True friendships are priceless. However, being a bridesmaid or groomsman is not. The wedding party typically shells out hundreds of dollars for bachelor/bachelorette parties, suits, gowns, showers, and more. It can add up quickly, and while those who value your friendship and champion your relationship are usually happy to spend it (knowing you would do the same for them), giving your wedding party a gift is a great way for couples to thank your loved ones for all that they’re doing to celebrate this momentous occasion in your life.
“Wedding party gifts are a symbol of your appreciation for all that your bridesmaids, groomsman, and even other family members do for you all year long and on the wedding weekend,” says wedding planner Renee Sabo.
Meet the Expert
Renee Sabo is the owner and lead wedding planner at Urban Soirée serving Boston, New England, and beyond. She has over ten years of experience in the wedding industry, and was named 2020 Best IRL Wedding Planner by Boston Magazine, 2019 Top Planner by ILEA Boston, and received Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Awards from 2017-2020.
The amount of time, money, and effort the wedding party puts into a wedding pales in comparison to how much the bride and groom are on the hook for. After putting down hefty deposits on the venue, florist, and caterer, how much should a couple expect to spend on bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts? Here’s our guide to bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, according to etiquette experts.
How Much Should You Spend?
It depends, but the pricepoint should reflect the budget of the overall wedding. If you’re having a small backyard get-together with 50 of your closest friends and family, a small token of appreciation should suffice. If you’re having a five-star destination wedding, take into account the additional expense your wedding party is incurring to be part of your special day, and thank them accordingly with a generous gift.
“For bridesmaids, we find the most average price point is $75-100 and for groomsman $75-100,” says Sabo. “For specialty items with personalization or luxurious types of robes, this price point certainly can go up.”
Bridesmaid and Groomsman Gift Ideas
The best gift you could get your wedding party is the one wouldn't think to buy themselves, but one they'll use again and again. "For bridesmaids, some great gifts are champagne or wine flutes that can be used during getting ready and saved as keepsakes, small makeup bags with or without initials of each bridal party member, getting ready robes or cozy shirts, and jewelry to be used on the day of the wedding and beyond," Sabo recommends. "For groomsman, flasks or pint glasses that can be used during getting ready and saved as keepsakes, ties, pocket squares, dress socks, wallet holders, and any preferred alcohol or sentimental items special to the group!"
For both the bridesmaids and groomsmen, a hangover kit makes a great gift. Stuff a reusable bag with ibuprofen, vitamin C, gum, sports drink, and a granola bar. They'll definitely thank you in the morning!
If you're having a destination wedding and are blessed with a healthy wedding budget, consider upgrading the wedding party to first class on the flight or at the hotel. You could also treat them to a spa treatment, a thrilling excursion, or extending their hotel stay for another night. The element of surprise coupled with the generous gesture will really show your wedding party just how much you care.
Bridesmaid and Groomsman Gifts Tips & Etiquette
Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are some of the most important people in your life—otherwise, they wouldn’t be there. As they rally around you and prepare to stand by your side during this special day, they’re also investing their valuable time and money in order to do so. Be sure to thank them for their generous support at every opportunity, whether it’s writing them a thank-you note after every pre-wedding shindig or treating them to a special dinner or experience before the big day.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen pull double duty on your big day. Sure, they’re involved in the ceremony, but they’re also wedding guests, which means they should be showing up early on the day of with dress/tux in hand, along with a wedding gift for the happy couple. Show them you appreciate their generous investment in your wedding celebration by giving them a thoughtful present.
Sabo recommends breaking your wedding party gifts into two categories: items that you want to have everyone use during the wedding weekend and gift items that are non-wedding date related as a thank you. “Sometimes gifts can hit the mark with both of these categories, but it’s nice to identify the use of the gift items before putting it together,” she says. “If you truly want to thank your bridal party, give them a gift that will mean something to them and they can use for years to come.”
When Should You Buy the Gifts?
Be sure to plan ahead for this expense and add it to your wedding budget well ahead of time. “Much like wedding planning, budgeting can look different for couples based on your vision and style,” says Renee. “We recommend adding gifting into your budget at the beginning and doing a little preliminary research on pricing out ideal options." Pick out wedding party gifts 2-3 months before the big day. If you're giving your bridesmaids and groomsmen personalized gifts, be sure to order those 3-6 months in advance in order to make sure they arrive error-free and ahead of your wedding day.
When Should You Give the Gifts?
It's customary to give bridesmaid and groomsman gifts on the day of the wedding while you're getting ready. Remember to pack the gifts in your bag before arriving at the hotel or getting ready location. If you have a photographer taking pictures of the wedding party getting ready, ask them to take photos of your bridesmaids and groomsmen opening their gifts, along with a few solo shots of them wearing or showing it off. It'll be a fun memory to look back on later, and your wedding party will appreciate the gesture!