Marrying for love and romance hasn’t been around nearly as long as the 700 year old tradition of bride gifts. Before marrying for love became acceptable, the primary reason for marriage was economic stability. Until the beginning of the 19th century, there were no laws and no social welfare programs that protected a married woman should she become a widow. It was expected and understood that the groom and the bride’s family were to plan for a bride’s economic security should she become widowed. Thus began the custom, beginning with the engagement ring and continuing throughout the engagement period, for a bridegroom to bestow gifts of value upon his fiancee. The gift giving culminated with a final wedding gift traditionally given on the morning after the wedding night. These gifts were to provide financial security for the bride in the event that she widowed. Typical gifts would consist of jewelry, land, silver pieces and gold coins.
Although most people marry for love in today’s society, the custom giving of gifts, beginning with marking an engagement with a ring and often including the purchase of a home and furnishings continues as a time honored tradition. However, presenting a gift to your bride on the day of your wedding is now meant to be more of a statement of sentiment and love. And it is just as common, if not altogether expected for today’s bride to gift her groom with something of sentimental value to mark the day of their marriage. Many times couples exchange handwritten notes with a private message meant only their eyes only. Gifts from the heart are always the best, the value is in the sentiment on your wedding day, not the gift.
Take a look at my Pinterest board entitled “My Love” Gifts from the Groom to his Bride for some ideas on what to her. But remember, these are just suggestions. Whatever gift you decide on should be thoughtful, meaningful and given with love.