Moms and Maids

Question about gifts - expectations v. etiquette

I'm having a bit of an existential crisis regarding my bridal party gifts. Per etiquette, I've gotten them all a piece of jewellery (NOT for the wedding) that I think fits their individual style/taste/preferences, and was thinking about getting them each an additional thing as the jewellery was relatively inexpensive. I know it's not in-etiquette to buy them "gifts" that are specifically for the wedding, but I'm starting to get worried that I'm stuck between what's in-etiquette and what's "normal" in my social circle. Every wedding I've ever been in, we were gifted matching things (usually totes/makeup bags), our jewellery, and our bags for the evening. Until I started reading TK, I thought that was normal and polite. Now I'm worried that because of these expectations, if I show up to my rehearsal dinner with nice individual gifts for my BP, they're going to be left in a lurch come the wedding day because they won't have prepared to have their own clutches because they were expecting I would "gift" them theirs. Should I handle this by mentioning in an e-mail to the BP now about the accessories (and if so, what's the best way to word it?), or go ahead and get them matching clutches in addition to the individual gifts I've already purchased? My only reasoning for the latter option is concern that less than three weeks out, I'm placing an undue burden on them to take care of their own bags, as they might not have a "formal" clutch that goes with their dresses -- or is that an irrational fear? Thanks in advance for any advice. 
kimmiinthemitten

Re: Question about gifts - expectations v. etiquette

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'm with ShesSoCold.  I didn't even use a clutch/bag for my wedding.  I left all my crap in a old high school tote bag in the bridal suite.  But honestly I have come to expect the typical BM gift that you would see on Pinterest.  It would actually be a breath of fresh air to be given something individualized and that had zero to do with the wedding.

    And as a BM I have never used a clutch or took a clutch to the wedding I was in.  There was typically a room/car where we could leave our crap.  But then again I am not one who feels the need to touch up my makeup or whatever else you may need to shove in a clutch.  My phone?  I gave it to H to put in his pocket, same with my ID and credit card.

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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I don't think gifting a clutch is necessary unless that is what the BMs will hold in place of a bouquet, which is becoming a thing.  I have always brought my own stuff when I was in a wedding (and thankful when I could wear my own jewelry!).  I have a tote bag with emergency type stuff and my clutch that I will keep at my table during the reception. 

    For my own wedding, I just had a tote bag for all my stuff.  My mom did make me a purse to go with my gown, but it was to put all the cards that we were handed during our table visits.  That's just what goes on where I am from and in my family.  And I actually had that purse dropped off at the reception venue with all my other stuff ahead of time, so the reception venue could have it placed on our sweetheart table for when we arrived.  Otherwise, I would not have carried any sort of purse at our wedding.

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited September 2015
    If a clutch is so traditional in your area, I would guess most of your BM's already have a clutch they can use on your wedding day. Certainly at the very least, they all have a purse they can use for the day.
    lnixon8
  • Per etiquette, I've gotten them all a piece of jewellery (NOT for the wedding) that I think fits their individual style/taste/preferences
    FWIW, this is not "etiquette". No one is required to buy BMs jewelry. Some people don't even wear jewelry. You can give BMs anything as their gift. 

    So that being said, I think you are over-thinking this. If you don't give a clutch with stuff in it, they'll carry their own purses with their own stuff. The earth will not split and no one will die - they'll be fine. 
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  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I've never heard of any etiquette rule that says you have to give your bridal party jewelry. I'm not sure where you got that. 

    I've been in a few weddings, and every gift I received was either jewelry I had to wear the day of, or something wedding-themed. I've never used any of those items again. I would be happy to receive a gift that someone actually put some thought into. If you don't give them clutches and jewerly, I'm sure they'll have other options at home that they can use. I agree that you're overthinking this. 

  • Per etiquette, I've gotten them all a piece of jewellery (NOT for the wedding) that I think fits their individual style/taste/preferences
    FWIW, this is not "etiquette". No one is required to buy BMs jewelry. Some people don't even wear jewelry. You can give BMs anything as their gift. 

