Category Archives: Favors and Gifts

“Sprinkle on the Love” Bridal Shower Favors

Tea party shower in Greensboro, North Carolina at the O. Henry Hotel I recently spent the weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina, for my wonderful friend Jae’s wedding. We had a packed schedule of activities, including a bachelorette spa day and slumber party, a bridal shower tea party and, of course, the wedding! It was wonderful to spend so much quality time with some of my favorite ladies. I even got to spend the night before the wedding with Jae, which was super special. One unexpected consequence of getting married: it can bring you closer to the women in your life!

I wanted to share one quick DIY with you: the favor tags I made for the bridal shower. My fellow bridesmaids and I had talked about the idea of giving sprinkles as bridal shower favors for awhile, since Jae is maybe kinda a little obsessed with them. So when I saw these adorable sprinkles were 50% off at Paper Source, I jumped on that shizz!

Once we had the sprinkles, fellow bridesmaid Lexy came up with the cute tagline “Sprinkle on the Love for Jae’s Shower” and I set to work making tags to personalize the favors.

Free printable bridal shower party favor tags: Sprinkle on the Love for the Bridal Shower. The best part? I made a version that you can use! Simply click on the PDF link below for the best resolution. You can download a printable PDF of the tags here.

Free printable bridal shower party favor tags: Sprinkle on the Love for the Bridal Shower.

You can download a printable PDF of these tags for your bridal shower favors here.

Want to get super-crazy sprinkle ridiculous? Paper Source actually has even more sprinkle goodies—including this wrapping paper I’m obsessed with.

Chic Bachelorette Favor Finds Under $5

Real talk: Throwing a party can get expensive. I’m totally guilty of drooling over bachelorette party favor packs I see on Instagram or around the blogosphere. But then I add up the price tag and cringe a little. Chances are you do not have the funds to drop $100 on a gift basket for each guest. At the same time, you want your favors to be cute. You don’t want to just hand out Advil and Band-aids (little known fact: your guests can supply their own Advil!). So what you want is the Holy Grail of party favors: incredibly stylish but inexpensive items. I get you. I’m here. With bachelorette favors under $5. You’re welcome. Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

Free swag alert! That’s right, these cute wine labels are absolutely free and you can snag mini Sutter Home wine bottles for only $1.75 each. There’s also a tutorial for creating the little bows to accent each bottle of wine. The perfect thing to greet your friends when they arrive.

Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

Hi, I’m obsessed with these OMG koozies. They are just so clever and cute (and only $5 each!). Plus, I maybe have a weakness for koozies? Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

Emma Flhair’s Etsy shop is one of my favorites—she’s got tons of cute hair accessories from “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” to “Last Fling Before the Ring.” These Bride Tribe hair ties favors are a complete steal at only $1.75 a pop.

Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

Oh, Ban.do, you make me laugh. Add some flair to your outfit for $2 each—the Girls, Girls, Girls pin for your night out and the I’m Super Hungover pin for the next morning.

Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

A shiny little reminder that you are absolutely going to have the Best Day Ever. This pack of 12 Metallic Tattoos will run you $26, so that’s only a little over $2 apiece.

Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

Beau-Coup is like affordable wedding favor central, but these pineapple bottle openers really stand out amongst their collection. They’re stylish, on trend and under $5!

Chic Bachelorette Favor Find for Under $5!

Did you know H&M has a home section? I know, me neither, mind totally blown. But it’s a freaking gold mine for low-priced cute accessories, like this candle 2-pack for $4.99!

My Will You Be My Bridesmaid Gift Boxes

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Box

Sending a “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” card or present is a newer tradition, but one I love. I actually asked all my bridesmaids over the phone or in person because I felt like it was important to have that personal connection. But I still wanted to send them a “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” gift, more as a “thank you” for saying yes! First, I looked at some of the Will You Be My Bridesmaid cards I’ve loved over the years, but ultimately I decided to create one myself, partially because I just couldn’t decide between all the cute ones out there and partially just to challenge myself to imagine something new.

