The Jewelry Insider

July 10, 2010

Traditions and trends in gifts for bridesmaids and ushers

Wedding jewelry isn’t only about what to buy the bride or bridegroom. While the engagement ring and wedding bands should be the main focus of all wedding jewels – it’s just as important not to overlook others in the wedding party.

The tradition of buying gifts for wedding attendants dates back to ancient times when Egyptian noble women presented precious metals and gems to their ladies-in-waiting. What better way to thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen for their hard work, patience and probably a tad of suffering along the way. Although it’s common to choose a jewelry gift for your wedding attendants that matches their bridal outfits and/or complements the bride’s or groom’s outfit, a better option is to give them a classic fine jewelry item that they will be able to wear or use for years to come.

For the bridesmaids, gold, sterling silver, pearls or colored stones are perfect gifts that will have lasting value. As an added bonus, there are many choices in these categories that will suit their personalities and won’t break your budget.

Some classic bridesmaid gifts include bangle or charm bracelets, lockets, colored stone drop earrings, hoop earrings, heart necklaces, jeweled hair clips, and freshwater cultured pearl necklaces which come in an array of fashionable colors and are quite affordable.

Classic pearl stud earrings are another good choice because they suit virtually any hairstyle, skin tone or outfit. Also, consider pendants, earrings, pins or other pieces with beautiful, relatively inexpensive stones such as amethyst or blue topaz. You can also give your bridesmaids something with their birthstones. Some brides even give their attendants fashion watches. All of these classic choices are versatile enough to be worn with most outfits and for most occasions – and most are available at prices starting at under $150.

For the groomsmen, sterling silver jewelry and accessories are the most popular gifts. Traditional onyx and mother-of-pearl accents can provide a masculine, fashionable flair. Two-tone items combining yellow gold and sterling silver can give your attendants’ gifts extra value and a more contemporary look. Cuff links are an especially good gift for men because they can be worn time and time again, long after the wedding is over. Other classic choices include key rings, money clips, tuxedo studs, tie tacs, tie bars, tie clips, pocket knives, cigar cutters, lighters, business card holders or fine writing instruments such as mechanical pencils, fountain or ball point pens.

For an extra special gift, consider a multifunction sports watch or elegant fashion timepiece. Most of these items can be found at prices starting as low as $50. One way to make your bridesmaids’ or groomsmen’s gifts even more valued is by having them engraved with the date, the wearer’s initials or with a special, heartfelt message. This extra touch not only turns the gift into an instant heirloom, but it also makes it much more personal.

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