Mandi
VIP March 2020

Gifts, Thank Yous, and Stop Making Me Buy Crap.

Mandi, on January 22, 2020 at 1:11 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 2 21
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Who all am I supposed to buy gifts for?
Every time I turn around, I see a new person that I might supposed to be gifting.
Got some cute toys for the flower girls and ringbearers. Awesome.
Wine glasses, tote bags, and earrings for the bridesmaids. Check.
Socks and whatever my fiance is doing for the guys. Uh... check maybe. That's on him.
Favors, 2nd favor, and 3rd favor for guests, check.


Do I need to gift my mom, dad, fiance, future mother and father in law. Cousin and aunt who throw my bridal shower, his aunts who throw the other bridal shower? Do I need to gift my bridesmaids for throwing my bachelorette? This is starting to seem a little beyond excessive. Halp!

21 Comments

  • Emily
    Devoted September 2020
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    I was wondering the same thing... i honestly am on a tight budget and won’t be gifting anyone as we are paying for everything ourselves and our families know that


    But now I’m thinking it’s rude???
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    We did wedding party gifts, restaurant gift cards for shower hosts, and albums for parents after the wedding. I didn’t get anything for the girls who planned my bachelorette.
    • Reply
  • gratia01
    Devoted January 2021
    gratia01 ·
    • Flag
    I’m getting my bridesmaids a small gift when I officially ask them to be in the wedding (jewelry and some body care stuff) and for favors we are doing bubbles and Hershey kisses. Everyone else will be getting thank you notes and hugs. I have been in weddings before and never heard of all these gifts being given. People who are helping you out by hosting a party or whatever are doing it because they love you and aren’t expecting some sort of compensation for their generosity. I don’t understand the purpose of buying all this stuff.
    • Reply
  • Anna
    Expert April 2020
    Anna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I completely agree with you. I don't know if its always been done this way or if the new generation that is doing this, but i feel like all this is getting out of hand. I feel like i have to buy people something. I would have never thought of it until i came to this forum. I love the help they are gibing me but i feel like i have to go poor for this wedding lol. My fh and i are paying for everything. We are only inviting less than 50 people. All family. My fmil offered to throw me a bridal shower, i was not planning on having one. I am on a VERY tight budget. I take it as she wants to do it out of the kindness of her heart. I was not even planning on anyone throwing me one. So i completely agree with you. Unless you ask them, okay but if they want to offer, all you need to do is a thank you and a hug.

    • Reply
  • Maggie
    Super April 2020
    Maggie ·
    • Flag
    I’m gifting to my bridal party and my parents, FH is gifting to his groom’s guild and his parents. My mom and FMIL are planning my bridal shower but I’m not gifting for that- just writing really nice thank you’s for it. Same with bach party. For wedding party: girls are getting bracelets to wear day of, MOH is getting a handmade robe (I can sew) to get ready in, and men in the party are getting personalized mugs (really cool but hard to explain why they’re cool lol). For our moms, we’re getting them necklaces to match their dresses and my Fh is getting his dad a personalized pen set and I’m getting my dad a personalized leather wallet. We’re going to make photo albums through Shutterfly for both parents at the end as well
    • Reply
  • M
    Savvy December 2020
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag
    I say you don’t need to get them anything! It’s an honour to be in the role and I don’t see why brides feel the need to shower their parties in gifts.
    Granted I will be asking my girls to buy their dresses (however they will be reasonably priced) but in any event I’m sure they’d rather money toward the dress than gifts they’ll never use.
    • Reply
  • Erin
    Rockstar July 2021
    Erin ·
    • Flag
    I’m gonna get a gift for my FH (because he keeps hinting that he has something to give me but won’t tell me what till our wedding day), and no one else. No one expects a gift, and it seems a bit insane to be buying all of these gifts for people when 85% of them will be hopping on a plane and will likely never look at it again. Like favors, I’m not interested.
    • Reply
  • Kathryn
    Super April 2020
    Kathryn ·
    • Flag
    I think parent gifts have always been etiquette. So I would at least check them off - I'm getting my mom a robe and some jewelry and a personalized handkerchief, and my fmil is getting the same. I also got my bridal party a bunch of stuff, and FH is planning gifts for the groomsmen. I just kind of balked though because I have to get my stepmom something....and I just kind of want her to disappear. It's honestly a lot, and I should probably stop while I'm ahead lol.
    • Reply
  • Nikki
    Devoted August 2020
    Nikki ·
    • Flag
    I would gift bridesmaids, groomsmen and both parents (if they helped with the wedding). I don’t think gifting for shower or bachelorette party is necessary. I do think it is for bridesmaids in general, especially if they paid for their own dress, hair, makeup, travel, etc. Its expensive to be a bridesmaid and it’s nice to get an extra thank you thrown in, even if it’s something small
    • Reply
  • Virginia
    Expert April 2020
    Virginia ·
    • Flag

