As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a bridesmaid several times. The experiences have ranged from super fun, to watching-a-train-wreck-in-progress. But you what? On every occasion, I received a great gift.

The tradition of bridal party gifts is an old one, though one with common sense. You should thank the people who stand up for you at your wedding with some small token. Over the years, the tradition has evolved into another one of those things we don’t exactly hate, but don’t love either. This is because, by and large, attendant gifts suck.

Yeah, the first time a guy gets a flask, it’s awesome. He will use and cherish that thing for years. Or, at least until he loses it in his next move. But by the time he’s been in two or three weddings, the flask loses its’ appeal. Especially since he is likely to already have a couple backups from – you guessed it, other weddings.

The same goes for simple, neutral necklaces for the ladies. Sometimes pearls. Yes, a woman should always have at least one small, neutral necklace, but eventually, you just have too many. And any woman young enough to be a bridesmaid doesn’t need half a dozen strands of pearls.

You chose your attendants because they are the fantastic, stand-out friends and family. And they said yes because (hopefully, anyway) they feel the same way about you. You wouldn’t give each other generic candles, bath sets birthday gifts, right? So don’t give them generic attendant gifts. Here are some ideas on how to choose gifts for attendants.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Uniform

Nine times out of ten, attendants get the same gift. You know, to go with the matching suites, shoes, and dresses. But this doesn’t have to be! Even if your attendants match in every other way, get personal with the gifts. Observe their personal style, and get each one something he or she would probably purchase for him or herself.

The bridesmaids will coordinate in other ways. They don’t all have to have the same necklace or bracelet. And the guys don’t all have to have the same tie clip.

Choose Attendants Gifts The Way You Choose Birthday Gifts

The secret of great-gift-givers the world over? Knowledge of other peoples interests. These are your attendants; if you don’t know their interests, you have  bigger problems than figuring out what their attendant gifts are.

Got a friend who loves to snowboard? Get him/her a great pair of new goggles or gloves.

Find out which of your friends’ favorite bands are playing locally in the near future and get tickets for them and a friend of their choice (no, they are not required to take you).

Keep to a Budget.

It’s like Secret Santa. Try to keep to a similar budget for everyone. This means it’s much easier to have less attendants. A couple trying to buy personalized gifts for twenty friends is going to have a much harder time than one buying for eight or ten people. Think of things people use on a daily basis. Maybe gift cards to LuLuLemon, a yoga mat tote, makeup compacts for the ladies in their  favorite brands, beer glasses for the guys, etc. If the gift is something they are more likely to use, it doesn’t matter how “cheap” it is.

 

Just keep it personal, no matter what your budget, and you’ll have the happiest wedding attendants possible – and that, will help you have a much happier wedding.