We are in the middle of engagement season, and while you may be a recently engaged bride-to-be or you have been engaged for a long time, you are probably already thinking of people who will stand by your side on the big day. Some of you probably already have a list in your notes app that you have been adding to or taking away since college. But, how many people should you have at your wedding? Are they the right fit? Do you sisters-in-law need all those bridesmaids? Well, we have some answers for you! Continue reading "#AskTheBridesmaid – Bridesmaids. How Many Do You Ask To Be In Your Wedding?" »
You've asked your friends and family to be apart of your wedding. They've been there for you through your tearful moments, "bridezilla" moments and your happy moments. You've went to them for advice and just to vent to through all your wedding stress. Now, how do you say thank you in style. Showing them that you are truly thankful and wouldn't had known what to do without them is a must. Let Wedding and Party Network offer some tips and ideas to show them that you are truly thankful. Of course, show them this through stylish gifts is a must!
First thing you must do is set a budget. As much as you want to show them that you care, you must first decide how much you can spend on each one. You may want to spend a little bit more on your maid of honor or get them different things to suit their personality or get them matching gifts. The main wedding tip is to set this into your wedding budget.
Now, here are our top picks for wedding attendant gifts!
However, if you're mixing it up a bit, a fun statement necklace would be great! You can get them jewelry to match their personal style, if you don't want them to wear it in the wedding. Just pick something out that you know they can wear again.
Get Personal: Personalization is a huge trend. A lot of brides are having bags or jewelry personalized towards their bridesmaids. You can have their initials or name embroidered on a bag in your wedding colors or their favorite colors. You can do overnight bags, cosmetic bags or wallets that your girls will be able to use within their everyday life.
If you are considering jewelry, you could have their named hand stamped or engraved into a necklace or bracelet. For example, a charm bracelet would be ideal for this! That way, if you plan on doing the wedding tradition featuring the cake pulls, they'll be able to add their charm to this bracelet along with their personalized charm too. There are lots of ways that you can add personalization to anything that you get them, wine glasses, jewelry, shoes or picture frames and photo albums.
A Girl's Best Friend: Shoes! Girl's love shoes, plus they can wear them in your wedding or at the reception. You can go with heels, flats or sandals that will compliment your wedding. Maybe, you are having your bridesmaids wears heels for your wedding. We all know heels can sometimes be uncomfortable, so give them flip-flops for the wedding reception.
Choose their favorite colors, featured embellishments or you can personalize them too! As much as we love shoes, our feet need a rest. Especially if we plan on dancing the night away, so think comfortable.
Clutch In Style: Another big wedding trend to hit the scene is ditching the bouquets and replacing them with wedding clutches. This can serve as a great gift for your bridesmaids too. Provide them in the colors of your wedding, add embellishments or have the inside of them personalized. Make sure they can use them again, possibly not buying clutches in orange or an off-the-wall color.
It will be a perfect way for your bridesmaids to place touch up makeup, cameras and phones in them as well during the reception. That way, they're not lugging their huge bag around the entire night. Plus, your bridesmaids will be able to carry them during a night out on the town.
Goodie Bag: If you've asked a lot from your bridesmaids, love them to pieces or made them travel for your destination wedding; a gift bag full of goodies might be a great way to go. Maybe you're having a destination wedding on the beach, if so, create a bag with their name on it filled with a beach towel, swim suit and items for the beach.
You can fill their bags up with travel items, jewelry, pajamas, personalized wedding shirt and flip-flops. You can offer all the essentials they'll need for their stay. A goodie bag is a great way to say thank you.
These 5 wedding gift ideas for your bridesmaids are just a start. There are endless possibilities when trying to figure out what to get your bridesmaids. You can cater towards your wedding, their style or both. Making sure they'll absolutely love them and will be able to use them are a must when finding a bridesmaid gift.
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Many retail stores have product lines where you can choose the monogram you want and attach it to a variety of products: portfolios, purses, luggage, totebags, etc.
You don't have to bother going to a jeweler for engraving–you can do your own personalization, choosing just the right item for your attendant. Single monograms seem to be the "in" thing–no need for the three letter variety.
Giving your bridesmaids cute faux-croc purses with their first name initial on them is a very trendy way to thank them for their participation in your wedding. A portfolio with a monogram is great for those who helped with the administration of your wedding (coordinator, caterer, etc.).
Of course, there are also other outlets for buying personalized gifts. Online stores offer a variety of items that can be practical, as well as reminders of your thanks.
I used a well-known company to purchase large totebags in bright summer colors and had each of my bridesmaids' first names embroidered on them.
You could go a step further by "personalizing" the contents of the bags: beach towels, sunscreen and flip-flops for the sun enthusiast; books, gourmet tea or coffee and biscotti for the one who loves to read; a cookbook, utensils, sea salt and other cook's tools for the one who loves to cook. You can be very creative with this idea and make it work to fit your gift-giving budget.
Scandinavian wedding ceremonies include several touching traditions that can be easily incorporated into any ceremony. Many of these wedding traditions are simple, meaningful gestures that allow a couple to join in the history of thousands of couples that have gone before them.