    My fiance just dropped a bomb on me telling me what he got our mom's for a gift. I was like...ummm now I gotta buy gifts for the dads too?? I cannot keep up! This is all too much!

    • Reply
  • Givemeallthepups
    Devoted February 2020
    Givemeallthepups ·
    • Flag

    I felt it was important for me to get my friends/family something as a token of appreciation for going out of their way to support me.


    I got everyone that attended my bachelorette party a small favor. The party was where I live in TN but most of my guests were required to travel in--coming literally from coast to coast.


    I got hostess gifts at my shower; it was hosted jointly by our mothers and two of my best friends. Both moms got albums of our engagement photos and my friends got different gifts based on their likes.


    For the wedding day I'm actually not having a bridal party but I will have four girls getting ready with me. I got each of them a small cartoon portrait of the two of us based off of my favorite photo. My flower girl and ring bearer will each get a thing of candy. And our parents will all get embroidered handkerchiefs.

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Champion June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    I personally gifted my bridesmaids for throwing my shower and bachelorette and all our parents as well. I think anyone contributing anything to you and your wedding would be nice to get gifted. But you can even just write a nice card without a gift. I think the idea is just thanking them well
    • Reply
  • Julie
    Dedicated February 2020
    Julie ·
    • Flag

    What exactly are second and third favors? Favors aren't required by any means.


    We got gifts for bridesmaids, groomsman, ushers, parents, readers, and our ring bearer. We also brought a bottle of wine to everyone who hosted a shower for us.

    • Reply
  • Cherry
    Expert February 2020
    Cherry ·
    • Flag

    Anyone who's in the actual wedding party should traditionally receive a gift. So groomsmen, bridesmaids, ring bearer, and flower girl. If you have ushers, a small token is nice (like a $5-10 Starbucks gift card). My sweet little nephews are helping to move chairs from the ceremony to the tables so we're giving them each a $2 bill.


    You only have to purchase gifts for parents if they helped with anything. My mother hasn't helped AT ALL so she is not receiving a gift from us, but my FPILs have been absolute saints so they are each getting small gifts. My aunt is hosting our wedding at her house so she's getting something, and another aunt is bringing down some things so she's getting a small gift, too. And that's it. Everyone else is getting a thank you card.


    Here's the part I am worried about, financially. Etiquette says you have to tip photographers, officiants, DJ's, caterers, etc. But not if they own their own business? So our officiant owns her own, and our photographer does as well. I just don't tip them? Or do I give them something small as well? All of this stuff is definitely extra and unexpected!

    • Reply
  • KYLIE
    Dedicated May 2019
    KYLIE ·
    • Flag

    To the people we gifted, we were generous, but there's probably a decent number of people we left out of the traditional gift giving.

    We gave our bridesmaids/groomsmen generous gifts and paid for the hotels at our bachelor/bachelorette parties. I paid for my mom and nana to have their hair and makeup done. Our officiant was my husband's uncle, and we took him and his wife out to a very nice steak dinner a few months after the wedding. That's it. No groom's parents gifts, no favors.

    We haven't sent anyone pics from our wedding either, but I keep thinking we should.

