Wedding favors aren’t just knickknacks for friends to remember your wedding by. They should be a symbol of gratitude to your friends and family who have spent time, effort and (at times) even money to help you prepare for your wedding.

If you’re new to the idea of giving gifts to the wedding party, here are a few tips and rules you can follow:

Why You Should Give

Although you and your partner handle most of the wedding planning, every member of your entourage surely will do their share of work and prep. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will also take time off to be at all the events leading to the big day and may even spend money to throw you a bridal shower or bachelor party.

With the time, effort and money they’ve spent, it’s only right that you thank them with a gift.

How Much to Spend

Although the rule for entourage gift spending is not set in stone, you can use your wedding budget as a guideline. If you are on a tight budget, DIY wedding favors are a totally acceptable solution. Just remember that personalized and thoughtful gifts are always better than expensive yet impractical ones.

When to Give

It’s best to start looking for gifts a month or so before your wedding, this gives you time to choose the right ones or to personalize them. If you’re wondering when you should give it, it’s customary to do so during rehearsal dinners. You can also arrange for a private moment with your entourage after the wedding, so you can give your most heartfelt message as you give them the gifts.

What to Give

If you can, go beyond the one-gift-fits-all memento and pick a different gift for every single one of your entourage, but all at the same price range. Bridesmaids will love gifts that are multifunctional yet timeless pieces, such as jewelry or a purse. Meanwhile, get personalized groomsmen gifts that your mates may be able to use for a long time, such as cufflinks, flasks, or shot glasses.

Your bridesmaids and groomsmen have invested their time and effort to help you with your wedding and to actually stick through the ceremony. Putting the same effort to your wedding gifts is the least you can do to show them your gratitude, so make the most of it!

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