Thursday, September 23, 2010

What to do for those lovely 'maids?

I have had a hard time deciding exactly where to start, I just have too many ideas swirling in my head. I figured one thing was easy to tackle-- bridesmaid gifts.

How many strands of plastic pearls do you own, from a well meaning bride that wanted all of her bridesmaids to have matching jewelry? Do you have a flask engraved with the wedding date of your best friend? How about a cheesy picture frame with an etched quote about friendship?

Let's face it, nearly all of the presents from your bride-to-be are a waste of money. You may keep them for a year (or more if you are a bit of a hoarder like myself) and eventually they end up in the trash. If you want to spend your hard earned cash on a gift for them, make it something they will actually appreciate!

For example, you can find inexpensive REAL pearls on the internet. Now, they may be freshwater or baroque pearls as opposed to those Tahitian and Akoya stunners, but at least they're the real thing. I recommend ebay vendor Pearllunar to get natural pearls at a fantastic price. They do custom orders, so you can get your girls whatever color, size, and length you want! You can still have a cohesive and classic look without feeling like you cheated your girls.

These days being green is something we all need to be thinking about. I bet your friends would really enjoy personalized, reusable totes for grocery trips and excursions to the mall. Sure, you can easily buy monogrammed bags online, but it would be even more special if you made them yourself. I adore this idea from Ashleyannphotography.

For instructions, go to her blog here. I love that a doily and paint can make something so adorable. Paint it in her favorite color, or maybe that lovely shade of lilac she'll be wearing on your special day.

Another idea to knock their socks off-- gemstone pendants. I know, they sound pricey, but, they don't have to be! My favorite vendor is a jeweler on etsy, Daniel M Jewelry. Daniel and his wife Caren are a dream to work with. They do all kinds of custom projects from rings, to cufflinks. His Rainbow Bezel Pendants are truly gorgeous and you have so many color options. You could either do them all the same shape and color, or switch things up. Pick colors each individual would like and then choose what cut they might wear most. It would show your best friends that while you may have been crazy in the months leading up to the wedding, you are still thinking about them. These necklaces are something any girl would absolutely cherish for years to come.

If all of those options are a little too girly-girl for your tom-boy sister, look for a nice, hardback version of her favorite book. Write her a meaningful note on the inside cover, so she can always think of you when she re-reads "The Great Gatsby" for the 10th time. Buy her a fancy bottle of wine or get her a years subscription to her favorite magazine. The possibilities are endless!

Just think a little outside of the box and get your bridesmaids a gift they will treasure. It doesn't have to be difficult or contrived! And please, don't forget to include a heartfelt card detailing how much her involvement in this special day means to you.