It’s wedding week here on Dear Wendy, and, to celebrate, I have some handy-dandy wedding-related gift guides to help you find the perfect gift for the brides, grooms, bachelorettes and bridesmaids in your life. A popular convention around bridesmaids’ gifts is to give something that you’d like your bridesmaids to wear during the wedding, like matching necklaces or fascinators. Boo, I say. The point of a gift is to give something you think the recipient would enjoy and appreciate… and maybe use beyond the occasion of your wedding. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite bridesmaid gift ideas of 2013 — gifts your bridesmaids will actually like receiving. Unless they hate awesome stuff.
Foldable Ballet Flat
These are my favorite, go-to flats in the spring and summer and are perfect for throwing in a purse or tote and changing into late in the evening when your heels start giving you grief. Bridesmaids will love wearing them to dance at the reception and will appreciate a gift they can continue using well after the wedding is over.
Flask with a Built-in Collapsible Shot Glass
I think the name says it all, no?
Handmade in white clay, textured with beautiful floral motifs, this unique dish can be used to hold jewelry, soap, or candles. I also love these dishes for a similar use.
All-Occasion Notecard Set
Who wouldn’t appreciate a set of notecards for different occasions to have at the ready when that birthday pops up you forgot to get a card for? Plus, these cards are great quality and cute to boot.
If you decide to give these gorgeous silk clutches to your bridesmaids, can I be an honorary one? I will wear whatever you tell me to and do my hair in whatever fashion and I’ll even put on tight shoes if it will score me a clutch as sweet as this one. Thanks.
Kenneth Cole Gold Disc Long Illusion Necklace
The great thing about this necklace is its versatility. Wear it with a fancy dress, throw it on with a tank and jeans, or layer it with a bunch of other long necklaces. Because it can be worn with so much and in so many different ways, it’s the kind of gift that would appeal to a group of women with different styles. In other words, perfect for a set of bridesmaids.
These hardback journals are covered in custom printed fabric and feature eco-friendly, wood-free paper. You could slip a heart-felt note in each journal and maybe a favorite photo of you and the bridesmaid since so few of us actually make prints of favorite photos anymore.
The Pinned Pretty store on Etsy has lots of different handmade cosmetic bags at various sizes and price points that can be mixed and matched for a pretty bridesmaid gift set. Fill each bag with some of your favorite bath and beauty items, like clear lipgloss (I love Elizabeth Arden’s), Lush bath bombs, fancy hand lotion, a small perfume sample (my current fave is See By Chloe), and maybe a small travel candle.
Gourmet Chocolate Truffles
If you have a favorite chocolate company, or one that is local to your area, a small gift box for each of your bridesmaids would make a lovely gift. I have several favorite chocolate companies, but for pretty packaging and unique flavors, you can’t beat Vosges. The 9-piece exotic truffle collection is a perfect gift size.
Curvy Flower Vase
These vases are so beautiful, they don’t even need flowers to enhance their appeal. There’s five in the set, each more lovely than the last. Like your bridesmaids, right?
theattack May 15, 2013, 12:04 pm
These are such neat ideas! I love the notecard set idea especially. I want to buy it for myself so much! This makes me regret getting my bridesmaids Thirty-one bags. Excellent list, Wendy!
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 12:30 pm
They are cute! Everyone likes totes.
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 12:29 pm
lol, I have that vase. Bought it a couple years ago, and then my sister got me the same one for my birthday this year. Now I have 2. Guess its poopular.
Need that flask thing. Awesome.
Every woman in America should have those fold up shoes. Some come with a little bag to put them in. I have a set in my car and another in my tote. Can’t tell you how many times its come in handy.
Liquid Luck May 15, 2013, 12:40 pm
Like on days when you wear two completely different shoes to work?
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 12:57 pm
haha, good one!
ktfran May 15, 2013, 12:54 pm
I bought my sis that vase for a present a couple years ago. My other sis bought it for herself. It is popular!
Wendy May 15, 2013, 12:48 pm
These come with a little bag!
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 12:51 pm
We’re not having a bridal party, but we’re gifting Tevris cups with lids (and mini bottle of alcohol) to the people greeting, ushering, and reading. We got each person’s individual college team for the emblem thing. I kinda want one myself!
bethany May 15, 2013, 1:38 pm
I freaking love Tervis cups. I keep one at my desk at work so I don’t spill water all over myself, and I keep one next to the bed, so Pirate Kitty doesn’t stick his head in there. They are awesome. And they’re made in the USA.
