciding which bracelet for which girl, and at least my sister-in-law Elizabeth wanted to know why I picked hers for her, so that kind of curiosity was fun.

I would highly recommend Etsy to brides who are looking for cool original jewelry that perfectly matches the style of their wedding. We were going for a kind of light late 40's/ 50's feels for our bridal party, so I went with these big retro looking studs for their earrings. I found them at a wide variety of stores, almost all of whom were pleasant and easy to deal with. Every girl got different flowers for their ears, and I think they were a nice simple foil to the otherwise kind of busy get ups. Plus, I figured that the earrings might actually be wearable again, even if the bracelet wasn't.

My mom and I had decided that we would pay for the girls' hair, so that pretty much ate up the bridesmaid budgets, but the boys were getting such a fun gift that I wanted to get the girls something fun too! So I had the idea, thanks to think geek, to get them all weird cookie cutters (the original idea was to get them all ninjabread cookie cutters like the top picture!). I decided that since many of them are more functional adults than I am, I would try to mix in silly and sentimental cutters with ones that they may actually use. The only person who got all silly ones was Elizabeth, because she is 17 and therefore is at about the same maturity level as I am. The cookie cutters reminded me of many of the times that my MOH and I made cookies with our Nana.

I think cookie cutters work because who doesn't like making cookies? Even better ones that have some silliness and joy? It is one of my favorite things to do, and I weirdly have silly baking memories with a lot of my bridal party. Something like that also offers you the opportunity to give everyone equal but personalized gifts.
The last thing I gave the girls was a pez dispenser with a disney princess theme. Over the years, the boy and I had joked about an elaborate wedding at Franklin High School track with Celine Dion on a crane that was Disney Princess/ sin themed. I had a couple of throwbacks to that wedding planned, but the biggest one was that each of the girls got their pez dispenser (my brother had bought me the set about 5 years ago) and a little cupcake charm (also from Etsy) to attach to their bouquet. The cupcake charms were cute, but they were kind of a fail, because they fell apart all day long- mine even fell apart at the altar!

The boy had a much easier time choosing the gifts for his groomsmen (I want to point out here that we used the tissue paper as wrapping material... which I will be doing for the rest of my life). He and his brother (and their friends) had played with legos together since they were kids, and the legos have been making more and more of a comeback over the last year. My brother is also into legos, so really the only person who wasn't crazy into it was The Boy's oldest brother Johnny. I am pretty sure they had pulled him over to the dark side by the end of the wedding.

The legos were a pretty big hit, except for Pete who wanted us to get him a different set. He had helped me wrap them all, but he did such a good job keeping them all a secret. He is awesome!


For guys, there are less accessories you need to provide, but leave it to us to make it more complicated. We bought them all robot socks, which I think looked a little bit more like monsters than robots. We also got them their bow ties and suspenders, since the odds are they won't be getting much repeat usage out of them. 

Despite Jim's face in the picture, they mostly seemed pretty pumped about wearing the bow ties. I thought they looked pretty sharp and adorable, so I am glad I took a stand for the bow tie. 

The last group we wanted to really give something great to was our parents. It turns out there aren't many traditions or guidelines of what you give to your parents (much less stepparents) for your wedding so we tried to have a good time with it. But all of our parents had been ridiculously helpful, supportive, and enthusiastic en route to our wedding, so it was very important to me that we put some thought into their gifts.

Because we had two big Harry Potter fans on our hands, we gave both our Mom's Harry Potter wands! Well, technically MIL got a Molly Weasley wand and my Mom got a McGonagal wand. I think they liked them a lot. If you want to buy someone a wand I would highly recommend this store- We also got The Boy's parents a family tree from Etsy, which I thought turned out really beautifully.
My mom was the only parent we instantly knew what we wanted to get her- she has wanted this kind of Hawaiian bangle for a long time, so I saved up to get her one for the wedding. We debated between this number and another one with flowers on it, but my Aunt Ann felt like she would like this one better. I also got a set of coral print for my mom's husband, who is big on the scuba diving. 

I had the hardest time shopping for my dad- I got him an embroidered tissue, and we got his wife a necklace charm of her dog Big, but we needed to do something else. We talked about getting them a nook kitchen table, or a hammock, but eventually we got them a gift card for a verizon store, because they both have ancient phones, and my Dad's was truly terrible. It was a more practical gift than I usually get, but once I thought of it I was pretty proud of the idea.

Ok, so now that I do this, I realize that a lot of this would probably not be that helpful for brides making plans. So, my advice for the gift-giving is to take your time with it. I am not sure it even makes some of those wedding checklists, but it is worth your time to start putting thoughts and money aside as you go. I think it is also great if you can connect the gifts to the larger goals of the wedding, because you usually give them on the night before- they help set the tone, so if you are going traditional, do traditional gifts! If you want a serious party feel, do shot glasses or something silly like that! These people, in theory, are the closest to you of anybody, so think about them and want they might want or need. I feel like it is an important part of of the wedding to show people you appreciate them, and honestly one of my regrets is that I didn't do that more, so I am glad we had this chance. It really is worth the effort, I promise!

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