Ahhhh weddings. They are beautiful, but they also have a tendency of being just a bit stressful.
This is true for you, and for the treasured friends and family in the bridal party.
From the get-go, your friends will cheer you on and put their all into making your big day as perfect as it can be. When the confetti settles and the honeymoon fades into distant memory, you want to know you’ve paid appropriate thanks to your mates.
And so, we come to Maid of Honour gifts – and the confusing etiquette around them.
In this blog post, we will cover how much you should spend, when to give, and list some great winter wedding bridesmaid gifts for this season.
For those who have no idea what we’re talking about, Maid of Honour gifts – or bridesmaids’ gifts – are present(s) given to members of a bridal party.
Think of it as a way of saying “thanks for sticking with me”.
Now, there is no strict timeline as to when these gifts should be given. But we recommend giving the presents a couple of months before the ceremony as things can get crazy busy, fast.
As sure as day turns to night, the last eight weeks will fly by in a whirl of dress fittings and rehearsals. You may be the most organised person on the planet but please trust us when we say, you don’t want to be shopping for gifts during this period.
Cost is also something that should be considered, as your bridal party will be shelling out a lot for your big day.
It’s an expensive business being a bridesmaid.
WeddingWire, a global wedding marketplace, estimates the average cost of being a bridesmaid is (US)$1200 for each wedding.
They’re typically expected to shell out for their bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair and makeup, lingerie, a bridal shower contribution and gift – plus any travel and accommodation costs.
Don’t be cheap. While you’re not expected to cover the total cost they’re paying, you still want to be generous.
Our top tip: aim to spend between $75-$200 per person.
Now when buying said gifts, you want to put a personal touch on things.
We mean, there’s no point buying any gift without putting some thought into it, and the same is true of the bridal party gift in Australia.
We’re not going to name names, but we’ve heard of occasions where bridesmaids and the Maid of Honour have been given a generic voucher for MECCA or knock-off designer jewellery. Bridal party gifts are not stocking fillers, so please make each gift unique; it just shows you care.
And with that said, you should always spend a little extra on your Maid of Honour as she’s done a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to ensuring things flow smoothly.
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget a gift for your mother and mother-in-law!
This question-based checklist, inspired by Honestly Modern, has helped us tenfold when it comes to brainstorming unique gifts.
Follow it for each person, and ask yourself:
- What do they do, or want to do, in their free time?
- What are they “more short” on: money or time?
- What items are they drawn to when they shop?
- Is there something they want to learn more about?
- Have they mentioned something they want to do with you?
- How do they relax?
- Do they have a favourite indulgence or snack?
- Have they talked about wanting to buy something recently?
- Do they support a cause or charity?
And one last point, buy gifts that match the season your wedding is planned for. For instance, if you’re getting hitched between June and July, then you will want to buy appropriate winter wedding gifts.
There’s no point buying something your bridesmaids will have to wait months to use!
Another tip: we find edible – or drinkable – gifts are a great way to show thanks to your mother and mother-in-law. That frees you up to focus on your Maid of Honour and bridal party.
We know we’ve just hit you with a lot of information, so to help spark inspiration here is a list of ten bridal party gifts* that break the mould.
*Please note, there is no MECCA voucher in sight.
- Personalised foldover clutches – a great memento and a timeless accessory to boot.
- Silk pyjamas – because your nearest and dearest deserve the very best when relaxing.
- Airbnb gift card – not all vouchers are bad news, who doesn’t want a weekend away?
- Leather weekend bag – on the theme of travel…
- Blend your own gin class – learn how to make gin AND create a signature mix.
- Adopt a koala – know an animal lover? Protect an endangered Aussie native on their behalf.
- Morse code bracelets – a stylish accessory that can be customised with a message.
- Velvet bridesmaid robes – a luxurious take on a wedding-day staple.
- A stone diffuser – give the gift of relaxation.
- And finally – Pamper Packs.
We’ve spoken at length about why Pamper Packs are a great gift idea, so we won’t harp on about it here. All you need to know is they’re perfect for creating an at-home spa experience.
We hope you’ve found this blog post useful. If you want to learn more, then check out our blog post: “how to choose the perfect scented candle for your home”.
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