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 1:46 pm
My cat sticks his head in cups too! And I always have to have a glass of water by my bedside. (and you can’t beat made in the USA!)
kerrycontrary May 15, 2013, 2:01 pm
My mom gives everyone Tervis cups because they are made in the USA, and you can buy PSU ones at a local pharmacy/gift shop (made in USA and small business–winning).
CatsMeow May 15, 2013, 2:12 pm
Haha, I have to keep water bottles by my bed or else my cats will knock over my glasses of water by trying to drink out of them.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 12:14 pm
very cute! okay can i tell you guys what I’m getting my bridesmaids?
okay so number one: i bought their dresses. (and paying for at least two alterations).
two: earrings that i would like them to wear at the wedding BUT they’re not matching and I’m trying to do them really personal. Like these great kate spade ones for my sis )
and some for my (hopefully)future sis-in-law/current gf of brother
i still need to find two more earrings for the others.
I also got them all monogrammed tote bags and I’m putting things like little voluspa candles and chocolates and such in them. I was thinking about making them notecards, too. Martha stewart has some great ideas on that.
Okay question: i need to get my brother something. He’ s my “man of honor”
theattack May 15, 2013, 12:16 pm
Wow, can I be one of your bridesmaids? That’s very generous of you!
ktfran May 15, 2013, 12:53 pm
bethany May 15, 2013, 12:20 pm
My husband got his brother a watch, and we got my brother a gift card to a nice restaurant that he and his wife really like.
bethany May 15, 2013, 12:20 pm
A classic “Man Gift” is a nice set of Grilling Tools.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 12:21 pm
oo that’s true. grilling tools. maybe monogrammed? i like monogramming things. He already has a really nice watch his gf bought him.
TECH May 15, 2013, 12:27 pm
These are generous, wonderful ideas. I especially like the idea of buying the dress as a gift.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 12:30 pm
i figure they can sell them on tradesy afterwards. Actually, I bought at least one there (none of them are matching, just the same color and length)
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 12:31 pm
I’ve seen converses given, and (apparently expensive) ties. Or cufflinks.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 12:32 pm
he has size 17 feet….
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 12:58 pm
bethany May 15, 2013, 12:35 pm
Oh, yes, we also bought the guys the ties for the wedding. I forgot about that.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 12:43 pm
yeah, I should wait for wendy’s groomsman gift list. I’m sure there’s some good stuff on that. oh yeah.. and what about parents? especially when one set of parents doesn’t pay for anything but they’ll pay for your sisters wedding since she’s still a virgin. oh wait, i mean…
bethany May 15, 2013, 1:36 pm
My parents paid for most of the wedding, so we got them a fancy leather album. We got my husband’s parents smaller (less nice) albums.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 3:07 pm
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 3:29 pm
We have alittle gender bias from the parents. Fiance’s parents essentially expected mine to foot the bill, when they had just hosted a lavish event for the daughter the year before. It was super lopsided. But we’re thankful for the help regardless!
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 3:33 pm
Check the Holiday Gift Guide for guys, if you can’t wait.
Wendy May 15, 2013, 4:33 pm
Oh, no I feel bad… I didn’t do up a groomsmen gift guide this time around (will have to remember for next time!). Tomorrow is the last gift guide and it’s for bridal shower/ bachelorette gifts.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 4:34 pm
oh that’s okay. i liked the shaving kit idea or the scotch. maybe i can get him a cool set of vintage glasses a la mad men?
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 12:44 pm
Holy generousity!! Get your brother a nice watch.
Wendy May 15, 2013, 12:17 pm
Generous! I Love those crystal stud earrings.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 12:21 pm
wendy, i hit up the surprise kate spade sale today. $20! heck yes! I like a good sale
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 12:47 pm
What?? Surprize sale? Ugh we just ordered my earrings from there last week! Maybe I’ll get some other wedding jewlery!
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 12:57 pm
Like kate spade on facebook. You’ll get early access.
MaterialsGirl May 15, 2013, 1:02 pm
and all the good stuff
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 1:07 pm
I found the sale. Now I’m DWing and Kate Spade shopping and tracking down my koozies instead of working. woo.
