Ever received something like this?

The day, the dress
The bride, the groom
The joy, the tears
Will all come so soon

Professing true love
To my husband-to-be
With family and friends
All watching me

I hope the sun will
Be shining down,
Keep your fingers crossed
That I’ll fit in my gown…

But there’s just one more thing
that there needs to be…
and that’s to have you
Standing with me!

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Ah, yes, the infamous poem that propositions your girlfriends to buy a dress, throw you a shower, and party in your honor as you take the steps to go from Miss to Mrs. And because your ladies are your favorite posse members ever, you want to shower them in gifts of appreciation to be paired, in a cutesy way, with your bridesmaid poem, right?

Jewelry, t-shirts, and tote bags may have crossed your mind as desirable gifts, but guess what? They’ve crossed the mind of every bride who’s wanted to say “thank you” via presents. So do something different! Think unique!

Jewelry is probably the go-to bridesmaid gift, but instead of buying your girls identical shmaltzy necklaces to wear on the day of your wedding (and probably never again), make the bling come from the heart. They’re your best friends, these girls, right? So give them something they’d like best, something that is special — like they are! — and represents why you’ve chosen them to stand next to you beside the chuppah. For the gal who loves delicate dainty pieces, go with a simple charm or symbolic pendant. A bridesmaid who likes to make a statement may be the perfect recipient of a bold and chunky string of baubles. Shop handmade online stores and use keywords to narrow in on your search for each girl. There are tons of options, and you’ll shop for them in the comfort of your home. Either way, showing your appreciation means knowing your gal pals, so personalizing their jewelry will leave a lasting impression of your gratitude.

Gift baskets can be perfectly customized with trinkets and tokens that each individual bridesmaid would enjoy. If your best friend has an obsession with Tootsie Rolls, champagne, and bird jewelry, toss it all together and create a thank you pack that speaks to her. But for the girl who likes gnawing on jawbreakers, throwing back a beer, and 80s movies, you can create a completely different basket that she’ll enjoy. Take the time to know your girls and coordinate a gift that represents her as an individual or an aspect of your friendship’s history. Gift baskets look great to give and receive, and a collection of fabulous, little things is more exciting than one just-okay thing.

Lots of brides do t-shirts or tanks that say the name of the bridesmaid along with other wedding-ish information like the date and the name of the couple. Well, this may or may not be news to you, but it’s highly unlikely that the bridesmaid will wear that piece of clothing again. It may be cute on the big day, but save yourself some bucks and personalize items that can actually be used again by the bridesmaid. Consider items like makeup bags, mirrored compacts, totes, reusable water bottles, and even keychains. These are just a few ideas, but ordering something nice and personalizing it so that it will work for future use will mean a lot more than a cheapy flask made out of tarnishing fake silver.

Photo collages were popular in college. Your freshman year dorm room was probably filled with mashups of old high school photos from prom, rallies, and football games. So what’s the grown up version of teenage collages? Photo books! Coffee table books that are professionally bound make great gifts. Gather up your digital images of you and each bridesmaid and make a book that offers not only appreciation, but a level of sentimentality that will be cherished for ages. Search online for DIY photo books that you can create and customize for your gals.

No matter which path you choose for your bridesmaids’ gifts, just be sure you give them sincerely. Have fun with this creative process of wedding planning that’s not about inanimate objects like table linens or aisle runners, but about your friendships with your inner circle of women.

The Wedding YentasTM , A Guide for the Jewish BrideTM, is a wedding planning site that offers tips, explanations of traditions, a vendor directory, and Real Weddings showcasing authentic and professional images for couples planning Jewish weddings. To read more articles and features by The Wedding YentasTM click here!
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