Andrew and I are getting married in Northeast Harbor, Maine, and it will be the first time that most of my friends are visiting this part of the country. I wanted to give them a taste of what to expect in Maine with my bridesmaid gift box. For the card, I went back through all my photos from our past vacations on Mt. Desert Island to look for a perfect background image. When choosing a photo, I needed to find one that had some negative space where I could easily place text. I chose a picture of the rocky coastline of Acadia National Park that has a bit of fog rolling in off the coast, the perfect neutral backdrop for the text.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid card. Create this using one of your own photos. So simple!I used Photoshop to create the card. I added the photograph as my first layer, then added my text as my second layer and played with a couple fonts until I found one I liked. To make the text pop, I decided to use a metallic gold foil effect. Here’s how to achieve that effect yourself (it’s actually incredibly easy). First, I found an image of gold foil online and saved it to my computer. I added the foil image as my third Photoshop layer. I resized the foil until it completely covered my text, making sure that the foil layer is right on top of the text layer in my Layers palette. Then, simply hover your cursor between the text and foil layers and hold down ALT. A little icon will appear. Once you click, it will create a clipping mask that fills the text with the metallic foil. Magic! Here’s a video that explains the whole process really well.

For the other items in my box, I wanted to include one or two pretty gifts I thought my bridesmaids would enjoy and use in their everyday lives, as well as a few things with a Maine connection. I approached picking gifts with two things in mind. 1. Quality over quantity. When you’re trying to fill gift boxes for five people, the costs can add up quickly. So in order to keep my boxes on a budget, I decided I’d rather pick a few nice items than stuff the box with little trinkets. 2. Pick things my bridesmaids will like and use, not just wedding “themed” items. Some of the items have a Maine theme, it’s true, but I also just thought they were nice and something my bridesmaid would love.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Box

I found the jewelry trays on sale at J.Crew Factory and ordered a different pattern for each bridesmaid. The necklaces nestled in each jewelry tray were picked up during one of my visits to Maine. To go along with the coastal Maine theme, I included a bottle of my favorite Bumble and Bumble Surf products (they smell soooo good and leave my hair incredibly soft) and added a jar of yummy Maine blueberry honey. The finishing touch was a personal note that I wrote to each bridesmaid, thanking them for agreeing to be my bridesmaid and sharing why I was so excited to have them stand by my side at my wedding.

I took a trip to Paper Source for my packing supplies. I needed gift boxes large enough to fit the jewelry trays, but not so large that everything would shift around too much during shipping. I found these white gift boxes that fit the bill and filled them with white and gold shredded paper. I also picked up some gold chevron washi tape to decorate the exterior of the plain white boxes, and a ball of blue and white striped twine which I tied around the honey jars.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Gift BoxesWill You Be My Bridesmaid Gift Boxes Will You Be My Bridesmaid Gift Boxes DIY Will You Be My Bridesmaid Gift BoxWill You Be My Bridesmaid Gift BoxesWill You Be My Bridesmaid Gift Boxes

So those are my gift boxes! I really hope my bridesmaids will like them and I can’t wait to see them and all of my friends at my bachelorette party this May in Charleston, SC!

Photographs by my amazing bridesmaid, photographer Marisa Jarae (check out her jaw-dropping Instagram for your daily dose of mountain magic).

Bow & Drape Custom Sweatshirts (and So Much More)

So guys, I just stumbled across Bow & Drape and now I am obsessed. I know I need one of these bling-tastic totally-custom sweatshirts for my very own, but I just can’t decide what to put on mine! Ever since I discovered these I’ve been brainstorming cute phrases to slap on ’em, and I just had to share with you guys! Here’s how it works.

bow and drape

You can totally buy one of their super-cute designs, like the ones above. OR customize your own, whether it be a soft sweatshirt, a polka-dot metallic pouch, a knit beanie or a snuggly sweater for your furry friend (for reals). And if you’re feeling super-fun, pop on a little flair, like sequin lips or mini French fries.

Obviously my first thought was that these would be awesome gifts, either from the bride to her bridesmaids or vice versa. You could go classic and just get her name in hot pink sequins, or get creative! Add that phrase she’s always saying, a tagline from your favorite show or the way you met (College Roomies, BFFs Since 2nd Grade). Or check out some of my designs below (you can order them here).

