The trials and tribulations of buying thank you gifts

More often than not, many couples’ parents and family are involved in the wedding planning process from day one; perhaps financially or perhaps emotionally. 

As a gesture of thanks, most couples want to give their nearest and dearest a token of their appreciation for the support that they have shown throughout what can be an emotionally trying time.

But what do you give? How much do you spend? And how can you give your loved ones something meaningful when you are on a budget??

Traditionally many couples give flowers to show appreciation which are always gratefully received, however I want to give our loved ones something they can keep and look upon in years to come and remember our special day. However as soon as you add the word ‘wedding’ into the equation, the price often doubles. I also found it quite hard to actually find good gift ideas on the internet that didn’t have a massive price tag.

So once again I’ve fallen back on my good friend, eBay. I must point out I haven’t purchased all the items from eBay (I’ll share more info at a later date once all my items have arrived and I can add pictures), but lots of things I found to be considerably cheaper on there compared to other websites and shops. I’ve bought our parents gifts from a lovely seller on there, and a couple of little items for the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen also from sellers on eBay.

Because I’ve decided I want to make a little goody bag for each of the Bridesmaid and Groomsmen, and include things I know will be gratefully received, (rather than risk it all on one  big and expensive item, which may just be shoved to the back of the shelf after a month or so) I did a lot of scouring the internet to source the items I want, for a price I like! eBay covered a few of the bits and bobs, but I also used the following websites to put together low budget, but good quality gift bags for our family members.

One website which I found to be pretty fab, is A Wedding Less Ordinary. Although relatively expensive if you are buying favours for each of your 100 guests from this site, if you are only buying a couple of items for members of the bridal party, it actually works out quite cheaply. Its also been featured on the TV show Four Weddings and has been used by a number of celebrities so it comes quite highly recommended!

Once again, the Confetti website has lots of fab stuff on there; and many of which are in the sale. You can pick up exotic flavour lip-glosses for your Bridesmaids for £1.49 (I’m bagging Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Fudge Brownie!), gorgeously decorated hessian bags stuffed with aromatic candles, body washes and soaps for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom for around £8, and lots of beer and alcohol related items for the boys for around £15!

I know I ramble on about the For Sale section on various wedding websites nearly every post (sorry!), but they really can be handy! Planning a wedding often caused Brides to crazily and manically buy everything they like, before realising that they don’t actually have any use for the thing they previously desperately wanted! You can often pick up Bridesmaid jewellery, organza bags (handy for putting gifts in) and other items quite cheaply this way! I managed to grab an absolute bargain from a Bride who ordered TWO Oh So Cherished Groom’s journals (???) who then offered to sell one of them at a reduced price; saving me a good £20 off the RRP!! It may be frustrating trawling through pages of rubbish that Brides are trying to offload, but every so often you’ll find a gem that makes it worth it!

I never thought I’d say this, but the Avon website is fab for purchasing affordable gifts for your bridal party! They currently have LOADS of deals on on fragrances (think a nice bottle of perfume or aftershave for each of your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen) – the best one at the moment is 2 bottles of perfume or aftershave for £12!!! Some of the bottles retail individually at £13!!! They also have some lovely jewelry for Bridesmaids on offer at the moment – my favourite find is the faux pearl set (necklace, earrings and bracelet) currently being sold for £14 for TWO sets!!

I have a couple of other important points that I think should be made when wading through tonnes of different gift ideas:

Don’t buy for the sake of it – everything adds up. Only buy what you know for sure will be appreciated.

Don’t buy rubbish just because it’s cheap and you have a budget to stick to – there is nothing worse than opening a present and being horrified with the cheap and tacky monstrosity that lurks inside and then having to pretend you love it. Go for good quality items that your family will cherish. They ARE out there!!

A card is a MUST – words are often more meaningful than a present, so if you feel that no present can ever match up to the amount of support you have received from someone, put it down in words and just get a small token present to give! I have bought all my thank you cards for my family, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen from ASDA – there are some lovely designs, and I managed to pick up some gorgeous ones for around £1-£1.50 each!!

Once I have received all my items, I’ll upload pictures of the finished products to show that you CAN give good quality, and thoughtfully created gifts even if you are on a budget!! 

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