This holiday season I’m thankful for great friends. So many in fact that picking only six to be my bridesmaids was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Next hardest was figuring out how exactly to ask them.
I’ve never been a bridesmaid myself, but the importance and – dare I say it? – burden of the role aren’t lost on me. 300-some dollars for a dress is a big ask. So, to make the commitment a little less painful, I popped the big question with a small box full of goodies.
Brace yourself for an exhaustive look at how I did it. What can I say? It was fun!
Picking what would go into each bridesmaid box was a process that took much thought, browsing, and spanned many weeks and months. Not only did I want each gift to be practical and fun, I wanted them to offer the girls a glimpse into what I was thinking for the wedding, so the colors, style of dresses and theme were all things I had to figure out beforehand. Once I had a general idea of where I was going, I went to work on my bridesmaids boxes and ultimately decided on the following items:
After spending an embarrassingly long time pacing the many aisles of boxes at The Container Store (my favorite), I settled on these treat boxes with handles to deliver my gifts. Not only were they one of the less expensive options, I happen t0 prefer the natural recycled look more than the more pricey glossy white look. To make up for the flimsier build of the cheaper boxes, I lined the bottoms with this pink and gold wrapping paper, which made for both sturdier and prettier presentation.
For inside the box:
1. Floral journals, because we can always use more pretty notebooks. The ones in question are by Rifle Paper Co. conveniently sold in sets of 3 at Paper Source. I don’t have a wedding theme per se, but know that I want flowers to play a big part.
2. There are so many great options for bridesmaids cards, but keeping with the style of the notebooks, I went with Rifle Paper Co.’s set of 8 cards and an individual Maid of Honor card. They were my favorite by a long shot and were blank inside, giving me plenty of space to write individualized messages to each friend.
3. No gift is complete without chocolate, but I knew plain Hershey’s bars wouldn’t do. I needed something pink. The Bloomberg New York office happens to be right by the iconic Dylan’s Candy Bar, so on one of my recent days there, I stopped in for a half dozen of their signature chocolate bars.
4. While there, I also raided the Hello Kitty display and supplemented each gift box with Hello Kitty Jelly Bellys. I couldn’t resist.
5. The next two items are in the small-but-fun category. I wanted to include something in the beauty and pampering realm, and eventually settled on the cute and fragrant EOS lip balms,
6. as well as this set of hair ties from LOFT. Bonus: the colors perfectly match the palette that I’ve dreamt up for the wedding.
7. For a slightly more substantial and obvious gift, I knew I had to include the Bridesmaids movie. I want this whole process to be as hilarious and easy-going as possible, and thought the film would be a great way to set the tone. As long as no one is defecating in a sink, I’ll be happy. Knowing that my Maid of Honor Rohini already owns the DVD (she owns nearly every movie and is therefore the ideal roommate), she was the recipient of the less critically-acclaimed, but still worthy films Made of Honor and Bride Wars. We already have plans to do a wedding-movie marathon the next time we’re together.
8. And finally, to cover some business, I included fabric swatches and printouts of about a dozen different styles of bridesmaids dresses. Not a fan of the uniform look, I want everyone to pick out their own dress so long as it falls within the blush color family. The pictures were my way of getting that message across and getting the juices flowing. I backed them with pink scallop cards and small clothespins that I adorned with washi tape.
For the finishing touches, I topped off each box with several handfuls of pink crinkle-cut paper shreds and tied on gold gift tags with pretty two-tone pink ribbon, all from – you guessed it – the Container Store.
Delivering the boxes and hearing of and seeing my now official bridesmaids’ reactions is up there with some of my most gratifying experiences. These ladies all mean so much to me, and I loved having an excuse to make that fact known with small tokens of my appreciation. It’s a really great feeling and I encourage any other brides or soon-to-be brides to consider asking in a similar special way.
A sign of a great friend is one that never expects anything, but it sure is fun to spoil them anyway.