Erin’s Engagement: The Gift of Giving

As a bride, picking out your gift registry is easy, but what do you give as a thank-you gift to the people who are part of the wedding planning?

Randy and I are getting married in just a few weeks, and everyday is filled with appointments and plans. When we get home from work everyday, there’s something waiting for us in the mail: response cards and gifts from friends and family. It’s more fun than ever to go to the mailbox!

Most people are concerned with what to give the bride and groom to help them begin their lives together. I’m more concerned with what to give the special people in our lives—our parents and our bridal party—to thank them for all of the support they’ve given us. It’s difficult to decide on the best gift to give your parents. I think of all of the things—both tangible and intangible—that my parents have given me in my life, and I become overwhelmed. How could I ever give them something that would let them know how much their love and guidance has meant to me?

I asked some already married friends what they gave their parents as a thank-you gift. The responses varied from an embroidered handkerchief for moms to special father-of-the-bride socks or golf balls for dads to photo albums for both parents once wedding pictures came back from the photographer. I love the photo-album idea, but I’d like to be able to give our parents a little something the night before our wedding. I have some ideas, but I’m still thinking. . . .

I have a specific gift in mind for my bridesmaids. When I’ve been a bridesmaid, I’ve loved receiving jewelry that I can wear with both my bridesmaid dress and after my friend’s wedding day. When I was my sister’s maid of honor, she gave me a necklace and matching earrings made with crystals and blue beads. Every time I wear them, I’m reminded of her wedding and how happy we all were that day. I’d like to do the same for my bridesmaids (I hope none of them are reading this!). My mother makes wonderful jewelry and she just completed a class to learn how to work with wire. My plan is to give each of my bridesmaids a necklace and matching earrings made by my mom. I hope they love them as much as I do!

Randy is still trying to figure out what to give to his groomsmen. He has been in a lot of weddings and has received flasks, cufflinks, and even a monogrammed humidor. I’ve heard of grooms giving their friends personalized jerseys from their favorite sports team, and—back when the economy was in better shap—stocks from companies that held some kind of meaning for them. For example, stock in Papa John’s for the friend you always ordered pizza with in college. Randy needs to figure it out soon, as in this week!

Wish us luck as we select the best ways to say thank you to some of the most important people in our lives. One of the wonderful things about a wedding is that you have the opportunity to tell your close friends and family how much you appreciate their love and support. I hope we’re able to find a good way—whether it’s a unique gift or a heartfelt thank-you note—to express our gratitude.

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