I really wanted to get my bridesmaids really nice gifts. Gifts they would use, yes, but really nice gifts that they would use. I wanted to get them something they would like, but wouldn't buy for themselves. I wanted to get them something a little extravagant. I budgeted more than many people do for bridesmaids gifts, because it was really important to me to treat my girls right. I looked at two things - Coach wristlets, in the $50-75 range, and Tiffany jewelry, in the $100-150 range.
I will say this about Tiffany - I went in there, in my campaign t-shirt and summer doorknocking shorts and hadn't showered or slept in at least a day, and they treated me with unbelievable respect. The saleslady treated me like I was the queen of somewhere. She patiently showed me all of my options, let me try things on, didn't push anything, and respected my budget. Ultimately, I didn't like any of the pieces in my price range enough.
I was on the fence, and was looking at a number of other possibilities, when I got emailed a "25% off your total purchase" coupon from Coach. Well, I was sold - I didn't really want to just get my girls wristlets, especially because I knew two of them already had them, but I couldn't afford anything bigger. When my sister and I were last in the Coach store (she bought me the best purse ever for graduation), she admired the Madison wristlet in silver, but eventually decided it was too impractical. I checked it out online and saw that it came in silver, brown, purple, and orange - which were perfect colors for my four bridesmaids.
I will also say this about shopping at the Coach store - their customer service is also top-notch, and they wrapped and boxed the wristlets and then gave me gift bags to put them in. I had to do minimal thinking. I feel badly though, because I did not write them all wonderful notes about how fantastic they are. But I have a plan for doing that, so it's okay.
I didn't have a good time for giving them to the girls, so I gave them to them at midnight right before the wedding, when we were all stressed out. It was poorly executed, and I won't show you the pictures because everybody looks really tired, but there were big smiles.