Should We Buy Thank You Gifts For Our Wedding Guests?

Jo Nunney,
12 October 2021

Should you buy thank you gifts for your lovely wedding guests? But, it’s your wedding day! Whether or not to buy gifts for guests can divide opinions and there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some couples buy gifts for certain members of their wedding party, whilst others don’t entertain gift giving on their wedding day at all. There really isn’t a ‘norm’ here so whatever you decide to do is honestly fine.

You’ll appreciate the presence of every single guest at your wedding (hopefully), but there are of course a few family and friends who will have played an extra-special role in supporting you throughout your wedding preparations. Sure, the least you can do is say thanks, but thank yous don’t have to come in the form of a gift, and if they do they don’t have to be shopbought.

Buying thank you gifts is one of those wedding jobs that often gets left until last when panic buying and guilty overspends can quickly creep in sending your budget way off course. Even token gifts for the smallest of wedding parties will nibble a chunk out of your spend, so if you do plan to buy gifts for your guests then make sure they have their place in your budget.

 
 
Embossed leather flasks make stunning thank you gifts for groomsmenImage with thanks to Daisybell Photography
 
 

Do We Have To Buy Thank You Gifts?

 

No. Nobody expects a thank you gift when attending a wedding, so whilst they are a lovely thought they are definitely not a must. If it’s not manageable as part of your wedding budget, or if you just don’t feel right about doing it, then nobody is going to pull you aside and ask where their present is.

 
 

How Much Should We Spend On Thank You Gifts?

 

If you do decide to buy gifts for your wedding party then please remember these guests are special guests for a reason: they love you and they genuinely don’t expect you to buy them a silly-expensive gift just because you think you should! Consider the number of people you want to buy before making any purchases at all. If you don’t start as you mean to go on with your gifting budget you’ll end up playing match the price tag.

It makes sense that you spend roughly equal amounts on members of your wedding party who had similar roles on your day. This will help avoid any funny looks or green-eyed monsters. Remember that it’s not just the thank you gifts themselves you need to budget for: you might want to buy thank you cards, gift wrap or gift bags, and perhaps flowers too.

As a guide couples tend to spend between £20 and £50 on gifts for their best man and maid of honour, and a little less on their bridesmaids and groomsmen. Flower girls and page boys will be more than happy with a small gift at less around £10 to £20 and parents tend to receive gifts worth between £20 and £40 each. If you do decide to purchase gifts for each other, then agree on a rough budget in advance to avoid any awkward moments. They have you. That’s all they really want on their wedding day!

 
 

Do We Need To Send Thank You Cards?

 

Most couples still send traditional thank you cards to all of their wedding guests. Purchasing thank you cards and paying the postage fees for these will need budgeting for. You could always go digital and opt for budget-savvy and environmentally friendly ecards.

 
 

Who Should We Send Thank You Cards To?

 

Every guest should receive a thank you card, regardless of whether they only attended briefly or whether they gave you a wedding gift. They have made the time and effort to help you celebrate and most likely at some financial cost to them.

 
 

Do Wedding Favours Count As Thank You Gifts?

 

Wedding favours are a gift presented to your wedding guests, traditionally at the wedding breakfast. Of course they count as a gift! Wedding favours add a little personality and interest to your wedding tables too. They shouldn’t be too expensive as you’ll have a quantity of them to pay for. Handmade favours are becoming really popular and can make for really thoughtful little thank you gifts.

 
 

When Should We Hand Out Thank You Gifts?

 

Gift giving tends to take place after the speeches at the wedding breakfast. It’s often that moment where the groom looks utterly baffled by all the identical gift bags lined up behind the head table and desperately tries to work out which one is which. If you want to publicly acknowledge your appreciation for the help of certain guests then this is a great time to capture your audience.

