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Bridesmaid Gifts

So I know my wedding is a year away but because of being on a budget I'm trying to do things in spurts so I don't have to spend it all at once and make it seem like a lot more. I've been thinking of different ideas of what to get my bridesmaid's. A lot of people I know and a few weddings I've been in they usually give jewelry to wear for the wedding but is that too cheesy/expected? I was thinking of getting them the personalized tote bags. Any ideas? What gift did you give your bridal party?
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Re: Bridesmaid Gifts

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    Personalized tote bags aren't my taste, I prefer ones with fun patterns instead.  Shop for your BMs as individuals rather than looking for something that's one size fits all (although if it happens to be one size fits all, that's fine).

    See bio for our WP gifts.
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    I don't like either idea because those aren't things you'd buy your BMs on any other gift-giving occasion.  If it were Christmas, what would you be buying them?  A gift of something to wear in the wedding isn't a gift for them, it's a gift for you.

    It's fine to get them matching gifts, but it's better to personalize them in a way that reflects their personality.  Example: for Christmas I gave my BMs a book and a gift card.  I spent the same amount of money on each person.  However, I did not get them all the same book or the same gift card--I got them books that I thought they'd like and gift cards to places they liked.  

    I've gotten wedding jewelry and engraved/monogrammed/"personalized" stuff as a BM.  I never use it after the wedding.  Stuff with my name on it hasn't been that exciting to me since I was about 12, and I have a name that is rarely, if ever, on keychains or things like that so getting something with my name on it was always an extra thrill.  

    So look at your friends as individuals, not BMs, when you shop for them and you should be good to go.
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    If your wedding isn't for almost a year from now, you should still wait on buying gifts. I know you're trying to soften the damage of the cost, but most costs happen right when you get engaged, 6 months out, and the week before. I'd wait until 2 months before the day so that you have a better idea of WHO you need to buy for and what they might like as well as how much you have left to spend.
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    Oh and I almost forgot...my gifts are in my bio....but they were very specific to each person's personality.
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    Sunbonnet or cone of shame? You be the judge! Trixie's Blog
    My Planning Bio
    My Married Bio updated March 4
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    ditto other ladies.  Don't buy gifts now.  Things happen.  WPs have been known to change.

    Then when it does come time to purchase gifts:  what store or website would you head off to for a birthday or Christmas present for each individual?  Good.  Go there.

    WP gifts should NOT be for use in one's wedding.  Nor do they need to be matchy-matchy, not do they need to be wedding related or keepsakes.

    I'd much rather have the new CD of my favorite artist than a monogrammed tote bag.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    Would you give your friends personalized totes and/or jewelry for their birthday?  For Christmas?  If yes, great!  If not, why would you give them for your wedding?  The gift should be for the person, not for their title.  They don't all have to get the same thing unless they all happen to have the same taste or interests.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    I am giving them all the same thing, but tweeked to each girl's personal taste.  For example, we all LOVE wine, so I am doing personalized wine glasses and they are each getting a bottle of their favorite wine. I haven't totally decided on the other portions yet but I will probably stick to the same idea of the same thing just varied for each girl's personality.
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    The best gift I got was a choice of a mani or pedi that the bride paid for the morning of her wedding. It was the perfect way to relieve any stress or nervousness I had (and I had plenty because I was afraid of tripping/falling while walking down the boardwalk barefoot!), plus, it always feels good to be pampered occassionally :)

    The worse gift I got was a personalized necklace from the bride. The reason I thought it was the worst because in addition to my name being engraved on the front, the date of her wedding was also engraved under my name. I loved the necklace, but I can't wear it again because it has the date on it.
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    We compiled baskets for each bridesmaid.

    The baskets include a robe (from TJ Maxx) and beauty/bath products. We found a few things like bath salts at TJ Maxx and then Bath & Body Works had occasional deals that we would pick a few things up. There was also a local store that was going out of business that sold soap and things like that for super cheap.

    We started the baskets at least 8 months in advance. I realize that is really early. However, I knew that my bridal party wouldn't change. This time allowed us to complie several items for each girl and shop around for good deals.

    Hope this helps!


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    Thanks for all the tips everyone :)
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    I'm giving each of my girls little coach wristlets, a bridesmaid tank to wear to the salon the morning of and I got each of them a giftcard to a place they like to personally shop or is their taste.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaid-gifts-14?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:96366793-563f-4110-b9c7-f55eeaaf20e1Post:d1743317-0416-46a9-b24c-ac934b5c2aff">Re: Bridesmaid Gifts</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm giving each of my girls little coach wristlets,<strong> a bridesmaid tank to wear to the salon the morning of </strong>and I got each of them a giftcard to a place they like to personally shop or is their taste.
    Posted by lblumetti[/QUOTE]

    Just a couple of thoughts: a tank top that says bridesmaid isn't really a gift to your BMs.  And a tank top to wear to their hair appointment probably isn't the best idea as they would have to pull it over their newly done hair to get it off.

    A zipper hoodie or button front shirt is a much better idea for the hair salon.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaid-gifts-14?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:96366793-563f-4110-b9c7-f55eeaaf20e1Post:b26d971d-065e-4c7b-82b0-caac0d8a3845">Re: Bridesmaid Gifts</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridesmaid Gifts : Just a couple of thoughts: a tank top that says bridesmaid isn't really a gift to your BMs.  And a tank top to wear to their hair appointment probably isn't the best idea as they would have to pull it over their newly done hair to get it off. A zipper hoodie or button front shirt is a much better idea for the hair salon.
    Posted by trix1223[/QUOTE]

    Their main gift is the coach wristlet and the giftcard.  The tanks I got were just something fun I added.  I also made sure I got tanks that were wider along the top so they are easy to take off after getting hair and make-up done and won't mess anything up.  Since my wedding is in August, I did not want to get anything too hot for people to wear such as a hoodie.
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    I am giving each of my bridesmaids a purse that is fit to their own tastes (and let me tell you...shopping for 6 different style purses without buying one for myself was a challenge!). Then each girl is getting something special, one is getting a ring and necklace set, one is getting a great scarf, one a leather-bound journal, etc. Just shop like it is their birthday, and make sure to set AND STICK TO your budget!
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    I agree with PP on not buying gifts yet.  Understand wanting to spread out the shopping/spending, but any time I try to do this for Christmas, I end up overspending.  Every time actually.  I always find more stuff to add to the pile for each person. 

    What my FI and I have done is (yes, I’m a nerd) is create a list & envelope system.  Over the past few months, I've added cash to the envelope monthly to cover our budget for the gifts. 

    Each WP member’s name is on the front of the envelope with a few ideas for each girl.  As I’ve changed my mind on their gifts, I just cross it out, write something else for her (found out one BM loves Kathy Van Zeeland purses, so I thought I’d try to find her a fun new handbag)

     

    Now that we’re a month out from the big day, I’ve got solid ideas for each WP member and cash to buy everything - without overspending or having to take anything back when I change my mind!!


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