Hunter boots

Hunter boots make a great gift. (August 13, 2012)

Bridesmaids gifts are tricky. Getting your bridesmaids accessories to wear for the wedding (which seems to be customary) is a nice gesture but can come off as controlling. You’ve already (most likely) picked out their dress, given notes on hair and make up, and told them which shoes to buy. Gifting them matching jewelry to be worn on the day of could be met with a complicated mix of gratitude and attitude.

I’ve been struggling with what to give my bridesmaids, and my research inspired me to come up with a list of suggestions for other brides. I think, ultimately, the gift you get them should be a “thank you for being supportive” gift that they can reuse, and that they will truly like. This is the one moment of your wedding that is about them, so get creative, and be generous!

 Here are my top picks:

  1. Hunter boots. My friend suggested these as a gift for her May wedding, and I loved the idea. It’d be a fun way to make a rainy spring wedding colorful and coordinated, and Hunter boots last forever.
  2. Kimonos. Order each bridesmaid a soft, flowy kimono or robe to get ready for the wedding in. Take care to pick a different pattern for each bridesmaid -- she’ll feel comfortable and pretty as she gets ready, and will have a something useful and beautiful to keep.
  3. Coatt necklaces. These delicate necklaces aren’t what they seem -- the beads are in morse code. Personalize one for each bridesmaid, and hide a special nickname or inside joke in plain sight.
  4. Anthropologie sales. Give yourself a budget, and hit the sale section of the Anthropologie website or store. Get each bridesmaid something you think she’d love -- they have beautiful stem ware, cool mirrors and framed art and tons of unique décor. This is a little time-consuming, but each person will appreciate and enjoy the gift you got just for her.
  5. Time. They’ve given you tons of theirs, so give back some of yours. Give each woman a small gift and a card offering your services as free babysitter, mover, make-up artist, resume-writer, or whichever of your skills match her needs.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in your own life before your wedding, but it’s important to acknowledge the people that supported you, and it’s even better to return the favor.

I'd love to hear from other brides or bridesmaids --  what did you give or receive?