Thank your favorite ladies with personal, unique gifts they’ll never forget.
After all the excitement of picking the venue and choosing the menu, after two (at least!) dress fittings and a few marathon shoe-shopping trips, after your delightful shower and rowdy bachelorette party, after … well, everything, the moment has finally arrived. No, not for the wedding, but almost: now is the time to thank the ladies who’ve helped you get to your special day in one piece—your bridesmaids. Traditionally, these sisters, cousins, and dear friends assist the bride in ways both large and small (see the range of duties above!), and in return, the bride gives her bridesmaids small tokens of appreciation on the morning of the ceremony.
The perfect bridesmaid gift will show that you care deeply about the women who are supporting you in this transition into married life—and that you are ready to do the same when it’s their turn to stand up and say “I do.” But the importance of this gift doesn’t mean you need to break the bank buying everyone a blue box from Tiffany’s. There are tons of simple, thoughtful and beautiful ways to show these ladies your love and gratitude without spending a mint.
Give a spa day (the DIY way)
You might be off on your honeymoon, but when it’s all over and the confetti has settled, your bridesmaids will be craving a little relaxation time for themselves, too. Their feet probably hurt from dancing all night with you, and their cheeks hurt from smiling so darn much. But, of course, spas are pricey, and not everyone can afford to buy each of their bridesmaids a massage at $150 per head.
Instead, surprise the girls with some favorite bath and beauty products, tucked into a little ribbon-tied bag or old-fashioned basket. You can make each maid’s spa-package identical, or go the extra mile and make each one personal (adding those LUSH bath bombs your sister loves to just her basket, for example). For an even more thoughtful touch, print out or hand-write a recipe for your favorite beauty mask and add it to the basket, too. Don’t have a go-to favorite? Try this easy all-natural exfoliator recipe from Pinterest that everyone will love.
Then, on the morning of the big day, simply line the packages up where the maids will be getting their hair and makeup done together. Bonus: those cute baskets (and the looks on your bridesmaids faces as they open them) will make for a pretty picture that your photographer can capture.
Wake up for makeup
For a gift that’s both practical and luxurious, give your bridesmaids a personalized tote and makeup bag. Whether they’re on the go or lounging at home, these essentials will remind your friends of your happy day as well as keep them looking coordinated and chic. Pick a tote bag with a cute quote (only $12 each!) and pair it with a monogrammed makeup bag and compact in your wedding colors. Your bridesmaids will think of primping on your wedding morning whenever they need a lipstick touch-up.
Bottles of red, white, or rosé
Wine a bit
For the DIY bride, there’s no better way to thank your bridesmaids than by packing an adorable mini wine crate for an at-home celebration after the festivities. All you have to do is buy small bottles of your ladies’ favorite wines (Sutter Home has minis that won’t break the bank) and deck them out with custom labels. Or you can opt for these charming wine labels from blogger Something Turquoise. If you’re pressed for time—and what bride isn’t?—go for a pre-made version or simply select a (standard-size) bottle of wine you enjoy and attach a heartfelt note on a pretty ribbon.
Doves + Dahlias
With seven colors to choose from and a price that’s too good to pass up, a floral kimono is the bridesmaid gift that is sure to keep on giving. Not only are they the perfect costumes for your getting-ready photoshoot, but they’re sure to give your ladies a lot of cozy lounge-around wear for years to come. Brownie points if you include an adorable personalized hanger.
But first, coffee
What if your bridesmaids are more the cold-brew, hand-roasted beans types? No problem: show your gratitude with a personalized coffee mug, like this one from Everyday Calligraphy, and a pound of their favorite coffee. Add a cute thank-you note with a gift card to their favorite brunch spot, and they will completely forget about the time you needed to be stuffed into the limo and escorted home after your debauched bachelorette.
Wow your bridesmaids with these simple and gorgeous “initial” necklaces for a thank-you they’ll wear for years. Choose from silver, gold-filled or rose-gold (even better if it matches your rings), select their first initial and choose a length, and Make Pie Not War will send it your way for less than $50. Done and done. If you’re feeling flush, add this monogrammed trinket dish to the package.