If you’re keen to keep the formalities to a minimum on your wedding day, or you just find it all a bit awkward, then you could present gifts at the rehearsal dinner, or anytime really! This has a few advantages over a wedding breakfast delivery: you’ll have more time to say a proper thank you and it’s one less thing to manage on the big day. You might want to gift items in advance which your wedding party can wear on your wedding day, such as bracelets for your bridesmaids or cufflinks for your groomsmen.

 
 

Should We Buy Gifts For Each Other?

 

This may seem a bit odd as you’ve just gifted each other with the best gift of all. Erm, YOU! Traditionally the bride and groom did tend to exchange gifts, but this was usually done before or after the wedding day itself. These days a mutual agreement to make a saving here by not bothering is pretty common.

If you would like to exchange gifts think about doing this as you go your separate ways the night before the wedding, along with a little love letter. Soppy, but so sweet. Agree on a budget and stick to it. Also, be cautious if you gift accessories with the plan they will be worn on the wedding day. They have probably perfected their outfit and last-minute additions could be unwelcome.

 
 

Should We Buy Thank You Gifts For Our Wedding Suppliers?

 

You really don’t need to buy gifts for your wedding suppliers. Save on your budget here and give them what they really want: amazing reviews and recommendations to support their business and perhaps a little thank you. If you really want to say a special thank you, then giving suppliers permission to use your wedding pics on their websites is often very much appreciated.

 
 
Rustic bottle wedding favours Image with thanks to Daisybell Photography
 
 

What Are Suitable Gifts For Our Wedding Party?

 

  • Thank You Gifts For Your Maid of Honour

    This one needs to say ‘I love you lady’. You couldn’t have done it without her. Chances are you would happily spend 20% of your wedding budget on this girl as she’s been a star, but keep it sensible. A thank you gift should only really be a token of appreciation, not a grand gesture. Buy her something she wouldn’t treat herself to, or make her something sentimental and as gorgeous as she is. Personalised jewellery, embossed makeup bags, a framed pic of you together, or a silky embroidered dressing gown for the night before are all lovely ideas.


  • Thank You Gifts For Your Bridesmaids

    It’s a really popular choice now to gift items that can be worn on your wedding day such as bracelets or earrings. It does kind of kill two birds with one stone! Try to personalise each item in some way and be sure to add a heart-felt note paying special thanks to particular acts of kindness or memories.


  • Thank You Gifts For Flower Girls & Page Boys

    The grown-up in you may want to give them something timeless and memorable, which is lovely, but they would probably prefer something fun! Your mini audience does not have an expectation of pricey or sentimental gifts yet. You really don’t need to spend lots to please. Just think of something they will be happy to open: toys and sweets usually!


  • Thank You Gifts For Your Best Man

    This guy is special, right? If the budget allows then engraved watches or embossed wallets or flasks are perfect. Cool socks or a beer hamper will be appreciated if you want to keep the spend down. If your best man gets the groom drunk and shaves off his eyebrows on the stag- he gets nothing!


  • Thank You Gifts For Groomsmen & Ushers

    Just as with bridesmaids it’s common to gift groomsmen something that they can wear on your wedding day. Think about designer socks, embroidered ties or engraved cufflinks. Simpler options are bottle openers or comedy gifts that give a nod to the in-jokes amongst the lads. How about paintball tickets! Stag do round two!


  • Thank You Gifts For Parents

    Joint gifts are perfectly okay if it suits your family set up, there’s no need to buy anything extravagant for each of your parents. They do mean it when they say that they don’t want anything much. It’s possibly their money that you’re spending anyway! A nice keepsake is the best way to go here, or for the less sentimental then something in a fancy bottle to reminisce about your wedding day over.


  • Thank You Gifts For Readers and Witnesses

    Readers and witnesses really won’t expect a thank you gift. It’s not traditional or typical, but if you do wish to do so then keep it small and personal. A little engraved wooden sign or personalised wine glass would be lovely.


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    Your wedding guests won’t expect a thank you gift, but if you want to spoil them a bit, then go for it. They have been amazing to be fair! More questions about your wonderful wedding guests? Find loads more tips and ideas on the Wedding Well blog.