When you’re planning a wedding, your mind tends to blank on some of the most important things. Did you remember to select a wedding favor or a gift for each member of your wedding party? Your bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girl, and ring bearer shouldn’t go unrecognized on your special day!

Before you freak out and hyperventilate because you haven’t the slightest clue where to begin, just follow this snippet of advice from yours truly: “Relax and BREATHE because it’s not as difficult as it seems!”

Here’s how to select gifts or wedding favors for your bridal party and groom’s party:

Figure Out the Basics

Would you rather purchase the same gift for each member of your wedding party or choose different gifts for the bride’s side and the groom’s side? How many people will be receiving a gift, and how much would you like to spend per item? Once you know those details, you’ll be able to focus on the specifics and look for gifts in your price range. You can either opt for traditional gifts (like wine glasses or beer mugs, stainless steel flasks, or messenger bags, for example) or stray from the beaten path and customize frisky wedding party favors (like personalized games, toys, theme-centric items, or boldly-printed matching t-shirts).

HINT: There’s no rule that says you can’t go the extra distance for your wedding party and purchase a different gift for each person. I was a bridesmaid in a close friend’s wedding last year, and they chose to buy a thoughtful gift for each bridesmaid and groomsman. The presents varied depending on the person’s interests; for example, one groomsman received a slew of comic books from The Simpsons and one bridesmaid received a small bag of memorabilia from The Office (including a Dwight Schrute bobblehead doll). If you don’t like the idea of giving everyone the same gift, then switch it up and do your own thing! Your wedding party will love it, you’ll be spending the same amount of money, and you’ll personalize the experience that much more!

Do Some Detective Work

Now you know how much you can spend, but how do you know what to buy and what your wedding party will enjoy the most? Here’s your chance to demonstrate how well you know your friends and family. If you decide to personalize the same gift for each bridesmaid and groomsmen, then try looking for a useful gift set that appeals to both sexes. I’d recommend something like a shaker/flask gift set, which comes with two olive picks, a flask, a shaker, a jigger, and two Martini glasses. Also, a BBQ gift set would be cute for a summer wedding; it comes with a spatula, a pair of tongs, a fork, a grill brush, and a 12-can cooler. Or, for a fun alternative, try the Deluxe Toy Assortment – each treasure chest is filled with 100 toys that would break the ice at any head table. All of 3 those suggestions can be personalized with the bride’s name, the groom’s name, and the wedding date!

If you’re getting a different present for each person, then start by writing down each recipient’s name and 3 things he or she likes. It’s time to make a list! For inspiration, think about that person’s hobbies, collections, favorite stores, and even favorite colors. You’ll be surprised at how many ideas come pouring out when you set your mind to it, and then you’ll have an ample list of possibilities! Purchasing individual gifts shouldn’t be any more of a hassle as long as you stick to your budget-per-gift.

Decide When You’ll Hand Out the Gifts

Believe it or not, the time and place you’ll distribute the wedding party gifts could affect how you select the gifts themselves. If you want to spend a bit more on your bridesmaids, groomsmen, Maid/Matron of Honor, Best Man, ring bearer, flower girl, and ushers, then it might be a good idea to pass them out the night of your rehearsal dinner so that other guests don’t get jealous. It’s kind of silly, but I’ve seen gift-envy happen at weddings and it’s not a pretty sight! Or, let’s say that you have a playful sense of humor and decide to get personalized t-shirts with risqué messages on them – what will your elderly relatives or younger guests think about that if you distribute them during the wedding dinner for all to see? (Obviously you wouldn’t want to give suggestive or questionable gifts to your younger wedding party members at all, but you get the idea). If you’re dead-set on opening wedding party gifts the night of the reception, then this is a good thing to think about during your gift selection process. It could save you some time and embarrassment!

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