PUBLISHED: 2:31 PM on Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Choosing thoughtful thank-you gifts for your wedding party
Most couples put a lot of consideration into the details of their wedding day. Wardrobe, flowers, music and food are just a few of the hand-selected accents that complement the celebration. While you may have specific ideas about the ceremony, it is important not to overlook the details that show your appreciation to the helping hands.

Make a list of the people you would like to recognize with thank you gifts. In addition to the table favors, popular etiquette dictates that special gifts are generally given to both sets of parents as well as attendants in the wedding. Your list may be longer depending on the number of special participants in your event.

Did You Know ... ? Weddings are rich in traditions. Here are explanations of a few: l The tradition of bridesmaids dressing the same as each other and in similar style to the bride comes from the old belief that evil spirits cast hexes on the bride. Dressing the same made it more difficult for the spirits to distinguish the bride. l According to English folklore, Saturday, a popular wedding day, is the unluckiest day to marry. l The veil dates back to ancient Rome, when it was flame-yellow, worn over the face and called a flammeum.
Presents for close friends and family members do not have to reflect the theme of your wedding or tie into the ceremony. You probably know these people better than anyone. So, choose a gift that reflects their personal tastes and interests, even if they are not necessarily your own.

Consider their hobbies. Sports fans may enjoy a gift certificate for dinner during a game at a popular sports bar. Athletes may appreciate activity-themed gifts like a ski lift ticket or a round of golf. Ask yourself if the person has a special collection. Popular collectibles have a variety of pieces that can often be hand personalized to make wonderful gifts. It is important that your gift convey the significant role this person plays in your life and not just in your wedding.

With all of the excitement, you may want to put some thought into selecting an appropriate time to present the thank you gifts. Scheduling a dinner or lunch the week before the wedding with both sets of parents creates an ideal time to pamper them with your gifts and give everyone a much-needed break from wedding-planning stress.

For attendants, the bride and groom can give bridesmaids and groomsmen their gifts at an intimate luncheon the afternoon before the rehearsal. It will be the perfect time - before busy festivities begin - to show them how much you appreciate their support.

If these pre-wedding events are not practical, pull each person or couple aside during the rehearsal dinner or anytime when you can steal a moment of privacy. This is your chance to show your appreciation; take advantage of this special moment. Remember it is always considered fashionable for a couple to generously express gratitude before, during and after their special day.