What Do I Get My Bridesmaids?

These are your best friends--your family. The women who have stood by you through thick and thin and whom you’ve chosen to stand by you on the most momentous day of your life. It is important to choose gifts that will let them know how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate their attendance as your bridesmaids.

Attendant gifts are quite personal, and can range from crazily expensive to quite modest in price. Although some people think that attendant gifts are tied to the wedding budget, there is really no hard and fast rule whatsoever. You must do what feels right to you.

Bride with Bridesmaids

Getting each bridesmaid the same thing ensures no hurt feelings.

Getting each attendant the same thing ensures no hurt feelings (although traditionally you can spend more on the maid-of-honors gift safely), but some brides like to customize each gift to each bridesmaid, which certainly adds a personal touch to the gift.

You can also get everyone gifts within a theme, such as different pieces of Celtic knot jewelry for a Celtic or Irish wedding, wherein the bridesmaids all receive Celtic knot earrings and the maid-of-honor receives a Celtic knot cross pendant; or you can get everyone different versions of the same gift: such as shawls for all the attendants in a variety of colors to suit their individual tastes.

Here are some other creative ideas to choose from when making your decision:

For a Themed or Destination Wedding.

Pieces of jewelry (earrings, pendants, bracelets or charms) that define the theme (Celtic knots for an Irish wedding, starfish or shells for a beach wedding).

A collection of items, beautifully presented in a gift bag or tote, that represents the theme. If you had a Celtic wedding, think about presenting a bag containing Celtic knot jewelry, a shawl or throw with Celtic designs, and some Irish tea wrapped in a lovely lace doily. A European destination wedding could include souvenirs from the destination city, such as a t-shirt, a charm or piece of jewelry, and some food or wine.

You could also consider a gift certificate to a restaurant at the destination along with a local cookbook for when they return home. If you are having a themed wedding, such as an Irish or Celtic wedding, choose a gift certificate to a pub or Irish restaurant and a cookbook of traditional Irish fare.

You can also choose items that are traditionally associated with your theme. A pair of Waterford crystal champagne flutes or some Belleek Irish porcelain would make a lovely, and memorable, gift for the attendant in a Celtic ceremony.

Pampered Princesses.

Every girl loves to be pampered! What better way to say “thank you” than with a beautifully presented gift of comfortable pajamas or robe; selection of lotions, soaps or creams; a gift certificate to a local spa, a selection of nail polish or makeup, some bubble bath, fuzzy slippers and maybe even some chocolate or wine to round out the kit! If you want to be really fancy you can package it all in a monogrammed tote or makeup bag and include personalized items such as engraved compacts, lipstick holders or bath wraps.

Bridesmaid Gift Bag

Beautifully wrapped mementos will leave a lasting impression on any bridesmaid.

Memory Lane.

Give them something to remember the day and something that they can use for making future memories as well! A personalized photo album, including candid shots from the day is a great start. According to your budget add: a camera, a digital picture frame loaded with some shots of pre-wedding and wedding galas, or a standard picture frame with a photo of you and the bridesmaid together. Package in a monogrammed tote and add a CD of photos from throughout your years as friends for added sentiment.

Doing it Yourself.

Sometimes time is the greatest gift of all. Your bridesmaids gave you this gift when they agreed to be in your wedding and you can return it with a token made by your own hands. If you have any skills like needlework, painting, writing, quilting, jewelry-making, soap-making or scrapbooking, you can take the time to put together a gift for each of your friends that they will treasure for years to come, not just as a memento of your wedding but as a symbol of your friendship and love for them. This may be more appropriate to weddings with small numbers of attendants, as some gifts require quite a bit of time to create.

Whatever you choose to give, make sure you write a personal note of thanks to enclose with each gift to let your ladies know how much their being a part of your day meant to you.

Did You Know?

The tradition of tossing a handful of coins to the wedding guest is thought to bring good luck and prosperity to the groom and his bride.

The chime of bells is supposed to remind a couple of their wedding vows when times are tough, thus the gift of a bell is quite traditional for an Irish wedding. Salt and pepper shakers and wine glasses are considered lucky and a Waterford crystal set would make a lovely attendant gift.

Women married in the winter months sometimes wear a cloak pinned with a replica of the Tara Brooch. Believed to date from the 8th Century, the original Tara Brooch is now displayed in the National Museum of Dublin. Replicas are available of the ancient Celtic treasure, which consist of a large circular brooch with Celtic interlace knotwork, fastened with a pin through the center. This would be a lovely gift along with a shawl or wrap.

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