BRIDESMAIDS, PLEASE READ ANOTHER POST. THIS IS NOT FOR YOUR EYES.
Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk bridesmaids’ gifts. Being a planner, I started thinking about this pretty much the moment I settled on my bridal party. What to get for my girls?
The approach I took was to think about gifts that I would normally give. Not necessarily wedding themed, just gifts that I might give for Christmas or a birthday or just because. I didn’t want to give anyone something that they feel obligated to use on the wedding day, either. My first idea was monogrammed L.L. Bean totes – I’m a sucker for anything monogrammed, and L.L. Bean totes are amazing. So amazing, in fact, that both of my sisters already had their own. So … back to the drawing board.
I got really hung up on giving everyone some sort of purse/bag, because I figured I could fill them up with other things. Like a grown-up goody bag! Downside was every bag I came across was either poor quality or too pricey to buy in triplicate. So I took matters into my own hands and decided to make my own bags.
Disclaimer: I’ve been sewing for years, so this project wasn’t much of a challenge. But the tutorial I’m going to show you guys is so simple that it could absolutely be one of your first projects! Maybe not the first thing you ever sew, but definitely the third or fourth. If you can sew a straight line, you can make these gorgeous clutches.
This tutorial by Whitney at Elm Street Life details exactly how to make adorable bow clutches that your bridesmaids will love. I honestly cannot explain the tutorial any better than she can, so please go straight to the source. Each clutch, from cutting the fabric to flipping the bag right side out, took me about a half hour. I ended up loving them so much I made one for myself, and I use it all the time! It’s the perfect size for my wallet, keys, phone, and a lip balm or two. All photos, obviously, are personal.
I used a natural-colored linen for the exterior of the bag … which looks hideously wrinkled in this picture. I swear it looks fine in person! In the meantime, I’m going to give these a good pressing before they go anywhere near my bridesmaids. Yikes. Anyway, it can be dressed up or down and goes with anything!
And I got a little festive with the lining, which is a sweet chevron quilting cotton. If I’m feeling really motivated between now and April, I may go back and tack down the lining of each bag to give it a more professional finish, since the lining seems to be a little big for the interior. What do you guys think? Will it make enough of a difference to be a worthwhile undertaking?
Next step: figuring out what goodies to fill the bags with! So far, I picked up pretty lavender pashminas and these adorable vintage-y earrings (also from Whitney’s Etsy shop, Brighter Day):
Looking at everything, I feel like it’s all kind of uniform-y. I don’t expect anyone to actually use any of these things for the wedding, but so far, everything looks kind of wedding-related anyway. I haven’t decided what else to get, but here are some ideas that I’m thinking of:
- More jewelry – Maybe something with their initials? But if I’m already gifting a pair of earrings, would a bracelet or a necklace be overkill?
- Custom nail polish – There are a TON of “indie” nail polish creators who mix custom nail polishes on request. I’m a nail polish junkie, so while it would be a great gift for me, I don’t know if all of my bridesmaids would actually use this.
- Booze – There are a ton of local breweries and wineries around here. Who doesn’t like to relax with a nice beer or glass of wine? Only downside to this gift is that BM Z is flying up from South Carolina for the wedding, and I don’t want her to have to pay extra money to check a bag for the flight home.
- Bath/beauty products – I could go to Lush or someplace similar and go hog-wild. I feel like lotions/soaps/etc. have the unfair perception of being a fallback gift when you don’t know what else to give somebody, but I LOVE that stuff. Give me anything that smells good and makes my skin feel nice, and I’m a happy camper. I’d have to tread carefully, however, given the above concern that Z’s gift must be TSA-friendly.
- Gift cards – In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a terrible gift giver, so I could always stick an Amazon gift card in there just to make sure everybody gets something they like. See, I get the idea that you should shop for your bridesmaids like it’s their birthdays/Christmas – if that’s the case, I give gift cards for every occasion, so why not stick to what works?
What gifts did you get your bridesmaids? As a bridesmaid, what was your favorite thank you gift from a bride?