Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Best Advice for Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts

You have bridesmaid gift buying on your mind but choosing something they will cherish and actually use after your wedding day is a challenge. I have addressed some commonly asked questions to help advise you in making the best gift choice for your bridal party.

 You have bridesmaid gift buying on your mind but choosing something they will cherish and actually use after your wedding day is a challenge. I have addressed some commonly asked questions to help advise you in making the best gift choice for your bridal party.

 WHEN TO START SHOPPING?

There are no set rules about when to start shopping for your bridesmaid gifts but I think you'll find that with all the planning and last minute decisions you'll be making, sooner is better than later.

Your bridal party is special to you and you don't want to find yourself making panicked last minute decisions about their gifts.

If you choose to have something personalized or custom made the time frame could possibly be a month or so for completing your order.

So, my best advice is to calendar in your shopping time about 4-6 weeks before your wedding day. Give yourself at least a day or two to find what you want and make your purchases.

Over the years I've heard from many brides who were frustrated about the length of time it took to find exactly what they wanted and thought they might have to "settle" for something less.

Do yourself a favor and plan plenty of time to enjoy the process and be happy with your gift giving decisions!


HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND?

There are two things to consider to best answer that question. How much does your wedding budget allow and how much are your bridesmaids spending to be part of your bridal party?

Yes, you have a budget and that's important but you are also asking a lot (financially) from your bridesmaids. Consider what they are spending on a plane ticket, hotel room, dress and shoes and all that goes into celebrating you at your bridal shower, bachelorette party, your wedding and shower gifts and more. You aren't expected to cover those expenses but you should spend enough that unquestionably tells them that they are appreciated.

With all that taken in consideration, a reasonable budget for each gift is between $75 - $150.


WHAT ARE BRIDES AND BRIDESMAIDS SAYING?

You've planned your budget for each of your bridesmaids and you've set aside the time to do some shopping, so let's consider what gift(s) will be the best choice for them, especially if you want the item to be of value to your bridesmaids after your wedding day.

I know that you want to be the bride, the friend, that gives them something they will use and cherish for years. I also know that you don't want to be the bride that gives them a gift that they will only use on your wedding day and store it in a drawer or closet for the next 20 years.

I've been reading comments in the discussion forums on wedding sites and I've found them very insightful. All that info along with what brides and bridesmaids have shared with me on my website have helped me compile a list of items you may want to consider avoiding as gift choices.

1. Tote bags, wedding hangers or any other accessory that says "Bridesmaid". It sounds like a cute idea and there are many shops selling them but realistically, your bridal party ladies are not going to use them after your wedding day.

When asked in the forum about best and worse bridesmaid gift they ever received, the unanimous response was that any gift with the word "bridesmaid" on it was on their list of the worst bridal party gifts they received.

2. Wedding jewelry is a thoughtful gift but many of the brides I've talked with have said it's too "cliche" and they want to give something different. The bridesmaids in the forums shared that they rarely, if ever, wear that jewelry again. They also mentioned that everyone's taste is unique and often people have skin sensitivities with jewelry.

3. Bridesmaids robes are all the rage right now but as one bridesmaid said, "I've been a bridesmaid 14 times so I have so many robes that I've never used again." I didn't see a single comment in the forum that was positive about receiving a robe.

4. Something that came up over and over again in the forums was that if the gift was strictly for wedding purposes, such as a shawl, it did not feel like a gift.

WHAT GIFTS WILL THEY LOVE?

If you are a bride who wants to give something that is not "cliche" and unique enough that your bridesmaids won't have a collection of them, I suggest that you shop for their gifts as if it's their birthday.

Personalized gifts never go out of style and choosing items other than monogrammed robes, jewelry or tumblers will certainly not be a predictable bridal party gift.

Bridesmaid gifts do not need to be wedding specific. When you go shopping, ask yourself a couple simple questions:

Is this something that they will love?
Is this something they can will use after the wedding?
Is this something that says I appreciate them?

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Your bridesmaids probably already have a collection of jewelry they love so a personalized ring dish is a pretty reminder of your wedding day that they can use every day. Don't make the personalizing about you and your wedding day by putting your wedding date or initials on it. Make the gift about her and have her name or monogram letter added to the dish.


Whether your bridesmaids are traveling from afar or just across town, a personalized makeup bag is always a great gift. They'll love that they can gather all their cosmetics in a pretty bag and have it handy for to use before, during and after your wedding day. (This was listed over and over again as a favorite gift item in the wedding forums.)

Add a stitched message on the inside, insert a gift card to their favorite cosmetic store or day spa and you've got a gift that keeps on giving.

Personalized Floral Cosmetic Bags
Personalized Cosmetic Bag Set

Personalized Cosmetic Bag with Message Inside

Speaking of a Spa Day, how about a spa gift box that she can use to pamper herself at home. A personalized option of adding a message on the packaging, choosing what will go in the box that is perfectly matched to her preferences and including a handwritten note of thanks will add more "I appreciate you" value to your gift.


 I'd love to hear about a bridesmaid gift you received that made you feel special and that you used years after your friend's wedding day.








 


 


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