I always prided myself on my ability to find those really thoughtful gifts, but then along came Natalie Pinney and Moira Thompson of Whim Events, and well, these ladies know what they're doing. After seeing a shift in the approach to bridal party gifting, with more and more couples requesting them to source super sentimental gifts to ensure appreciation is felt, these ladies are pro's at picking the perfect presents. See their ideas below and get ready to get shopping!
Make It a "Morning of" Experience: Brunch + Bubbly
One of the worst things we see when we walk into a bridal suite the morning of a wedding is a messy and unorganized environment to get ready: takeout food on every surface, makeup and curling irons on the bed, undergarments strewn about and ten girls trying to get dressed at once. The best way to treat your ladies is to create a morning that is relaxed, pampering and spa-like. Ensure the room is large enough for your squad. Or get two rooms- one standard room with great light for hair and makeup, and one larger suite with a couch and table for brunching and relaxing. Plan for a champagne brunch to be delivered to your suite that morning, (our friends at Wanderlush provide a pop-up mimosa bar!) along with bagels, coffee, pastries, fruit, water and snacks for the day. Turn on a party playlist or your favorite chill music, whatever suites you best! You might not think of this as a "gift" now, but on the wedding day, trust us, your ladies will thank you.
Make It Sentimental
Your friends have stood by you through the good times and the bad, so asking them to be by your side at the altar is a sacred and emotional experience. Show how much you cherish them by giving them something heartfelt to last for years beyond the wedding day. We are currently loving the idea of bringing back the tried and true tradition of engraved handkerchiefs. They are lovely, lady-like and feminine. Our favorites are The Everyday Handkerchief, made locally in Boston with organic linen and hand-engraved with initials or a full monogram. We are also coveting this Kate Spade bracelet, affectionately inscribed with "perfect pair, two of a kind, birds of a feather, sidekicks, etc."
or... Make It Practical
With that said, here comes the old bridesmaid's dress joke you want to avoid when gifting ("You can totally wear it again!" said no neon pink clad bridesmaid, ever). If you are more interested in practicality over sentiment, look for something they will want to use often, but would not necessarily treat themselves to. Silk robes are super popular right now (and gorgeous) but we are also loving the idea of practical and cozy pajamas like these from J.Crew, or these floral shortie sets from Plum Pretty Sugar. These sets can be worn while getting ready and certainly contribute to a spa-like feeling of luxury. If you want to go the the well loved route of giving jewelry, be sure you choose a versatile piece that can be worn at the wedding with any neckline and/or at the office later that week! We are loving these simple Elizabeth Bower earrings, sold online and at Flair Boston, because they truly go with everything.
Make It Personal and Thoughtful
By personal, we don't mean you need to monogram every gift you give. Simply take the time to write something personal to your wedding party members in a thank you note that accompanies the gift. It doesn't have to be a novel, a few short sentences about why you love them, or your favorite memory will go a long way. We love these photos cards from Artifact Uprising. With these, you are able to select your favorite picture of the two of you, making it all the more special. If you are not loving the idea of hand-writing several notes yourself, ask a calligrapher to hand-letter a note to each gal, which also makes a stunning and thoughtful keepsake.
Make It Pretty
Thoughtful gifting is all in the delivery. Deliver your gifts in thoughtful and unexpected ways. For one of our couples, we came into the bridal suite the night before and set up a gorgeous styled gift area for the girls to walk into the morning of. Each gift was wrapped in pretty paper and set on a vintage tray, with a calligraphed name tag for each girl. In another situation, we came up with the idea for our bride to gift her maids with sparkly Toms shoes (aka "dancing shoes!"). We set up each pair on their chairs at the wedding with a calligraphed note from the bride - a fun and unexpected surprise later in the evening!
ps...Don't Forget The Boys!
Grooms gotta gift too! And practical gifts almost always win here. (Not many groomsmen will ever need a pocket watch, so nix it). We recommend first thinking about what these men are into. Ex. are they big sports fans, mountaineers, beer brewers, craft cocktail aficionados, etc? Once you have sense of their style, gift based on that. From personal experience, one of the best gifts my husband ever got when in a wedding was a large fabric monogrammed drink cooler. We use it every weekend at the beach! Another great gift for the sports fan is a jersey from their favorite team. For the cocktail lovers, these super funny (and hilariously labeled) cocktail mixers from White Whale are a hit. And, if you simply want the guys to match on the wedding day, a simple and versatile tie and clip from the Tie Bar makes for a dashing crew.
ONGOING GIVEAWAYS + DISCOUNTS…
THIS WEEK'S DISCOUNTS…
For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Weddings by Susan Dunne, Brideside, and giveaways from Magnolia Weddings and twobirds Bridesmaid!
For our Tri-state Brides... Discounts from Femina Photo + Design and Brideside, and giveaway from twobirds Bridesmaid!
For our Destination Brides... Discount from Hitch'd Weddings & Events and promotion from Round Hill!
For our Southeast Brides... Discount from Cassidy Carson Photography
For our Midwest Brides... Giveaway for Jstyle Weddings Bridal Event