P.S. I Love You
For the ladies who still write their thank-you notes on paper, custom stationery with their monogram will score you major thoughtfulness points—especially when paired with a coordinating notebook, planner and pens. Check out Pink Olive for online shopping or google “custom” or “letterpress” stationery in your city for in-person browsing. Stash it all with a DIY monogrammed pencil pouch, or, if you’re short on time, check out these as-good-as-handmade options that will save you precious pre-wedding hours.
If you’re crafty and your bridesmaids are career-minded, a unique, homemade leather card case is the perfect way to show your gratitude and affection. It’s the perfect size to hold just enough business cards to hand out at events and still stash in a purse. Your ladies will love the gold leaf embellishment and the soft suede. And don’t be intimidated—it’s a whole lot easier to make than it looks.
Keepsake Kitchen Diary by Lily & Val
If your friends are more into décor than food or wine, consider gifts that will brighten up their homes. If you’re giving them earrings or a bracelet, wrap them up with a cute monogrammed trinket dish as an inexpensive extra. Every time they drop their earrings in the dish before bed, they’ll think of you and your friendship. Or perhaps opt for this Keepsake Kitchen Diary by Lily & Val so your ladies can keep track of their favorite recipes, gatherings and memories as they entertain and celebrate. The handlettering alone will make this gift stand out on any kitchen countertop.
Show your gals how much you care with a bottle opener they’ll actually use—because once it’s attached to the kitchen wall, they’ll never have to waste time searching through drawers again. Round out the gift with a six-pack of their favorite craft beer for a gift they’re bound to love. If you’re a really good friend, you’ll stop by their house after your honeymoon and install it for them. (Maybe ask first, though, before you start drilling.)
Let’s do brunch
If your friends are the bond-over-brunch types, whip up a batch of these charming DIY mini Bloody Mary mason jars. No cutting, sewing, or hammering required: all you need are 30-ounce mason jar mugs, mini tabasco bottles, mini Smirnoff vodka bottles, V8 juice, and craft supplies. Twisty straws optional. Just remind your pals to abstain until after the ceremony—you don’t want anyone wobbling down the aisle.
Sometimes the gift of an experience is far better than a trinket. Gift them a gift certificate for their favorite dinner spot, jazz club, amusement park, or craft studio in their town. If they don’t live in your city, take the time to find a place they can enjoy in their area—they’ll love how much extra effort you took to thank them.
To infinity + beyond
For a beach wedding, there’s no gift that is more perfect than this nautical-inspired bracelet. Simple and classic, the infinity knot will remind your besties of your happy day every time they wear it. To continue the beachy theme, add a bag of this DIY “sea glass” hard candy and a recipe, like this super easy one from The Cupcake Project, so they can make their own batch of salt water taffy.
Hand-crafted bath salts
Your friends are going to need a relaxed evening with their own sweeties after all the excitement of your wedding. Help them set the mood with these pretty scented candles that will look great on any coffee table. Include a few sticks of your favorite incense and homemade bath salts, so she can chill a bit on her own before a night out with her honey. Go big and include a CD (for those friends who still use them), like this Romantic Smooth Jazz compilation from Barnes & Noble, and put it all together in a wicker basket from your local craft store.
Back to (beauty) basics
Not every bridesmaid wants to lug home a gift, no matter how thoughtful or cute it is. For something special your girls are guaranteed to love, treat them each to a Birchbox subscription. Three months of chic, trendy beauty samples will be delivered right to their doors—a gift that makes bringing in the mail actually fun. After the first month, each will be able to note their preferences, so they’ll receive products that are tailored for them.
If you take the time to properly thank them, your girls will always remember your wedding fondly. It can take some time to find exactly the right thing for each bridesmaid, but it’s worth it. And it’s got to be easier than picking out your dress, right?
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