Ultimate Bridesmaid Bow and Drape sweatshirt designs

An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon

After a surprise email from a local seamstress, Shaunda of E’MAGINE Weddings & Events was inspired to collaborate with her to create completely custom bridesmaid robes and dresses. Seamstress Stini and wedding planner Shaunda carried the theme of personalization through the decor and accessories, incorporating wine glass decals to customize the beverages, monogramming on the robes and each bridesmaid’s name stitched into clutches. As a serial bridesmaid (eight times and counting!), Shaunda wanted to create a luxurious inspiration shoot for a bridesmaid luncheon, the perfect way to thank your ladies for being there for you through all the craziness of wedding planning. Charlotte wedding photographer Samantha Laffoon perfectly captured all the little details of the day.

An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon PhotographyAn Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon PhotographyAn Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography An Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon PhotographyAn Orange and Pink Styled Bridal Luncheon | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Samantha Laffoon Photography

Floral design, event design & dress design by: E’MAGINE Weddings & Events | Photographer: Samantha Laffoon Photography | Venue: WinMock at Kinderton | Desserts by: Nye’s Cream SandwichesThe Popcorn Fanatic & C’est L’amour Macarons | Stationery: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Dresses, robes & clutches: Stini’s Sewing Shop | Wine glass decals: Purple Rose Crafts | Linens: Wild Flower Linens | Rentals: BBJ Linen | Makeup Artist: Lets Get Vamp | Videographer: Tyler Harmon-Townsend

Where to Shop for a Lingerie Shower (other than Victoria’s Secret): Part 2

As we discussed in part 1 of this series, Victoria’s Secret has become such a household name in  women’s lingerie that it’s often the only option we even think about when trying to figure out where to shop for a lingerie shower. I mean, you’re not going to pick her up a pack of Hanes at Walmart, am I right? Vicky Secret it is! But the reality is there are lots and lots of beautiful (and yes, affordable) brands out there waiting to be discovered. As you survey the sea of gifts at the party, you can be proud that yours is the only one not in a pink striped bag. You might even find a new favorite in the process and end up picking out a little something for yourself! See more alternative lingerie brands here.

True & Co.True & Co. Wedding Lingerie

True & Co.’s goal is to change the way you shop for lingerie. Each style is crafted to fix common undergarment woes, like slipping straps, spill over, too-tight bands or extra material in all the wrong places. Once you take a short fit quiz about your bra experience, they’ll create a personal shop filled with styles that will work for you. Ask the bride to take the quiz or just opt for one of their can’t-fail, timelessly sexy styles, like the longline lace Bardot or the so-soft-and-stretchy lace Gramercy bralette (seriously the best bra I have ever owned).

Available at trueandco.com 

Honeydew Intimates

Honeydew Intimates lingerie

Bride not so much the “vixen in black” type? The playful pieces from Honeydew Intimates feature lots of quirky prints and bright colors perfect for a bride with a bright personality. The line also carries a full range of loungewear, so a tomboy bride can enjoy her honeymoon breakfast in a cute pair of lounge shorts and a comfy-cozy top.

Available at honeydewintimates.comNordstrom, ShopBop and other retailers

Only Hearts
Only Hearts wedding lingerie

This romantic New York-based line extends far beyond lingerie, carrying everything from silky kimonos for honeymoon lounging to flowy sheath dresses perfect for a sunset stroll on the beach. The real stars are their lacy bra and panty sets though—try the slightly naughty Golden Key set in bridal white, complete with a tasseled blindfold ($132).

Shops in New York and Los Angeles, and available online at onlyhearts.com, Journelle, Nordstrom and  other retailers

BHLDN

BHLDN wedding prep robe and bridal lingerie

BHLDN (pronounced Beholden) is a little bit boho, a little bit Victorian and a whole lot of gorgeous. Their lacy underpinnings are perfect for the vintage bride. Plus, there really is something for everyone, as the line runs from sex kitten in thigh highs and a garter belt to demure maiden in a camisole and tap shorts. Treat her to a heritage piece of lingerie with the Guipure Lace Demi Bra, crafted from real Leaver’s lace. Their Painted Petal Robes would also be the perfect gift for the bride the morning of her wedding. (Be sure to check out the Sale section as you can find their signature pieces dramatically marked down at the end of each season and snap them right up.)

