Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why are all bridesmaids gifts monogrammed?

Seriously.  You go to The Knot or Weddingbee's "bridesmaid shop" and everything is monogrammed.  For that one day that your bridesmaids are all in the same room and might ::gasp:: mix up their tote bags.  And if I was going to get my bridesmaids a monogrammed tote bag, it would be something sturdy from LL Bean.

I often see people bemoaning "why are bridesmaids gifts are so hard?"  Uh, because they are your best friends, they have done a lot for you, and no freakin' tote bag can ever possibly thank them for everything they did.  Even if it is monogrammed.  So let go of the idea that your bridesmaid gift will be "enough", and settle for the idea of "nice".

What might make for good bridesmaid gifts?  I know at least one of my bridesmaids uses the clutch I got her, so I'm calling the Coach Wristlet a win. The other thing I thought about getting all of my girls was diamond stud earrings - they are infinitely practical and not terribly expensive.  For our wedding, I wore the small diamond studs that my husband got me for Valentine's Day my first year of law school, which according to him were, "surprisingly not that expensive."

But what if you didn't budget very much for bridesmaid gifts?  (Which was probably a mistake, btw.  I would recommend budgeting something around $100 for bridesmaid gifts.  You can knock it down later, if you really need to make room.)  A lot of people recommend things like flip-flops or pashminas so they can be comfortable at your wedding.  If you go for flip flops, get a good brand, like Reefs, in a color specific to each girl so they can wear them again and again.

One idea I wanted to do, but didn't have a chance to get my act together for (also, ran out of $) was to put a gift card into each wristlet.  This is also an idea you can achieve for less - for example, I might get one of these fun Fossil coin purses, which are around $14-20 and nice.  I started carrying a coin purse again recently and it's fantastic for carrying around cash, or a more streamlined version of my wallet:




You can fill the coin purse with gift cards that are specific to each bridesmaid, and this is also an easy way to give a slightly nicer gift to your maid-of-honor, or to a bridesmaid who has really gone above and beyond, without everybody else knowing.

What did you get your maids?

8 comments:

  1. I gave each of my girls a piece of jewelry, specific to their own personality. Three of them decided to wear the jewelry for the wedding but I didn't intend for them to do that. I spent about $85-$95 on each piece of jewelry. I don't like monogrammed things, so I certainly wasn't going to get anything like that for my girls. I thought about the giftcard idea too---that was my second choice!

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  2. I got my bridesmates flasks with different images of vintage pin up girls on them. Since we had both male and female attendants, I wanted sometime generally gender neutral. We also bought some nice alcohol for them to fill said flasks with for the rehearsal/day of. It went over quite well!

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  3. I'm trying really hard to come up with something cute and useful, but I have a year so there's no rush. I like the wristlet idea, might use that, thanks!

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  4. I'm still gathering gifts and agree that I'll never really repay them. I'm going to give them each a tote with a pashmina (one of the maids asked about something to keep warm later in the evening), a pair of solemates for their heels (the reception is on grass under a tent), a personalized compact mirror and then getting each one a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in her city. Even though some of these are typical gifts, I hope they like them!

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  5. I got each of my bridesmaids a different Lolita martini or wine glass. They are really cool, hand-painted in a theme with a drink recipe on the bottom. They also got the typical pashmina, lip gloss, a candle and a few other trinkets I picked up with coupons and sales the year before. I think they all loved the glasses, so I highly recommend them!

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  6. We didn't have a bridal party, but we chose to give gifts to all key players involved in the ceremony & reception. Since it was a diverse group, we went with a diverse selection of gifts: handmade pottery, restaurant gift cards, high quality/local foods/beverages, jewelry, etc. Our per person budget was a little smaller since we gave gifts to such a large group, but I agree that the point is to make a nice gesture, not repay them for their work and support.

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  7. I only have one bridesmaid, my younger sister who is my maid of honor. I haven't decided what to get her, but after this post I'm leaning toward a Vera Bradley wallet and a gift card somewhere. She's graduating the week before the wedding so I'll probably get her some classic jewelry for that and something more fun for the wedding.

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  8. I got my bridesmaids hankies with their initials on them in blue to carry/use during the ceremony (to match their dresses and so they could use them later as a something blue, if the need arose -- also, many of them are criers) and really cool silver necklaces, each a little different, that they wore for the ceremony. I picked the style because I knew it was something I would wear, and I've been happy to see every one of them wearing their necklaces in everyday life at some point. I spent $62 apiece and everybody loved their stuff. Here's my post if you want to see pictures and sources! http://aweddingrunsthroughit.blogspot.com/2010/06/presents-for-bridesmaids.html

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