The Swedish two coins tradition is a sweet sentiment. Before a wedding in Sweden, the bride's mother gives her a gold coin to put in her right shoe, and the bride's father gives her a silver coin to put in her left shoe. The coins represent their wish that she will never be without. It is a sweet way for the parents to say, "You're leaving us, but you're still a part of us." This unique wedding tradition lets the bride know that she will always have her parents' love and prayers that she may never be poor.
Another wonderful Scandinavian wedding tradition originates from Norway. It involves a bride-to-be walking from house-to-house carrying a pillow case and collecting her wedding gifts, while an older gentleman carries an umbrella or parasol over her. The umbrella symbolizes protection and shelter.
In Norway the friends and family of the bride and groom plant small pine trees on either side of their home to symbolize fertility. The bride and groom can then watch the seedlings grow throughout their years together.
All three of these unique wedding traditions can be easily incorporated into your wedding ceremony. The Swedish two coins tradition is a simple, touching gesture from a bride's parents on her wedding day. An easy way to incorporate the Finnish umbrella tradition would be to have the father of the bride carry an umbrella over his daughter in her outdoor wedding.
The Norwegian tree planting tradition could be in the form of a gift from the wedding attendants. The bride and groom could also give seedlings to their maid-of-honor and best man, or the bride and groom can buy certificates that a tree has been planted in the attendants' names.
Old traditions in modern times with modern weddings allow us to embrace symbolism and add a unique touch to a wedding. Looking back while simultaneously looking forward is a great way to make your wedding both one-of-a-kind and full of depth and history.
Need more ideas about unique wedding and party gifts? Check out our unique and personalized gifts page!
Photos courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.
One of my pet peeves about wedding ceremonies is that bridesmaids and groomsmen are frequently asked to walk down the aisle together, never having met and barely knowing each other's names, if at all.
If you were having a party at your home and you invited friends who had never met, you would make it a priority to introduce them to one another at the party, right? Well, why should a wedding be any different?
A wedding is an event of a lifetime, and I believe special attention should be paid to making sure all the participants know each other. That's why I think it's a good idea to have a few opportunities prior to the wedding to make introductions and let the attendants get to know one another.
For instance, when planning tuxedo fittings, bridesmaid dress selections, choosing a caterer, exploring a venue or deciding on a wedding cake, why not make it an event and invite all the attendants and their spouses?
This would 1) help all the attendants feel part of the planning and decision-making process, and 2) begin the process of your attendants getting familiar with one another.
By the time the wedding rolls around, they know each other's names, spouses' names, and have some "history."
After the event, plan a casual lunch out at a favorite sandwich shop for further interaction. Making the time and effort to think about those in your wedding party will make for a more meaningful wedding experience for all your attendants.
Ok. So you're best friend's getting married. Whether you think he's making a huge mistake or you're thrilled for him, it's still your obligation to help make this wedding day one of the best of his life. Remember what best man duties entail? Few do til the day comes so here is a wedding checklist for just such an occasion. Oh no, my friend. You're in charge of much more than just the bachelor party. Here are your best man duties (and a look into why they call you the "best man" — it's work!).
Best Man Duties Prior To The Wedding:
- Help the groom shop for formal wear (tuxedos, shoes, etc)
- Coordinate tux fittings and payments
- Plan the couple's wedding shower and/or bachelor party
- Spread word about couple's registry (the maid of honor also has this duty)
- Offer assistance to the bride and groom with wedding planning tasks
- Arrange travel and lodging for all groomsmen
- Attend rehearsal dinner
- Organize groomsmen on wedding day
Best Man Duties At The Wedding:
- Stand at front next to groom and other groomsmen as procession begins
- Carry bride's wedding ring (or both)
- Escort the maid of honor during the recessional
- Sign marriage license as a witness
- Give the officiant's fee to the officiant
Best Man Duties At The Reception:
- May stand in receiving line (if appropriate)
- Sit at head table next to bride
- Make first toast to the couple, serve as toast master
- Dance with maid of honor during first dance (if wedding party is asked to participate)
- Help direct vendors as needed (Bride and groom will be too busy)
- Help groom give final payments and tips to wedding vendors
- Collect gifts and gift checks brought to the reception (Assist the bridesmaid)
Best Man Duties After The Wedding:
- Return all tuxedos to the rental shop
- Drive newlyweds to their wedding night hotel or airport (if no other transportation is arranged)
Ask The Celebration Advisor: My fiance and I are very close, but I'm as big a fan of his sisters. I feel like I probably should include them in my wedding party but I don't really want to. What are the rules on this? ~ Mallory B in Largo FL
The Celebration Advisor: Nope, you sure don't. BUT–and it's a pretty big But–it's expected in many families. Wedding etiquette is pretty solid about this. It's that pesky human element that makes discussing this with your groom so important.
If your groom has only one or two sisters, it may be a negative reflection on you to not include them. So before you get those "why can't she spare just one spot for her new sister" glares, consider whether hurt feelings will affect your new in-laws before making your decision. Wedding etiquette is on your side, but these will be your in-laws forever.
