Standing up for a friend or relative at her wedding is an honor, but let's be honest, the bridal party gifts are also part of the fun. Take a unique approach to gifts for your bridesmaids. A purse or a trinket box are traditional go-to's but don't necessarily reflect the relationship you have with each member of your bridal party. Step outside the flower-lined aisle and give your girls a gift that will make them smile and think of you every time they use it.
Just because your attendants are all wearing the same gown or same color doesn't mean they'll all like the same gift. Pick an overall theme and give each person a version of it that speaks to them.
Buy each bridesmaid a charm bracelet and adorn it with a wedding-related bauble and an ornament that represents them specifically. For example, a heart charm will remind each lady of you, while a dog charm for your pet enthusiast friend shows her you know where her heart lies.
Give each woman a bottle of her favorite wine or cocktail ingredient with matching glassware. Put a cosmopolitan mix or bottle of vodka in a bag with martini glasses and a fun cocktail recipe book. Or pair a bottle of wine with glasses and stemware charms.
How about cashmere scarfs and pashmina wraps you can embroider with each bridesmaid's name or initials? Match the wraps to the color of their dresses if your wedding day might be chilly. Or get each girl her favorite color to wear the other 364 days of the year.
Pamper your attendants with a spa bag embroidered with their names. Fill the bag with massage oils, scented candles and body lotions. Match eye masks, moisturizing gloves and socks to the color of the bag. Oprah suggests including makeup and perfume samples, as well as other great 'freebie' gifts you may have received during your holiday shopping at department stores like Macy's. Make the at-home spa experience even more indulgent with a loofah and a CD of relaxing music.
If your bridal party members have been in your life for a long time, give a gift that celebrates your lasting bond.
Consider a heart-stamped, U.S. state pendant for each bridesmaid. If everyone hails from the same place, the matching state charms will evoke a sense of history. If each woman is from a different area, the variety of states will tell the story of your journey and the friendships you made along the way.
Buy photo albums or scrapbooks at your local craft store and create a memory book for each bridesmaid with mementos of the good times you've shared. Recount the memories each photo brings to mind with a caption beside it. Use images from the Internet of favorite movies, bands or hairstyles from times past for added history. Fill the album up or leave blank pages for each bridesmaid to add to as your shared memories continue.
No matter the gift you choose, make it unique with a modern-day "mix-tape" of songs on CD that mean something to you and each of your bridesmaids. Create your own liner notes and give the story behind each tune.