The maid of honor is the member of the group of bridesmaids who is typically the closest to the bride, such as a best friend or close family member. If she is a married female, she is referred to as the matron of honor. The maid/matron of honor is the bride’s "right hand" from the planning of the wedding on through to the reception and beyond. The maid of honor has many responsibilities, one of which is choosing a gift for the bride on the wedding day.
Gift-giving is a personal choice, and choosing a bride’s gift is even more so. Brides and grooms often use a gift registry to list items they want or need for their new life together. Try to avoid falling back on the list everyone else will be using as a reference. As the maid of honor, the gift should be a token of your relationship, so you want it to be well-considered and heartfelt. The gift should instill happy memories and remind the bride of your special relationship on the wedding day and beyond. Traditional gifts for a bride may include an engraved picture frame and/or an album, dried flowers from the wedding bouquet, a music box, engraved glassware, a framed poem or a photograph -- either of the two of you or of the bride and groom at a special moment. It is not the gift itself that matters as much as the relationship.
While traditional gifts are always acceptable, you may opt for a present that's a bit more creative. A bride may appreciate a spa day for the two of you or a weekend getaway. Alternatively, use items from the wedding to create a shadow box to display remnants of the big day. Opt for an engraved jewelry piece, particularly if the item is a locket in which the bride can store some piece of memorabilia from the wedding day. Consider hiring a sky writer to fly over the church to write a personalized best wishes message, or arrange for a hot air balloon to take the newlyweds from the reception to a chosen destination. You may want to create a package gift rather than a single item; for example, a quilt with a box of crayons and coloring books remind the bride and groom to take time out for fun or an evening at home. Specialized door knockers and doormats welcome guests to the newlyweds' home. Or plant a tree for the couple.
Bridal Shower Gifts
The maid of honor is also in charge of giving the bridal shower with the other bridesmaids and, perhaps, the mothers of the bride and groom. Bridal shower gifts are personal for the bride only. Popular gifts include household items, lingerie, picture frames, journals or more extravagant items such as honeymoon gifts.
Even if the bride has a good sense of humor, avoid giving gifts that may be considered offensive or tacky as it may get you off on the wrong foot with the mother(s).
Unlike bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts are items chosen for the couple and are often meant to furnish the home -- for example, linens, small appliances or decorative items. Gift registries make it much easier to choose a wedding gift; however, some guests still give money as a tried-and-true present. As the maid of honor, the gift should remain practical yet have a personal touch to show the importance of the occasion. A wedding time capsule with pieces donated by each member of the wedding party is a keepsake that will form a cherished part of the big day.
To add some fun to your gift, put together a "can of dates" with gift certificates to restaurants, movies, concerts and the like. A DIY travel map is also a way to add a bit of whimsy to the couple's honeymoon and future travel plans.
Pamela Mortimer has been a professional writer for more than 20 years with expertise in many areas including arts, culture, business and the printing trade. She is also a novelist, seasoned editor and graphic designer.