Another idea that may spare you a lot of problems is to include his siblings in other roles. For instance, sisters of a young age can be flower girls, guest book attendants, candle lighters and other roles. These are significant enough for the girls to feel special but you will not have to sacrifice bridesmaids spots.
If his sisters are older, it gets a bit more complicated. You can still offer to have them serve as wedding attendants but not necessarily members of the immediate wedding party.
The most important thing is to discuss this with your groom. If he seems sympathetic, use that to your advantage by placing your new sisters in a lesser role. If he seems offended or stresses that they may be, you may have to compromise on this and use them in your wedding party. He knows his family the best and wants to make you happy. With both of those things weighing on his decision, it should be a very good one when he finally addresses the issue.
Oh, and remember that this particular wedding etiquette issue works both ways. The same should be considered if the groom is asked to include his fiancee's siblings in the wedding party.
You'll never forget your maid of honor duties when you have this helpful wedding checklist! It fits easily in a wedding planner, a wallet, or your purse and conveniently keeps all of your maid of honor duties within reach. Your best friend is getting married and needs your help to make the wedding planning run smoothly. For you, it's as easy as performing these few simple task!
Maid of Honor Pre Wedding Duties
- Help bride shop for gown (if she desires)
- Help bride shop for bridesmaids dresses
- Get the word out about the wedding registry, even if listed elsewhere
- Coordinate bridesmaids' dress order, fittings, alterations, payment, and dressing
- Arrange the travel and lodging for the bridesmaids
- Organize bridesmaids on wedding day
- Fix the bride's train before the processional starts
- Attend rehearsal dinner
- Create a wedding day emergency kit (just a reminder!)
- Plan and attend the wedding shower and/or bachelorette party
- Help with wedding planning tasks (a girl needs all the hands she can get!)
Maid of Honor Duties During The Ceremony:
- Walk down the aisle during the processional
- Adjust bride's train once she reaches the altar
- Hold the bridal bouquet while the bride and groom exchange vows
- Carry the groom's wedding ring
- Sign marriage license as a witness
- Walk in the recessional with the best man
- Organize programs, tossing petals, etc.
Maid of Honor Duties During The Reception:
- Stand in receiving line (if appropriate)
- Help bride bustle her gown
- Sit at head table next to groom (if wedding party is seated at head table)
- Prepare and present a toast to the couple
- Dance with best man during first dance (if the wedding party is asked to participate)
- Help direct vendors as needed (the bride shouldn't have to worry with this on her big day)
Maid of Honor Duties After The Wedding:
- Take the bride's wedding dress to the dry cleaner
- Help organize gifts and gift checks brought to the reception
- Help oversee wrap-up after wedding reception (if needed)
Ask The Celebration Advisor: I have been best friends with my friend Gemma since we were in elementary school. She's really good friends with my fiancee also, but she already has a maid of honor. Is it ok if my best man is a woman? ~ Jeron in Montpelier
The Celebration Advisor: We see it in movies all of the time. Guys and girls are best friends and forsake same-gender friendships. These are usually the romantic comedies that end up with those friends getting together in the end. They're fun to watch and oddly enough are beginning to skew the way traditional wedding etiquette affects the "best man" honor.
Yes, it's acceptable but there are obviously many things to consider before giving this honor to your best friend. First, is your best gal pal willing to take up the duties of the best man? She won't be wearing a tuxedo so she won't be at the fittings and likely will not be dealing with them. Therefore, responsibilities like these will fall to you or another groomsmen. If you can overlook this, go for it.
Also, consider your fiance's feelings. What does she think? Is she ok with it? Would she rather have her as a bridesmaid? Because of those crazy romantic movies, this is something that requires serious conversation before action is taken. If your fiancee feels that it is a nice gesture, you've found an incredible woman and are lucky to have two great women in your life!
Do you have a brother or best guy friend who will feel slighted? If the answer is no, you are not in the wrong to make a woman your best man. If you do have males who would better fit the role, give this consideration before making your decision.
The simplest answer is that yes you can make a woman your best man but there are far too many things to consider first for it to be an easy choice to make.
Keeping up with who-does-what at a wedding can be very tedious. Instead of worrying about what your bridesmaid duties are and threatening your enjoyment of the wedding, use this checklist instead! This wedding checklist of bridesmaids duties is the fastest and easiest way to recognize your part in helping things run smoothly. Wedding planning has never been so simple!
Pre-Wedding Bridesmaids Duties:
- May assist in shopping for dress
- Attend at least one bridesmaid dress shopping event (unless an out-of-town attendant)
- Get fittings and alterations as needed
- Help with wedding planning errands
- Help plan wedding shower and/or bachelorette party
- Attend the parties!
Bridesmaids Duties At The Ceremony:
- Walk in the processional (might be with groomsman)
- Stand at the altar or stage throughout the ceremony
- Walk with a groomsman in the recessional
- Help bride dress and prepare for the wedding
Bridesmaids Duties At The Reception:
- Might be announced at the reception
- Sit at head table (if reserved)
- Take part in first dance (if wedding party is asked to participate)
Now you're just a few short steps away from being the best bridesmaid in history! Simply help your friend shine on her wedding day and you're both off to a good start!