A Year of Date Nights

Today on Ultimate Bridesmaid we welcome guest poster Tara from Spotofteadesigns.com. I was totally inspired by Tara’s super-creative shower gift—A Year of Date Nights! See how she pulled it off below.
Hello UB followers! My name is Tara and I’m the T of Spotofteadesigns.com! Since 2010, I will have been involved in 6 weddings as a bridesmaid, maid of honor and a bride-to-be for my upcoming September wedding. Needless to say I’m in full-on wedding mode these days! As a bridesmaid, I’m used to the plan to chip in for an expensive item off the bride’s registry, but in one particular case, all the big ticket items were already taken. We came up with another plan.
As a big Pinterest user, I was very excited to come across this post from Shannon Brown’s Life in General Blog. She gave her husband a Christmas gift that included 12 envelopes of planned dates for the full year. I loved this concept and used it as inspiration for my bride’s group gift, which we nicknamed A Year of Date Nights.
At her shower, Allie, the bride, was only able to open a large box containing all the wrapped gifts you see above, and a descriptive poem explaining the concept. Each month after their wedding, Allie and her hubby, Tim, are allowed to open that month’s gift. Upon reading it, they’ll be able to pick a day on their calendar to enjoy the date. Since the couple only wed in May, as of this post only 2 gifts have been opened that I can share.For June, Allie and Tim opened a mini pizza box containing an empty frozen yogurt container. Inside they received gift cards for dinner and dessert at their local pizza and froyo locations.
For July, they opened a handmade card with a gift card to Wegmans. They were instructed to buy some steaks and trimmings, then enjoy a sunny BBQ for two on their backyard patio.
Not all her gifts had to do with food, but I can’t reveal the rest until they open the gifts as the months pass.
Below are a few suggestions for other bridesmaids who might want to make their own Year of Date Nights gift:
  • Have a point person. Whether it’s the MOH or another bridesmaid, someone should keep it organized and on track. With a large bridal party, there are bound to be some girls who are super-involved while others hang back and just want to pay at the end.
  • Brainstorm. What does the couple like to do? Notice I said COUPLE. Include the groom’s hobbies in the gifts as well! If you buy tickets for a flower show one month because she likes it, buy a gift for a local adult arcade place or a beer tasting the next. A relationship is all about compromise and hopefully your couple appreciates the attempt.
  • Set a price limit per person and divvy it out amongst the months. The gift does not need to cost the same amount every month. Make some months more expensive and let others be a little less costly. It’s not about what you’re buying for them. You’re giving them the gift of time spent together! Knowing the limit for each month is good when it comes to gift certificates or prepaid packages.
  • Think outside the box…literally! Everyone typically expects to receive a gift in a box. But why not try something out of the ordinary or something that goes with the theme of the gift? For a restaurant near the beach, why not put the gift certificate in a beach pail? For a picnic in the park, why not put accessories in a picnic basket? There might be ways to combine items off their registry with that month’s gift, or check out Pinterest’s DIY and Crafts section for more crafty inspiration for your containers.
  • Decide how you want to present the gift. In our case, I had all the bridesmaids send me the materials and I wrapped them and added a coordinating tag. You could just as easily assignment different gifts to each bridesmaid for an eclectic mix! Just make sure that point person knows who’s doing what.
I hope you are inspired by this post to think ahead and create a gift that keeps on giving! If you’re curious to know the remaining 10 gifts from my Year of Date Nights, follow along on my blog each month.
Thanks again for the opportunity to guest post on Ultimatebridesmaid.com!