For the Bridesmaids: Gift Ideas
These Pittsburgh-area brides give us the low-down on choosing the best bridesmaid gifts, whether personal or practical.
PHOTO BY MELARY STANKO PHOTOGRAPHY
Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life, and having someone to help to prepare you for that moment makes it even better. Bridesmaids are the backbone of the days leading up to your wedding — helping to plan your bachelorette party, your wedding shower and sometimes even your big day. There are the women who stand beside you as you end one chapter of your life and begin a new one, which is why picking a bridesmaid gift can be so difficult. What can you give that would show just how much you appreciate your attendants? We reached out to four Pittsburgh-area brides to help you with ideas.
PHOTO BY AARON VARGA PHOTOGRAPHY
A Toast to Friendship
What better way to kick off your big day than with a toast in a personalized glass? “I gave my bridesmaids a personalized wine glass that said ‘The Real Bridesmaids of Mark and Mallory’s Wedding’ on the front and their names on the back, because one: I love wine and two: I love the ‘Real Housewives’ shows,” says Mallory Malesky, who wed Mark Walters on Aug. 1, 2015. Because wine glasses can be personalized, they make great gifts that remind the bridesmaids of both your big day and your personality.
Alyia Smith-Parker (one of our Spring 2016 Real Pittsburgh Couples), who wed Greg Gaskins on Feb. 20, 2015, also chose wine glasses, which she gave to her bridesmaids at her bachelorette party in Las Vegas. “I ordered hand-painted glasses from Etsy. Each glass had the Vegas sign, rhinestones, a deck of cards, their names and the date. I thought the glasses would be a fun way to commemorate our trip,” she says.
PHOTO BY KATIE REINTS OF BIRDS EYE VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY
A Woman Can Never Have Too Many Bags
Purchasing hand bags, makeup bags and tote bags is a classic, but invaluable, option. Not only can your bridesmaids use the bags to carry everything that they need on the wedding day, but they are also able to reuse this gift after the wedding. Sara Morrill, who wed Victor Tagliavia on May 23, 2015, chose to give her bridesmaids Longchamp bags and toiletry cases. “The Longchamp bags were handbag size, which I thought would be good for the day of events,” she says.
PHOTO BY MELARY STANKO PHOTOGRAPHY
Gifts from the Heart
You can never go with a more personal, significant gift for your bridesmaids. Giving gifts that come from the heart show them just how thankful you are to have them there as a part of your big day. One idea a lot of brides use is a personalized or friendship-themed picture frame to hold photos from the wedding.
Kimberly Hamilton, who wed Lucas Windisch on July 24, 2015, picked out different gifts for each of her bridesmaids. Each was specific to who they are and what they enjoy — a necklace with a vintage camera charm, a mermaid bracelet and a bookmark made out of wire that spelled out the girl’s name. “Rather than get them something to wear for the wedding, I opted for this more personalized route,” says Hamilton. “I’ve never re-worn anything, not even jewelry, from the weddings I've been in, so that's why I chose to do these gifts instead.”
You could also get something extra for your maid/matron of honor: Smith-Parker bought a Kate Spade sailor’s knot hinge bracelet. “I wanted her to have something special to distinguish her on the day of the wedding,” says Smith-Parker. “I felt that the sailor's knot really symbolized our unbreakable friendship.”
PHOTO BY ALISA MILNTHORP OF WEDDINGS BY ALISA
Keeping It Simple
When in doubt, paying for something that is necessary for the wedding day is never a bad idea. You could offer to pay for your attendants’ hair and makeup on the wedding day. You could also offer to pay for the accessories. Walters chose to buy her bridesmaids their jewelry and shoes for the wedding.
“I think it's trending today to get each bridesmaid a somewhat elaborate and/or expensive gift — which don't get me wrong, is fabulous and I wish I had more money to spend on gifts,” says Walters. “However, I've been a bridesmaid many times myself and any gift that also helped reduce my cost was much appreciated.”
Smith-Parker also chose to buy jewelry for her bridesmaids, but she approached it from a different angle. “I had 10 bridesmaids, and so I purchased 10 very different pairs of earrings and invited each girl to pick their favorite pair,” she says. “I thought the earrings would be a fun way to allow each girl to showcase a little bit of her personality.”