Q My fiancé and I are getting married in a few weeks. I’m Indian, and we wanted Indian clothes for the ceremony. I went to India with my mom this past winter, and we purchased clothes for all our attendants for the ceremony. Do we still need to get our wedding party gifts, especially those who haven’t really been involved much?
A It’s both beautiful and meaningful that you and your mother traveled to India together and purchased your wedding party’s attire there.
What a personal touch to the day. I’m certain your attendants will be very touched that they don’t have to pay for the clothing, too.
However, it doesn’t save you from giving them a small token of your appreciation, because you are giving them something they are required to wear, albeit gorgeous handmade clothes from India. You don’t have to spend a lot on the wedding party gifts—especially for the people who haven’t been very involved. But these friends and family members are sacrificing their time for you, and etiquette dictates that you give them a thank you gift that doesn’t have anything to do with the wedding (which is why the clothing isn’t enough). That gift doesn’t have to cost much, if anything. It could be a framed photo of you and/or your fiancé with each person or something you’ve made, such as a small painting, a poem about friendship in your own handwriting on nice paper or a potted plant. The message of the gift is more important than the dollar value, and it should say, “I appreciate you in my life and for standing up for me on my wedding day.”
Kirsten Ott Palladino is the co-founder and editor in chief of Equally Wed, the nation’s leading gay and lesbian wedding and honeymoon magazine. Follow her on Twitter. Connect with her on Facebook. Write her with your same-sex wedding questions. If she can’t answer it, she’ll find another expert who can!