    So that being said, I think you are over-thinking this. If you don't give a clutch with stuff in it, they'll carry their own purses with their own stuff. The earth will not split and no one will die - they'll be fine. 
    I wasn't saying the etiquette was to get them jewelery, I was referring to the expectation that getting them personalized gifts (as though it was for their birthday/holiday/etc.) = polite. I just happened to get them all a piece of jewelery because they all wear it regularly, but they aren't FOR the wedding. If one of them didn't wear jewelery regularly, I would have got something else, like I did for my bridesman.

    Thank you to everyone for your advice - @shessocold, I stole your line about leaving stuff in the bridal suite in the e-mail I sent yesterday, it was very helpful, thank you!


    lc07
  • Go with the norms for your social circle unless you're upgrading from the norm.  Decide what you'd like to do, it's a gift.  Personally, I'd rather have snacks to munch on while waiting/getting ready than extra "stuff", the same goes for a clutch, if your girls already have a bunch of them, it may not be the way to go.  Go with something that's practical to their lives and that they'd individually would enjoy having.
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  • I'm with ShesSoCold.  I didn't even use a clutch/bag for my wedding.  I left all my crap in a old high school tote bag in the bridal suite.  But honestly I have come to expect the typical BM gift that you would see on Pinterest.  It would actually be a breath of fresh air to be given something individualized and that had zero to do with the wedding.

    And as a BM I have never used a clutch or took a clutch to the wedding I was in.  There was typically a room/car where we could leave our crap.  But then again I am not one who feels the need to touch up my makeup or whatever else you may need to shove in a clutch.  My phone?  I gave it to H to put in his pocket, same with my ID and credit card.
    Same here, this is what I do on a normal night out.. I would be the one to forget the clutch, and lose my ID, CC, and whatever else in in there.. My dress has pockets so he wont be my "man purse" for the wedding day!

    I did get mine Jewelry to wear for the wedding, but it is very much their taste, and something that I feel they hopefully will wear again.. but if you want to add a small gift for the wedding day then do, since you already have the personal gift, it is up to you. I am sure unless you have said not to bring a purse everyone has a plan or will bring their own bag, purse to carry their stuff in. since the gifts are handed out at the RD they will know on the day of the wedding they will not have said clutch, bag, or purse..
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'm having a bit of an existential crisis regarding my bridal party gifts. Per etiquette, I've gotten them all a piece of jewellery (NOT for the wedding) that I think fits their individual style/taste/preferences, and was thinking about getting them each an additional thing as the jewellery was relatively inexpensive. I know it's not in-etiquette to buy them "gifts" that are specifically for the wedding, but I'm starting to get worried that I'm stuck between what's in-etiquette and what's "normal" in my social circle. Every wedding I've ever been in, we were gifted matching things (usually totes/makeup bags), our jewellery, and our bags for the evening. Until I started reading TK, I thought that was normal and polite. Now I'm worried that because of these expectations, if I show up to my rehearsal dinner with nice individual gifts for my BP, they're going to be left in a lurch come the wedding day because they won't have prepared to have their own clutches because they were expecting I would "gift" them theirs. Should I handle this by mentioning in an e-mail to the BP now about the accessories (and if so, what's the best way to word it?), or go ahead and get them matching clutches in addition to the individual gifts I've already purchased? My only reasoning for the latter option is concern that less than three weeks out, I'm placing an undue burden on them to take care of their own bags, as they might not have a "formal" clutch that goes with their dresses -- or is that an irrational fear? Thanks in advance for any advice. 

    This is me, but although I do own a clutch, I don't enjoy carrying it.  I also wouldn't want to receive a bag or jewelry as a bridesmaid gift (actually, as a gift, period). 

    If you already have personal gifts for everyone, I'd just let your bridesmaids know that those are the gifts and let them decide what kind of bag to carry, assuming they want or need to.  Presumably, if everyone in your circle has been a bridesmaid for someone else in your circle, they all have clutches or bags and can accommodate themselves.

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