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How to Choose the Perfect Bridesmaid Gifts

It’s hard to imagine planning a wedding without your best friends by your side. From that first post-engagement celebration to dress shopping and big-day jitters, you can count on your bridesmaids to be there from beginning to end. How can you properly thank them — besides doing the same when it’s their turn to walk down the aisle? Show them your appreciation by picking out just the right bridesmaids gifts that they’ll treasure for years to come.

Where to begin? Finding a gift that suits all of your bridesmaids — especially if you have a lot of them — can be a challenge. Should you buy one thing for all of them, or personalized gifts for each? And what about budget — what’s the typical amount spent on a bridesmaid gift? And when is the right time to hand them out? We’ll answer all of these questions and more before sharing a few of our favorite ideas for gifts that any bridesmaid would love to receive.

bridesmaid with purple dress and gray shall holding bride wearing backless lace dress
Image Courtesy of Izzy Hudgins.

  1. Bridesmaid Gift-Giving Etiquette
    Shopping for bridesmaid gifts is rarely as simple as hopping online and ordering a half dozen "best friend" necklaces. Bridesmaid gifts are a token of your friendship, and they just might be the most meaningful things you ever give your closest friends. Put some thought into your decision, and take the time to choose gifts that you feel certain they'll love. A few points to keep in mind:
  • Budget — There's no magic number when it comes to the price of bridesmaid gifts, although $75 to $150 per bridesmaid is generally viewed as a good rule of thumb. This varies depending on the situation, though. If your 'maids know you're on a strict budget and you give them something you made yourself, they'll most likely appreciate the gesture. If they spent thousands of dollars on the expensive dresses you picked out for your destination wedding, a $25 bracelet might seem ungracious.
  • Consistency — You don't have to get every bridesmaid the same thing. In fact, selecting unique gifts for each individual shows true thoughtfulness. However, do try to keep the gifts somewhat consistent in terms of size and budget. Giving one bridesmaid a diamond necklace and another a handmade friendship bracelet could create unwanted tension — something you certainly don't need in the days approaching your wedding!
  • Timing — Traditionally, bridesmaid gifts are given the morning of the wedding. You may also choose to hand them out during the rehearsal dinner or even at a bridal shower or luncheon.
  • Don't Forget the Note! — No matter what you decide to give your bridesmaids, don't forget the most important thing: A thank you note! Hand-write a letter to each bridesmaid thanking her for her help throughout your wedding-planning process. They'll most likely hang on to the letter for years to come — it might end up being more cherished than the gift itself!
  • Bridesmaid Gift-Giving Etiquette
    Shopping for bridesmaid gifts is rarely as simple as hopping online and ordering a half dozen "best friend"necklaces. Bridesmaid gifts are a token of your friendship, and they just might be the most meaningful things you ever give your closest friends. Put some thought into your decision, and take the time to choose gifts that you feel certain they'll love. A few points to keep in mind:

Now that we've got the basics down, we can move on to the fun part: Shopping for your friends! Don't let this become another stress-inducing task on your to-do list. Instead, enjoy the chance to celebrate your friendships by choosing gifts that you know will make your bridesmaids smile.

  1. Something She Can Wear
    Wearable gifts are some of the most popular options for bridesmaids because they're useful and fun. Just avoid anything that screams "bridesmaid" — at least when it comes to your main gift.
  • Jewelry — Delicate initial necklaces, earrings, or bracelets engraved with a special message will forever serve as a reminder of your bond.
  • Monogrammed tote bags — Useful for packing wedding-day essentials, these can also be used on future girls' getaways.
  • Pajamas and/or robes — Pamper the girls with luxurious sleepwear that they can sport while getting ready or save for after the wedding.
  • Sunglasses — A pair of quality sunglasses is perfect for a beach or outdoor wedding. Bonus: They make for some great photo opps!
  • Shoes — A dressy but comfortable pair of flats in your wedding colors can make dancing at the reception more comfortable while still being stylish.
  1. Something She Can Use
    Practical doesn't have to equal boring. Here are some ideas for useful gifts that she'll be excited to unwrap.
  • Personalized tumblers, travel mugs, or wine glasses are perfect for pre-wedding sips. Bonus: Include a bottle of her favorite wine or liquor.
  • Pair a monogrammed mug with a bag of her favorite coffee, or go the extra mile and get her a nice French press.
  • A cozy cashmere throw — monogrammed, of course! — will keep her warm on chilly nights.
  • Letter-writing friends will love the gift of personalized stationery or a notepad.
  • Fill a pretty makeup bag with a few of her favorite cosmetics — think nail polish, lipstick, and travel-size perfume.
  • Frame your favorite picture of the two of you together

coral, black and teal water color personalized notepad

  1. Something She Can Do
    Who says a bridesmaid gift has to fit in a box? Sometimes an experience is so much more meaningful.
  • Treat her and a date to a night out at a fancy restaurant.
  • Sky-diving? Skiing? Rock climbing? Encourage her sense of adventure with an all-day pass to her favorite activity.
  • Sign her up for a cooking class, calligraphy lessons, yoga camp, or something else she's always wanted to learn how to do.
  • Plan a post-wedding girl's trip to a spa or resort where you can all enjoy some much-needed relaxation.
  1. Grab Bag
    A multi-part gift can be even more fun to open than one big gift.
  • Create a "bridesmaid survival kit"complete with a mini bottle of champagne, a sewing kit, lip balm, mints, pain reliever, and anything else you can think of that might be useful.
  • Give her everything she needs for a well-deserved night of pampering, like comfy slippers, bubble bath, nail polish, bath salts, and luxe soaps.
  • Encourage indulgence with a box full of her favorite edible goodies, like colorful macarons, English teas, gourmet chocolate, and her favorite kind of cookies.

four small boxes wrapped in black and pink ribbon

If you’re still not sure if you’ve found the right gifts for your bridesmaids, ask yourself this: What would you love to receive? If you’re close friends, there’s a good chance that if you’d love it, they will too. Trust your instincts enough to choose a gift that will show them how much their friendship means to you!

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