Who doesn't love a good wedding? The romance, the excitement, the good food, and of course, the gifts! These joyous occasions are enhanced when we can give and receive presents that we know will be cherished for many years to come.
To help you keep track of tradition and make sure you're covering all your bases, we've compiled the ultimate guide to wedding gifts—from what they symbolize to who they're for and how to choose the perfect one.
What Do Wedding Gifts Symbolize?
Throughout history, the art of gift-giving has always been an important aspect of wedding ceremonies. What started as a simple tradition with the sole purpose of bestowing good luck upon the newlywed couple has now evolved into a complex custom with a variety of purposes.
The most common reason for giving gifts at weddings is still to wish the couple good luck in their married life. This is especially true for more traditional cultures that believe gifts can ward off evil spirits and bless the married couple with a prosperous future.
Aside from the superstitious aspect, giving gifts is also a way to show your support for the couple as they embark on this new chapter of their lives. It is a way of saying that you're happy for them and that you will be there for them through thick and thin.
In modern times, this act has taken on a whole new meaning, as couples now have the option to really go above and beyond for their loved ones on their wedding day. While the act of giving gifts is still largely associated with luck and blessings, it has also become a way for couples to express their love and appreciation for one another, as well as for their families and friends.
Whether that's through extravagant gifts or simply heartfelt tokens of appreciation, there's no doubt that wedding gifts have come a long way from being merely good luck charms. But even with all the changes that have taken place over the years, one thing remains the same - gift-giving is still an integral aspect of any wedding ceremony and will likely continue to be for many years to come.
Wedding Gifts for the Couple
Starting off with the most important people in the room, of course, we have the bride and groom. These two lucky lovebirds have spent months (or maybe even years) planning their big day, so it's only fitting that they receive a little something extra special come gift-giving time. While you definitely don't need to break the bank, putting some thought into their present will go a long way.
Both the bride's mother and mother-in-law, as two of the closest women in her life, can get her something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. These can be small tokens or heirlooms that are given to the bride at different stages throughout the day.
The "something old" is meant to represent continuity, while the "something new" signifies optimism for the future. The "something borrowed" is generally an item that has been worn by a happily married woman in hopes that some of her good luck will rub off, and lastly, the "something blue" stands for love, purity, and fidelity.
Speaking of purity, there's nothing more classic than a single pearl necklace as a gift for the bride. While this may be a long-standing sentiment, it's one that will never go out of style. The one-of-a-kind gem is not only a beautiful accessory, but it also represents the bride's strength and individuality—two amazing qualities that will no doubt come in handy during marriage.
Single pearl necklaces usually consist of one pearl, which is meant to symbolize the bride's journey to find her perfect match. The number of pearls can be increased over time, to mark special milestones such as anniversaries or the birth of children. By commemorating these happy occasions, the necklace becomes even more special and meaningful to the wearer.
The necklace's delicate chain is also a significant detail, as it reflects the unbreakable bond between husband and wife. The greater the length of the chain, the stronger the connection is said to be.
The pearls usually come in a custom-made jewelry box or velvet pouch, which can be used to store other small trinkets and mementos from the big day. They may include an earnest note or letter from the giver, expressing their love and well-wishes for the happy couple.
The father of the bride can contribute to this gift by adding a pair of pearl earrings to the mix. While they may not be part of the traditional "something old, something new" set, they're still a classic and timeless piece of jewelry that any bride would love to receive.
Regardless of what you choose to give, the most important thing is that it comes from the heart. Putting thought into what the couple may need or want will go a long way, and they'll definitely appreciate the gesture.
Wedding Gifts for the Bridal Party
The bridal party is generally made up of the bride and groom's closest friends and family members, who have all played an important role in helping them get to where they are today. From the Maid of Honor to the Flower Girl, each member has contributed something special to make the wedding day as perfect as possible.
For this reason, it's tradition for the bride and groom to give them a small token of appreciation, either on the day of the wedding or at the rehearsal dinner. These presents can be anything from personalized keychains to sentimental jewelry and everything in between.
The bridesmaids can wear matching pearl necklaces, which are not only stunning accessories but also a representation of their friendship with the bride. The Maid of Honor can be given a slightly different version of the necklace, with a larger pearl or a different type of pendant. In this way, she can be easily distinguished in photos and stands out as the bride's right-hand woman.
On the other hand, the groomsmen can be given cufflinks, tie pins, or money clips with a special message engraved. Their design can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, but the important thing is that they're personal and meaningful. In this way, the groomsmen will always have a reminder of their special bond with the groom, and can even pass them down to future generations.
And lastly, the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer may be given keepsakes such as personalized photo frames or jewelry boxes. You can even use plush toys if you want to stay away from more traditional options. By showing your appreciation for their part in your big day, you're sure to make these little ones feel extra special.
Wedding Gifts Between the Couple
It's not uncommon for the bride and groom to exchange gifts on their wedding day. This is generally done in private, before or after the ceremony, as a way to show each other how much they mean to one another.
While the gift doesn't have to be anything big or expensive, it should definitely be something that holds meaning for both parties. It can be something as simple as a handwritten note expressing your love and gratitude, or a small piece of jewelry with a special inscription.
If you decide to go with the latter option, pearl necklaces have always been a popular choice. Thanks to their classic beauty and associations with love and fidelity, they make the perfect gift for a bride on her wedding day.
As you go through life together, you can add more pearls to the necklace to symbolize important dates, anniversaries, and even job promotions. The greater the number of pearls, the more special the necklace becomes.
On the flip side, the groom may be on the receiving end of a gift from his bride. While this is less common, it's still a nice gesture that may strengthen the bond and create even more happy memories.
Some brides may opt for a more traditional gift, such as a watch or a piece of jewelry. Others may go for something more unique, like a custom-made book filled with photos and memories from your relationship. No matter what the gift is, it's sure to be cherished for years to come.
Since a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, at least for most people, it's only natural that you want everything to be perfect. It takes careful planning and good decision-making to make sure that all the details are taken care of, from the venue to the gift registry.
While there have been many changes over the years, some traditions still remain. The exchanging of gifts between the bride and groom, as well as among close family and friends, is one of them. Jewelry, in particular, has always been a staple gift for such ceremonies, as they carry meaningful symbols and can be passed down from one generation to the next.