Besties to bridesmaids - the francesca guide to the best bridesmaid gifts
We share the how, the when and the what to give when asking your girlfriends to join the bridal party
So, planning to pop the question to your girlfriends? … Will you be my bridesmaid?
Assuming they say yes (or let’s be honest...it’s more likely to be a ‘OMG YES!’) then just like the engagement ring and proposal is a gesture of genuine love and thought, so too should you bestow your bestest with the same effort that honours them and marks the importance of the occasion and their role alongside you!
So how does a bride-to-be pop the question to her most dearly beloved (besties)?
Well, according to wedding site The Knot, there is no one option, they have at least 40 different ways you can propose the question to your bridesmaids. But to avoid overwhelm or *shudder* becoming a dreaded bridezilla, we’ll share our own unique take on what will make the occasion, get you a ‘YES,’ and be one you will fondly remember forever.
- find your happy place
Unlike a romantic proposal, asking your gal pals to be bridesmaids can be way more open to interpretation, so depending on your nature/vibe you may want to be low key, fun, casual or OTT, and that will determine the place you wish to pop the question. Feeling like an early hens? Then go BIG with a girls night on the town with your favourite nightclub/wine bar as the venue. Or if you’re feeling all deep and meaningful, go for a mellow night in with wine, manicures, cushions, candles and eye masks. Alternatively, if you’re a nature lover, then take a picnic rug and pull up a private patch overlooking the sea or a lake along with a delicious hamper goodies.
- make it meaningful
What is authentic and true to your friendships? What do you value about them and them about you? According to science giving a meaningful experience can cultivates deeper connection and emotional response than a physical gift. And well, asking your bridesmaids to join your on your journey down the aisle is a pretty special experience. So with thoughtful intentions in mind, what can you do to make the moment meaningful and personal? Think of a theme that’s relevant to your wedding or your friendship, along with a colour scheme, a playlist (perhaps the cornerstone of your friendship began with Britney or the Biebs in high school) and maybe a divine menu of food and cocktails that you know you’ll all enjoy.
Note: We happen to know a girl that does pretty amazing picnic hampers and grazing tables if you’re Hobart based (check out @nutmegandlove for a glimpse of her delicious spreads ).
- pick the perfect present
The location is set, the theme and thought is in place, now for the grand gesture... the present! While every bride will have their own unique take on honorary bridesmaid gifts, at the heart of it, think about how you wish to celebrate the bond you share with your friends. Jewellery can be a beautiful way to be connected to your bridesmaids, as wearing a similar piece on the day will have you tied to that day and forever thereafter. If you know the theme and bridal look you’re going for, keep the bridesmaids jewellery within that theme. For example, if you’re going with a traditional ‘Jane Austen’ style affair, perhaps everyone could be gifted pearls? Or if it’s a couture affair, diamond statement earrings may be every girl’s best friend. Once you know the stone of choice, either buy the same for everyone, or make the bridal set slightly more unique and gift the bridesmaids smaller or more simple versions.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to pop the question with jewellery like your fiance (hopefully!) did, then why not create a pack of beautiful smaller gifts in the form of a pamper or wedding themed package? It could be as fun as personalised embroidered silk gowns (to wear on the wedding morn), engraved champagne glasses or ‘will you be my bridesmaid’ iced cupcakes? The sky’s the limit. For cute bridal party themed presents, we love etsy.
- wrap with love
You’ve gone to all this beautiful effort planning a place, theme, present, but don’t forget the gift wrapping. Sure there is something to the ‘it’s the thought that counts’ theory, but the way a gift is wrapped actually holds more value than you might realise. According to a study into the psychology of gift wrapping, the person who is receiving a gift will be more likely to respond positively to a gift that’s been wrapped with love. True fact. In some cases, the people studied even had strong preferences towards ‘the quality of the wrapping paper.’ However, if you’re planning old school brown paper don’t be disheartened, - study participants showed a happier mood towards a present that has been wrapped nicely (whether brown paper or not) over one not wrapped at all. For beautiful gift wrapping inspiration, pinterest is a definite go-to, but if you’re able to source bridesmaid gifts from a boutique that does gift wrapping (such as a jewellery site) then they will take the stress out of both the gift and wrapping, leaving more time to enjoy the day itself.
- pop the question
It’s safe to say, if your partner proposed to you, you’re not quite well versed with popping the question. How do you ask your besties to be in your bridesmaids? Two words - be authentic. Are you big with words? Then write a poem. A closet shower singer? Write a song. Into pranks and games? Create a fortune cookie, scavenger hunt or something totally wacky (we love Buzzfeed’s fun suggestions). A goddess in the kitchen? Hide the question in a cake (or individual cupcakes). Or maybe you’re all about coming from the heart, in which case its as easy as speaking what’s true to you, letting them know how much they mean to you and why it would mean the world to you to have them by your side. Just remember, however you approach it, you’ve got this girl.
- give gratitude
It’s so easy to do, yet so often overlooked. Your best friends might have happily agreed, and you might have put an amazing amount of effort into the day, yet giving thanks and gratitude to your bridesmaids is fundamental to keeping those meaningful relationships before, during and after the wedding. A study that looked at gratitude amongst strangers, found that those who hand wrote notes to thank them for their time and effort built deeper connections and friendships based on the sense of ‘warmth’ they felt as a result of the gratitude they received. And who doesn’t want warm and fuzzy feels? So after the presents are given, the question is popped, make sure to say a little thanks and tell them how much it means to you (afterall, it’s often the bridesmaids that plan the hens and help you keep your cool on the wedding day).
- savour the day
Good news bride-to-be, the hard part is now done, it’s time to throw caution to the wind and have some fun! Eat, be merry and enjoy the love fest! Not only is it well earned, but according to science savouring the moment and basking in loving vibes is a proven way to boost happiness - and will leave you looking back fondly on the day (and adding to your treasure trove of beautiful memories from the wedding to-be).
For more inspiration on what to do as the wedding gets closer (aka - the hens!), we recommend bridesmaids check out Vogue or OzParty’s lists for beautiful, bespoke ideas tailored to suit the bride-to-be.