My wedding day felt like a dream. It was effortless, romantic, and filled with magical moments shared with my husband on our special day. What made it truly incredible, though, was having my nearest and dearest friends beside me, standing with me in their periwinkle bridesmaid dresses as I took my vows. Those wonderful women carried me through that day, just as they had so often in my life. They made me laugh when I was feeling nervous, fixed my hair when it started to fall out, and gave me a moving, heartfelt toast, bringing everyone to tears.
To show my gratitude for their friendship, their loyalty, and their support on my wedding day—and during the many previous months of planning—I wanted to find them the perfect bridesmaid gifts. I had a lot of ideas but, in the end, I gave them each a sparkly pair of earrings to match their bridesmaid dresses, along with a gift certificate for a pedicure. I also wrote each of them a personal keepsake letter of gratitude on beautiful stationary. My hope was that the letter would convey my love and appreciation for each of them individually, the earrings would serve as a reminder of the special day whenever they wore them, and the pedicure would pamper their poor feet after dancing the night away with me at my wedding!
If you’re looking for the perfect bridesmaid gifts for your special girl gang but don’t have a lot of money to spend, I’ve got some great ideas for wonderfully unique bridesmaid gift ideas on a budget. Showing your gratitude doesn’t need to be expensive. If the gifts come from the heart, your gals are going to love them.
Heartfelt DIY Bridesmaids Gifts for Any Budget
There’s nothing like thoughtful DIY gifts for your best friends to show how much they mean to you. If you’re a DIY girl, though, take it from me and make your bridesmaid gifts several months before the wedding so that you can enjoy the crafting experience—and ensure the gifts are completed well in advance of the business of your big day.
Here are my favorite heartfelt DIY bridesmaid gifts, big on gratitude, but easy on the budget:
- A Wedding Recovery Kit: Encourage your bridesmaids to indulge in self-care the day after the wedding by gifting them a basket full of goodies they can use to pamper themselves. Fill a cute box or basket with rejuvenating essential oils, a homemade body scrub, bath salts, and sachets of herbal tea to help them recover after dancing the night away with you.
- A hand-painted mug: If your bridesmaids are big coffee and tea drinkers, this is perfect for a gift that they’ll actually get a lot of use out of. Pick up some unglazed, white ceramic mugs, some colorful paint markers, and a firing glaze that’s designed for oven and ceramic use (you can find it at most craft stores). Let your creativity take over as you design the mugs with each of your girls in mind. Need inspiration? How about writing their favorite quote, doodling their favorite flower, or simply using their favorite colors to create a fun pattern.
- An artsy frame and photo: I think photos make some of the best gifts. Buy a bunch of plain, affordable frames, pick up some paints, and get creative (just remember to remove the glass first). Once each frame is painted to perfection, you can use a sharpie to write a special message, a heartfelt friendship quote, or a funny inside joke on each one. Then, put in your favorite picture of you and your bridesmaid so you can gift it to them before the wedding. On the day of the wedding, have your photographer take pictures of you with each of your bridesmaids so they can update the photos in their frames
The key to DIY bridesmaid gifts is to make them personal for your bridesmaids. Show them that you considered their personal tastes by making each gift a little unique. They’ll so appreciate the time, creativity, and thought you put into crafting such heartfelt gifts!
Useful and Unique Keepsake Bridesmaids Gifts on a Budget
When my Maid of Honor Steph got married, she gave each of her bridesmaids a gift that we could use on the day of the wedding and cherish ever after. I so enjoyed getting ready in my Maid of Honor tank top—and I still wear it when I do yoga. Every time I put it on, I remember that special day and am instantly in a good mood.
Inspired by Steph’s bridesmaids’ gifts, here are a few ideas for useful gifts that double as keepsakes:
- Bridesmaids water bottles: It’s so important to hydrate the morning of the wedding, and there’s no better way to remind your girl gang of that than with adorable, personalized water bottles. You can work with an Etsy artist to create a little image of each of your bridesmaids wearing their dresses to put on the bottles. Plus, the bottles will look super cute in the photos of you all getting ready together.
- Wedding day bling: What girl doesn’t love jewelry? Pick out a pretty bracelet, necklace, or earrings that go well with their bridesmaid dresses. Remember, jewelry doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful! If you choose something simple and classic, they can not only wear them on the wedding day, but they can enjoy them with any of their everyday outfits as well. To make it extra special, you could have the jewelry engraved with your wedding date or a special little message.
- Matching robes: This is a fairly classic bridesmaid gift, but there’s a good reason for it. Robes are the perfect primping wear—they won’t mess up your hair when you get dressed and they make you feel glamorous. Make them unique by choosing a fun pattern, color, or cut that they will love enough to wear after the wedding is over.
Keep in mind that you can still personalize these gifts. For instance, choose different color robes for your bridesmaids or pick different earrings styles for each gal; you want them to feel like the gift they receive was chosen with their uniqueness in mind!
Non-Material Budget Bridesmaids Gifts for Your Wedding Day Girl Squad
I know what it feels like to have a completely empty bank account days before your wedding. So, if this is the case and you’re unable to spend any money on bridesmaid gifts, arrange to do something special for them instead. Sometimes, the best gifts can’t be bought.
Here are some non-material gift ideas that your bridesmaids are bound to love:
- A multi-course home cooked meal of their favorite foods
- A song dedicated to them at the wedding, plus a mini speech about how much each of them means to you
- A sleepover party with all their favorite junk food and movies on hand
- An at-home spa day with cucumber water, healthy eats, and lots of pampering
- An all-day hike in the wilderness with a picnic packed by you
The wonderful thing about these non-material gifts is that they allow you to spend more time with the girls who matter most to you. Be sure to give them a handmade thank you card with a description of their non-material gift so they can get excited about it.
No matter what you end up giving your bridesmaids, the most important thing you can do is express your gratitude for their friendship and for everything they’ve done to help you get to this wonderful point in your life. Take some time a few weeks before the wedding to pour your heart out to them in a handwritten letter, and include it as part of your gift to them. In the end, they may just cherish that above anything else you can dream up to wrap.
At Elfster, we work hard to make gift giving meaningful and affordable for everyone—as well as easy to organize online! For more unique bridesmaid gift ideas your gal pals will love, check out our inspiring Gift Guide for Her. You can also connect with Elfster on Facebook, on Twitter @Elfster, or on Instagram @Elfster.