wedding party

Tip Tuesday | Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

One wedding day tradition is to gift your bridesmaids with something to say thank you for being a part of your wedding party. I’ve seen all kinds of great ideas — robes, jewelry, custom tanks/tees, personalized makeup bags, champagne flutes, and these adorable and practical stemless wine glasses. They are insulated metal and keep your drinks nice and cold, plus they can be personalized with monograms or names in varying colors. And the cups themselves come in a few different colors as well. I chose the matte black version with rose gold lettering with my name.

I got mine just a few days ago and I’ve already used it a ton! It’s great for hot summer day sitting out on our back deck and keeps my drinks cold for a long time. They’re affordable too, so go grab some for the bridesmaids in your life (and maybe your moms too!)!

(This is a sponsored post. The product was provided to me in exchange for my review.)

Gift Ideas for Your Wedding Party

Traditionally the bride and groom give a gift to each of their bridesmaids and groomsmen as a gesture of thanks for standing up with them and investing the time and money to be included in the wedding party. As a wedding photographer, I have seen all kinds of gifts, and I definitely have some favorites!

Some of the gifts I see the most for bridesmaids are:

1) Matching robes/shirts/PJs. Robes can come in floral, solid or textured patterns and fabrics, and sometimes they are a touch more luxurious with a monogram or wording on the back or left chest. But no matter the style, they always make for a great photo with the bride once all the hair and makeup is done!

HB3_2045.jpg

2) Jewelry. This is a popular one because it means all the ladies will be wearing matching jewelry the whole day, which is also nice for photos.

HBP_6063.jpg
Hot-pink-colorful-wedding-Champaign-Country-Club_3982.jpg

3) Tote bags. I’ve seen super cute canvas tote bags (sometimes customized) that are handy for toting around all the wedding day essentials. Bonus if you put their name or initial on it — they’ll always know whose is whose!

Lauren-Tyler-003.jpg

For the fellas, here’s what I see trending:

1) Cufflinks. Again, it’s nice to have everyone matching, or to give them something that’s maybe not as noticeable but re-usable and meaningful to each guy. It’s cool when they are favorite sports teams!

HB3_7492.jpg

2) Flasks. These are practical and personal! Flasks can also be customized with each groomsman’s name or initials. And it’s something he can re-use also!

HBP_5630.jpg

3) Favorite liquor/beer. In our own wedding, we gave each of the groomsmen a handle of their favorite alcohol — this one is always a hit, though not super long lasting. ;)

4) Hotel night stays. Especially if being in the wedding could be considered a hardship for any of your crew, you could gift them with a night or two in the hotel block to help offset some of their costs with attending and standing up in the wedding.

HB3_6524.jpg

Maybe you’re looking for something a bit different or that will make more of a statement with your wedding party? Make a lasting impact on your wedding party with a pair of sunglasses or a gift card from Warby Parker (who has one of my favorite Instagram feeds, by the way!). ;)

Warby Parker has a new bulk ordering process that lets you order multiple products at one time, and all pairs come with a case, a microfiber lens cloth, and colorful packaging. If you were to happen to need more than 50 pairs, they even include a custom lens cloth with each pair!

I also love personal gifts that are meaningful to the couple. If you’re into Legos, maybe you give a special Lego set to each of your party. If you’re into movies, maybe you gift a copy of your favorite flick or a gift card to Redbox or Netflix. If you’re an adventurer, maybe you gift your favorite water bottle. The possibilities are endless! Whatever you decide to give, be sure to include a thank you note expressing your gratitude and appreciation for each person. Your kind words with the thoughtful gift will leave a lasting impression.

What unique gifts have you seen at weddings you’ve been in?

Tips for Bridesmaids | Bride's Planning Guide

HB3_0768.jpg

Over the years, I've been privileged to hang out with many wedding parties, and have noticed a few things along the way.  Sometimes everything works perfectly smoothly, sometimes there is a bit of drama, and sometimes there's a bit of both.  One thing can be sure though -- the bridesmaids are there to support the bride and groom (but mostly the bride!).  I wrote a list of my best tips for bridesmaids as we all dive into wedding days and all that surrounds them! 1) Don’t bother the bride!If you have grudges, complaints, issues, or egos    — check them at the door!Take your issue to someone else who can help.Do not burden the bride on this day.A wedding day can be stressful enough without having to worry about someone else’s problems.

tips for bridesmaids
blush casual bridesmaids pose

blush casual bridesmaids pose

2) Plan, plan, plan.Once you’ve officially be asked to be a bridesmaid, there will be lots of duties and responsibilities.And it will cost you some time and money.You’ll need to pay for your dress, you’ll need to help plan the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and you’re expected to buy the couple a gift.Plan your finances in advance and set a little aside each month if you know it will be hard to pay for many of those things at once.

purple wedding party pose with ivy wall

purple wedding party pose with ivy wall

3) Help the bride.Offer to get her snacks or water.Make sure she stays hydrated and that she eats a little something throughout the day!Often brides are resistant to eat or drink anything either because they’re nervous, or they’re worried about being able to use the restroom later on while wearing a huge gown.I’ve seen people pass out at weddings before, and I’d bet that she’d rather not have a dehydration hangover on the first day of her honeymoon!Don’t be pushy, but just encourage her to drink some water here and there.

purple bridesmaids movie pose

purple bridesmaids movie pose

4) Remember: this is not your day — it’s THEIR day.Yes, you want to look nice and not do anything to sabotage the bride and groom’s photos or vision, but ultimately the bride’s wants and needs far exceed your own (at least on this day!).If she needs a piece of hair curled that fell out of place and it’s time to walk out the door — hers is getting fixed and yours is not.If the spare bobby pin you were getting ready to use is desperately needed by the bride — it’s hers.If someone needs to run and grab something she needs from the car — do it for her.Let her enjoy the day and take any possible burdens off her that you can.Plus there are a group of you!Put your heads together and work as a team to ensure that she has no distractions and doesn’t have to deal with any last-minute problems.

colorful bridesmaid sitting standing poses

colorful bridesmaid sitting standing poses

5) Cooperate!The best thing you can do all day is listen when the wedding party is getting instructions.These could be from the wedding planner, the church coordinator, the photographer, parents, the DJ, etc.It’s ok to have fun and be relaxed, but if you pay attention during those times, the day will flow smoothly and leave more time for partying!