    • Reply
  • Canadiangal
    Dedicated August 2020
    Canadiangal ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I feel the exact same way being on wedding wire! Sometimes I think "how can people spend $30,000+ on a wedding?" Then I see posts like "what do I wear for rehearsal dinner?" Or "my third hair trial was a fail, what do I do?" And I think "that's how the costs add up". One tip I saw for saving money on weddings is to not be taken over by what you think you should do, or not be influenced by everything Pinterest says you Have to do. I think gifts are one of those things. If you think about it, your guests, wedding party and parents are getting a free meal, drinks and entertainment for the evening! Why do we need to go overboard with eveything? The most memorable weddings to me are the ones where I knew the people very well and I was excited to share in their special day!
    • Reply
  • K
    Dedicated October 2019
    KAREN ·
    • Flag

    That is up to you. I had a hard time with that one, too.


    What we did was gift the bridesmaids and groomsmen. While we wanted to get our parents gifts, to be honest we spent SO much stinking money by the end of the damn wedding that we couldn't really afford anything. What I did do was pay for my mother's hair (since we used the same stylist) and then for Christmas, I had the photographer take a picture of her grandkids at the wedding and blew it up on a canvas for her and my dad.


    Personally, I think taking a picture from the wedding after you get it back and surprising your parents with it is a really nice gesture, and it also gives you time to get it done. But that's just me.

    • Reply
  • Allison
    Dedicated May 2020
    Allison ·
    • Flag

    We are doing gifts for any one who helped or contributed.


    I spent probably $60/ea on goodie bags for my 3 brides maids

    FH is getting cufflinks and yeti mugs for his three groomsmen ($50 ea)

    Gifts for my parents ($20/ea) since they contributed money

    Gifts for his dad for throwing our rehearsal dinner ($15)

    Gifts for his sister and BIL because they contributed money ($40 total)

    Also a gift for my brother because he is usher/walking my mom to her seat and overall is very supportive ($15)


    We didn't have flower girls or ring bearer and our grandparents/his mom have passed.


    I got my FH engraved cuff links for the day of. So we have spent about $500 on gifts which seems like a lot but I did it over the last year here and there. Do whatever makes sense for you. My girls bought their own dresses and are paying for makeup/hair so I felt like I should do something special for them.


    It was really important to me to recognize the people who are helping to make it happen.

    • Reply
  • K
    Dedicated October 2019
    KAREN ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Hi Cherry! Typically, if the owner of the business does the wedding, you do not need to tip. However, I still think it's a nice gesture to leave some sort of token for them (whether a gift card or a small tip). That's just me, though. I tipped our photographer $100 I think, even though she's the sole proprieter of her own business. I tipped her assistant $75 I think, our DJ $500 (but he did it for free since he's family--so actually, we saved a ton of money), I think we did like $50-100 per wait staff member (I asked how many would be there in advance so I knew what I needed--and ask your venue if they want cash or a check; mine asked for cash so they could split it accordingly). We did not tip our officiant, but she is my husband's cousin and was honestly so delighted to do it at all. I would like to get a picture made up of us from that day, since I think she'd appreciate that more, anyway. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Thank you notes are necessary after someone gives you a shower or bachelorette . Gifts are not necessary. It is customary for wedding party to each get one gift, just before or just after the wedding. But etiquette says, minimum is a thank you note. No gifts are needed for proposals, for getting ready, no gifts or gear for wearing at showers or bachorettes. If your parents give you financial assistance, a thank you not is require. If not, none, except pictures when they come in are usually given. You can tell your parents and FI's they are great on Mother's Day, Father's Day, on their birthdays, and on their anniversary. A gift from you at wedding time is not at all necessary. Favors to guests, at any party, are completely unnecessary, and often guests do not even bother to take them. The wedding industry, which financially rewards websites and TV for promotion of gift giving every time you turn around, pushes any trend to give a steady stream of gifts. But etiquette does not require them, and most of these extra gifts are only a recent thing. Skip any you wish to skip.
    • Reply

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