Available at bhldn.com

SkivvieBox

Skivviebox lingerie monthly subscription boxWant to splurge on a gift that will keep on giving? Check out SkivvieBox, a monthly subscription service for lingerie (yep, that exists)! At $59.99 a month, it’s a bit pricey, but think about asking each bridesmaid or a group of friends to chip in for a month each. Every month the bride will receive a designer lingerie set valued at $100-$150 and custom-picked just for her depending on her style, whether she’s a beautiful basics or party underneath type.

Available at skivviebox.com 

This post contains a few affiliate links. All products are selected because we love them—if you love them too, you’re helping support Ultimate Bridesmaid. So thanks! 

Around the Clock Shower Gift Guide

Around the Clock Shower Gift Guide: Ideas for every hour

If you’ve happened upon this post, you’ve probably already been invited to an Around the Clock Shower. For this popular shower theme, each guest is assigned a time of day and asked to bring a gift that can be used at that time. Though the concept is cute, it often leads to scratching of heads when guests are assigned a time that doesn’t immediately correspond to an activity. Common outcry of “but you’ll just be sleeping between 1 and 5am” or “what exactly does one do at 3 in the afternoon?” can be heard from party guests around the globe. Though it can take a bit of creative thinking, you can find a present for any time of day. Here, I’ve given you a bit of help. Remember to consider both weekday and weekend activities when brainstorming. Don’t like my suggestions for your exact hour? Look at the ones right before or after—I bet you they’d work for your time too.

Also, make sure to affix a tag with your time of day to the outside of your present (some hosts may provide this with your invitation). Often the gifts are opened in chronological order. Feel free to include a little note on why you chose the gift for that hour, or just share with the group as the bride is opening.

6am: Rise and shine! Does the bride like to work out in the morning? Gift her a new yoga mat, your personal favorite workout clothes, or passes to a new class she might enjoy (barre, body pump, spinning, whatever the cool kids are doing now). Is she more likely to hit the snooze button than the gym? Go for a fancy coffee maker, your favorite brand of fair-trade brew, or a cute coffee mug like this one. Andrew and I have a tradition of gifting each other mugs each Christmas printed with the funniest pictures we’ve taken of each other that year. Feel free to start that tradition for the bride.

7am: Getting ready. Gift her with your favorite beauty products or a subscription to Birchbox so she can try new products each month. She’ll need a beautiful mirror in the hallway to check her hair, right? Or how about a handy coat rack, mail holder or jewelry box—she’ll have to make a stop there before she heads out the door.

8am: Time to head to work. A nice leather tote that can fit all her work essentials would be a stellar gift. Help her hide Monday morning hangovers with a pair of sunglasses. Does she take public transportation? A monogrammed Kindle case or some of your favorite recent reads make a nice gift. Drive to work? Would she like Sirius radio or a Garmin GPS?

9am: Breakfast is served! If it’s a lazy weekend, she’s going to need a great pair of slippers and a fuzzy robe to match. Stock her kitchen with everything she’ll need for a gourmet breakfast: silver grapefruit spoons, a crepe pan, muffin tins, a juicer, whatever. Personalize a kitchen gift with your favorite breakfast recipe handwritten on a recipe card.

10am: 10am is like the perfect time to catch a flight, right? (Sure it is. Just go with it.) A set of luggage is a generous and long-lasting gift (I’m still using a set that was gifted to me over a decade ago—god, now I feel old) or opt for smaller travel accessories, like a monogrammed passport carrier, leather luggage tags, makeup pouches (great for stashing all kinds of little things) or packing bags like these to separate your dirty clothes from the clean while on the trip—so clever!