Jess May 15, 2013, 1:36 pm
OMG, me too! Gorgeous!
sobriquet May 15, 2013, 1:35 pm
I love the idea of one of those pretty journals or notebooks filled with my favorite recipes as a gift for the bride. I plan to do this for Nigel’s soon-to-be SIL whose wedding I’m in this summer. She’s the kind of girl who WANTS to know how to cook, but just doesn’t really know how. She currently has one recipe that she makes every few weeks. The fact that the recipe is “Garlic Chicken” that stinks up the entire house with the smell of garlic (and I LOVE garlic, so it’s really that bad) makes me want to give her a few more ideas…
sobriquet May 15, 2013, 1:36 pm
And I LOVE those ballet flats and frankly, everything on this list. Those flats were just added to my amazon wish list. I love these gift guides! Keep ’em coming!
Jess May 15, 2013, 1:39 pm
Anyone have a suggestion for a wedding thank you gift for a 10 year old? My nephew is serving as a glorified usher. He will be walking down the aisle and is taking this job VERY seriously (which I find adorable). We plan to get him a bow-tie and boutonniere to wear but I’d like to get him something fun as a small gift. He’s NOT carrying the rings otherwise I’d totally get him one of those “ring security” sheriff’s badges on Etsy. I think he’d get a kick out of that.
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 1:42 pm
That badge sounds cute. Not a boy, but maybe this will spark some ideas…my daughter got pink glitter toms, a notebook with her name printed on it and a pandora charm from the last wedding she was in. (this probably isn’t helpful at all actually, sorry)
Jess May 15, 2013, 2:44 pm
shoes are actually a cute idea too. Something he could wear to the wedding and then keep. My sister would love it! Although I don’t think he’d be excited, haha.
Our wedding is low-frills, quaker, and in a small colonial setting (revolutionary war battlesite) so he will be the first one to walk down the aisle (which is a long dirt path) and he will be ringing an old fashioned hand bell to kick-start the ceremony. Sort of a subtle throw back to the Town crier thing. Without costumes!
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 3:35 pm
I’m really hoping to see video of that! Sounds adorable. I was trying to think of an equivalent to the charm, which I thought was a perfect gift, but I’m coming up short. What about a t-shirt that says #1 Wedding Usher. Cheesy, I guess.
GatorGirl May 15, 2013, 1:44 pm
What about a wallet or money clip? 10 is when you start to “grow up”. And it’s something he could use for years to come.
Jess May 15, 2013, 2:37 pm
interesting thought…. yeah, maybe a cute wallet. I still might see if I can get him a funny hat that says “wedding VIP” or something to wear at the rehearsal. I think he’d get a kick out of being singled out as special, if you know what I mean.
mylaray May 15, 2013, 2:00 pm
Ooh, I love those flats! I’ve always thought about getting some foldable flats since I walk to and from work everyday, but then I’ll have to carry around my heels. Also, I’m in love with Vosges chocolates too. I think they taste amazing and the packages are great too.
lets_be_honest May 15, 2013, 2:28 pm
Go to walmart or something similar and buy a $5 smallish tote bag for your shoes. Or save the $5 and use a leftover plastic grocery bag.
bethany May 15, 2013, 2:44 pm
I have “work shoes” that I just leave at my desk. It makes things easier.
kerrycontrary May 15, 2013, 2:49 pm
I do the work shoes like bethenny. I have black flats and sometimes black heels here at the office. Also, the foldable flats are great for when you need shoes in a pinch, but they don’t have much support. So I would just buy a pair of regular shoes for commuting.
mylaray May 15, 2013, 4:41 pm
Yeah I should just leave them at work or something.
NikkiMic May 15, 2013, 2:23 pm
Great ideas! My wedding’s in a few weeks (erp) and I did go the conventional route and got them matching necklaces – but. I’m not going to tell them to wear them at the wedding (although they’re welcome to do so if they want! I don’t really care if their jewelry matches) and they’re all slightly personalized with birthstones. The pendant is an infinity sign and on either side of the symbol there is one stone – one with my birthstone, and one with theirs. (They’re not real, but whatevs – still pretty!)
The only exception is my MOH, who is getting a “family tree” pendant, because she’s the only one I’m related to (we’re first cousins) – it is a tree branch with four birthstones, one for me, one for her, and one for our moms, who are sisters.