Wedding Favors and Bridesmaid Gifts
Heartfelt Favors and Bridesmaid Gifts to Make Yourself
Wedding favors and bridesmaid gifts are always kind gestures, but they're very important in a handmade wedding. Even the multi-tasking bride must call upon friends, family and the kindness of strangers along the way. In many cases, bridesmaids and extended family play vital roles in the planning and execution. This is your chance to show these excellent people just how grateful you are for their help and support, so put your heart and hands into the perfect gift.
Thank Your Guests with Homespun Handiwork
Store-bought favors are not only expensive, but also can be pretty underwhelming; this is one area where a handmade gesture will surely be appreciated. You'll need to decide on a heartfelt gift that can be made for each and every attendee, which is more challenging the longer your guest list. Fortunately, there are plenty of wedding favors that can be made well in advance, so you can have them finished and waiting before the big day arrives. Consider seasonally-inspired gifts, like:
- Jars of homemade jam or pickles. Edible favors are always nice ideas, but individual boxes of truffles are pricey and overdone. Preserves are a cheaper and easier option: all it takes is one afternoon in the kitchen with a bushel of fresh fruit and a time-honored recipe, and you'll have a load of mini jam jars ready for the reception.
- Pots of herbs. If you're having a late summer wedding, you can plan ahead and grow a big bed of fruitful herbs like parsley, oregano, mint and thyme. A week or so before the wedding, have some friends or family help you replant these fragrant greens in small pots to sit at each place setting.
- Fresh market fruits and veggies. Easy and affordable, these favors can be as simple as a pint of cherry tomatoes or a pair of ripe fruits in a cute nod to the couple of honor. The best part of using ripe produce as favors is the vivid colors; collectively, they can make a beautiful centerpiece or table runner for the duration of the party.
- Christmas or holiday decorations. Cardboard cut-outs, folded paper ornaments, or playful Popsicle stick creatures will find a home on Christmas trees or window panes for years to come. Adding your wedding date and initials to the decorations will remind your guests of your wedding and add a little sparkle to their holiday.
If time is running out, you might want to spring for commercial wedding favors and simply add a homemade tag or card for a personal touch. These can double as place cards, with your guest's name and table on one side and your wedding date along with a little message on the other side.
Creative and Unique Bridesmaid Gifts
Pretty trimmings and helpful accessories for the wedding day are standard bridesmaid gifts, but a handmade twist lends a nice touch. Here are some clever ideas for personally made gifts with professional results:
- Cute fabric can change everything. Pretty, personalized hangers are lovely accessories for the big day, but there's no need to splurge on high-end varieties. Instead, wrap strips of patterned fabric around a regular hanger and finish with a ribbon for each bridesmaid. And to deal with teary eyes at the ceremony, embroider a vintage handkerchief with their initials (opt for a different pattern or style for each of your maids.)
- A great initial impression. Do you like the idea of a monogrammed tote bag? Whip some up yourself with a few letter stencils and other neat designs, some fabric paint and a few cheap and neutral cotton tote bags. You can also use that bag to hold smaller gifts like homemade cookies, wine, jewelry or – if you're particularly artistic – a sweet painting or drawing to evoke your unique friendship with each bridesmaid.
- Cut out the clutter. One thing to keep in mind is how each bridesmaid feels about knick knacks. Little ornaments tend to get tucked away into dark drawers, and although your personally-poured candle might be sweet, there may not be a place for it in every home. Whatever you decide, make sure it's practical and versatile, and your hard work won't be in vain.
If you can't come up with something everyone will enjoy, think of non-material ways to show your gratitude. Simply work with your budget, style and common sense to send a clear and heartfelt message that everyone can appreciate. Gracious thoughts and kind words can speak much louder than colorful trinkets.