What kind of gift should you give your bridesmaids?

For my wedding in August I have 2 bridesmaids (co-matrons of honor actually) who have been wonderful with the wedding. They’ve planned a kick-ass bachelorette party and helped get discounted airfare for many of the guests, not to mention all the legwork they’ve done in finding salons and other things for the wedding weekend. I know that etiquette dictates that I need to give them each a gift and I am more than happy to do that but I cannot for the life of me think of anything to give them. Oriental Trading Company keeps sending me magazines full of personalized crap (get a tiny mirror with your bridesmaid’s initials engraved on the back! Or how about a flask? Did you think about a personalized flask? etc.) but none of it seems like it would be useful or appropriate.

Ladies, what did you get your bridesmaids at your wedding? Or for those of you who have been bridesmaids in the past what kind of gift were you given? Did you use and enjoy those gifts or were they a waste of money?

A glass mug with an etching of generic bride&groom, names of B&G and date of wedding. To the trash the next time I moved. But she also paid for the bridesmaid dress, which I obviously appreciated more.

Give them a gift certificate for massage or mani/pedi, to be used after the wedding.

Well, my wedding was many years ago, but I gave them each a necklace that went with the dress they wore for my wedding. It was something they could wear after the event. I couldn’t afford to buy their dresses.

I’d bet $100 that mug came from Oriental Trading Company or another similar company. :rolleyes:

The dresses are actually a funny story. I told them to wear whatever they want as long as it is blue. I didn’t care if it matched or had patterns or anything, my only requirement is that the dress needs to be blue. Turns out they both already have matching blue dresses that they had purchased a couple of years ago so they are all set for the dress situation! I would have probably bought their dresses otherwise.

I think I got a small jewelry box when I was a bridesmaid. It was sort of :rolleyes:

For my brother’s wedding, I wasn’t in the party but I got the same gift as the bridesmaids. It was a nice crocheted pashmina. I have no use for such a thing but it was cooler than the jewelry box.

My brother got his groomsmen these awesome 5x7 prints from a collection at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There were only, like, 10 different musicians available but my bro was able to find one for each groomsman that fit his tastes perfectly. I thought that was the coolest bridal party gift ever. Something they can enjoy & display, with no obvious connection to the event other than remembering where it came from.

I got them personalized wine glasses (with their names engraved), tied with a ribbon and thank-you note. That went for every member of the bridal party, not just the women.

I wear an amethyst pendant that was my grandfather’s watch fob. It is my most precious possession, and of course I wore it on my wedding day. I got my matron of honor and her daughter, who was flower girl, amethyst pendants to wear with their (purple and pink, respectively) dresses.

My friend gave me a gift certificate to a restaurant. It was really nice because they found out the name of a restaurant I liked in my city, rather than just giving one for a generic nationwide chain. I really appreciated it.

I also got earrings and a necklace, to match the other bridesmaids. They’re not really my style but I could wear them again.

Do not, do NOT, give them what one bride gave me - okay, so it’s a kit. And in the kit is a necklace with a little cage, and some instructions, and a can.

In the can is a DEAD MOLLUSC, from which you get to pry a pearl.

The color of the pearl tells your fortune!

Yeah. And it’s the rehearsal dinner, of course, so we’re all dressed up and trying to autopsy this deceased… thing without getting rancid seawater on our clothes. Yesterday I was going through my jewelry box getting rid of stuff and found that necklace and laughed and laughed. (Kept it - how couldn’t I?)

The men got flasks. With good scotch in them. God, we were pissed. (Keep in mind, you have to act like you’re all thrilled about Oscar the Oyster because the bride’s right there and she thinks it’s an adorable present and of course you’re expected to wear the necklace to the wedding.)

Bridesmaid on 2 separate occasions.

First, at my cousin’s wedding. She gave us each a huge (approximately 3") , inexpensive locket that was not in my taste. I only wore it on the day of the wedding and only then because the other bridesmaids wanted to.

Other was a friend’s wedding. Jewelry as well. A 24K gold charm with our first name in script. We put them on our own chains to wear on the wedding day. Never wore it again because, while it is really a nice piece of jewelry (as opposed to the piece of crap from my cousin in the previous wedding), I don’t care to wear jewelry (or anything else for that matter) that has my name or even initial but they were in style at the time and actually was a nice gift.

I can’t even think of what I would want as a remembrance of the day so as far as suggestions, I’ve got nothing… Sorry. Frankly, it’s the bride & groom’s big day; not mine. I don’t really need anything to remember it. I’m standing up for them out of friendship. Any trinket with the date engraved, etc. will just wind up in the trash eventually.

I gave my bridesmaids old (late 1800s) books of fairy tales.

I got each of my bridesmaids an inexpensive handbag (this is incredibly easy in NYC) and put fun, inexpensive items in them such as:
-bars of chocolate, minibottles of wine, compact mirrors, an I [heart] NY tshirt, a pashmina shawl coordinating with their dress and silver earings matching their dress. I accumulated the items over several months of looking out for things that were cool and cheap. :slight_smile:

Then for each person I added something for their dependents (kids books for the one with kids, pet toys for the ones with pets), a gift relevant to what they do (like drafting pens and pencils for my friend who is a scenic designer), then a gift cert - either for spa services or a reputable sex toy retailer, based on my knowledge of their preferences :slight_smile:

Finally into each bag I added a long, personal letter telling each why they were so important to me and how much I valued their friendship.

I had so much fun putting the bags together and watching them each uncover their goodies. If you can believe it I only spent about $60 per, with most of that going to the GCs. (I spent more on my MOH, but used credit card points to buy the spa gift cert).

I have been given:

  1. jewelry to wear with the dress (this was 10 years ago, I think the whole “fun” gift tradition is recent)
  2. jewelry to wear with the dress, plus a makeup kit and a “girl’s” pocket knife (with nail file, scissors, etc – it’s was fun gift, she knows girls can use real pocket knifes).
  3. just the jewelry, but she gave use Bath&Body Works gifts at the shower and bachelorette, as a thank-you for for planning, helping out, etc. After the wedding she also sent me a print of “Me and Bride” from the professional photos, and I thought this was really nice touch – it was a photo of just the two of us, it was nice to know that she felt it was worth sharing.

None of this stuff is among my most priced possessions (except maybe the photo), but I thought they were all nice gifts. The photo is the only one I’d consider a “keepsake”. If one wanted to give something besides a memento then the restaurant gift card is probably my favorite of the ideas mentioned here.

This is awesome. Good job.

Jewelry to wear at the wedding that has since been appropriate in non-wedding situations (or in other words, it was not dyed to match the bridesmaid’s dress, nor was it stamped with the Bride & Groom’s initials.)
I have worn it since and when I do, I remember when I first wore it and send a good thought their way rather than looking at something and wondering “What the hell was Jane thinking?”

I gave my MOH a quilt I hand made for her in her favorite colours and my brides maid a hand knitted shawl I made in a pattern she had admired.

For the best man and groomsman we commisioned a local artist to do a personalized piece of art for each of them. We were able to get a good price as he also did a custom piece of art for each wedding guest as a wedding favour.

In both weddings I was in, I received jewelry to be worn at the wedding. In the more recent wedding, the necklace was actually made by the bride. I still wear both pieces.

YMMV depending on the combination of your taste, your bridesmaids’ tastes, and what will coordinate with the dresses vs. what they normally wear or what they wear when they dress up.

Yeah, probably because you didn’t have to dig it out of some animal’s corpse.

What, me still bitter? (It’s been more than a decade.)

Well, my wife’s bridesmaid got the best man.

I’m not sure that counts.