Bridesmaid Gifts

Written by Shirley Parker
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Bridesmaid gifts are usually thank-yous from the bride for all the emotional support and practical assistance the bridesmaids have provided, with both the planning, research, shopping, and the wedding itself. On the other hand--and I've heard other women say the same thing--had either I or my maid of honor known at the time all that she was "supposed" to do, there would have been no wedding. Ignorance of proper etiquette can sometimes save a person from a nervous breakdown.

Bridesmaid gifts are also a small token from the groom to his bride's attendants. They may consist of pearl necklaces or evening purses, or something as practical as picnic ware or photo albums. Such gifts need not be extravagant and probably shouldn't be, to avoid raising eyebrows.

One reason that bridesmaid gifts are so appropriate is that bridesmaids do a great deal of the work that would otherwise fall upon the mother of the bride and the bride herself. Addressing invitations comes to mind, as this can be very time-consuming. Their help in easing the load is especially true when the groom declines, for whatever reason, to help with the wedding planning at all.

Bridesmaid Gifts and a Job Well Done

In olden days, the bridesmaid's job at the wedding was to ward off evil spirits who might attack the bride. They dressed very similarly to the bride, so as to further confuse any evil spirits in the area. Thus the more bridesmaids, the better, we can suppose. It's said that in parts of Scandinavia, bridesmaids and the bride carried "bouquets" of foul-smelling weeds, or any herb that had a strong odor, to drive away trolls. Since no trolls were seen, it must have worked. Even so, today's bouquets are so much lovelier to contemplate and smell.

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