11am: Weekend brunch begins. And brunch makes me think of two things: Eggs Benedict and mimosas. Provide the gear necessary for these classic brunch staples, or present the couple with a gift certificate to a fancy local spot. You could also stock their pantry with fancy jams, designer pancake mixes and Bloody Mary mix.

12pm: Create a whimsical lunchtime picnic in the park with a picnic set and blanket. Want to get away from kitchen/food gifts? Decorate her home so that she has something to gaze at while she enjoys a sandwich at the kitchen table or on the couch. Artfully Walls and Minted both have very affordable prints in all different styles and allow you to create groupings for instant gallery walls.

1pm: A Saturday afternoon is the perfect time for an outing. Get the couple a membership to a local museum or zoo, or buy them tickets to a nearby attraction, like a theme park. Sessions at a rock climbing gym, a cooking class, a deep-sea fishing excursion or kayak trip could be the perfect thing to help the couple de-stress or connect over sharing a new activity.

2pm: Commence weekend lounging hour. Get her ready for an afternoon by the pool or at the shore with a cute beach tote, pretty patterned beach towels, a flirty coverup or useful sun hat. Add high-quality sun protection for her skin and hair or a ridiculously awesome pool float.

3pm: She works hard for the money…especially at 3pm when she’ll start to glance at the clock, waiting for quitting time. Poppin carries basic office supplies in very non-basic colors, or check out Knock Knock for clever, cheeky paper products. A cheerful terrarium would certainly brighten up her space. Or how about a snappy little business card holder to step up her business-lady game?

4pm: Sun’s out, grill’s on, time to head to the backyard for a BBQ. Does she need some lawn games like corn hole or croquet? How about a fun hammock, pretty planters or twinkly outdoor lighting? Find her the perfect crystal pitcher for lemonade (or sangria). Plus, cute serving platters and bowls will be appreciated for entertaining. Girl’s gotta have something to serve guac in!

5pm: As the saying goes, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. Stock her bar for the quintessential happiest of hours with glassware and cocktail accessories, like a shaker or muddler. Splurge on top-shelf liquor or mixers she might not normally pick up—here’s a great guide to stocking her bar cart.

6pm: The couple who cooks together stays together. There’s a whole range of special and long-lasting gifts you can pick out for the kitchen. A Dutch oven, grill pan, immersion blender, high-quality sheet pans and baking dishes will all last and get lots of use over the years. A word on gifting knives: I recently found out there is a superstition that giving people knives is bad luck, but I got a set of chef’s knives for my high school graduation and they are to this day one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten.

7pm: Dinner is served. Time to break out those cute novelty plates, wine glasses, and other much-needed serving ware. Provide dinner inspiration with your favorite cookbooks as well, or a copy of your go-to simple dinner party menu.

8pm: Board games for two are great. I mean, party games are great too, but games for two are better because she has a built-in opponent now, so she’ll be able to play them more often. Some of our favorites are Carcassone, Forbidden Island, Ticket to Ride, and this version of Trivial Pursuit (which adds a betting element that’s fun and includes fairly modern categories to pick from). Classics like Scrabble, Monopoly and Clue also work for two people.

9pm: Send the couple out for a night on the town with tickets to a Broadway show, a concert they’ll love or a local comedy club. What about a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant? Slip the tickets into a cute clutch or wallet that she can carry on her hot date.

10pm: Movie night in. If she does not have a Roku, may I suggest one? I love ours to bits. A popcorn maker really does make superior popcorn to the microwave kind and she’ll need a warm throw to snuggle up with her hubby on the couch.

11pm: Bedtime. Perfect for sheets, pillows, comforters and other items to make up a comfy cozy bed for her to rest her head. Let me tell you, sheets may sound like a boring present, but nice sheets are expensive. As I’ve gotten older, they have become like the king of gifts. That and socks. I’m not kidding. Sheets and socks, for the prematurely elderly woman in us all.

12am: Cheers! While most days she’ll be sleeping by 12am, there’s at least one night a year she’ll be awake—New Year’s! Celebrate with champagne flutes, a fancy silver ice bucket and a nice bottle to toast their first year of marriage.

1am: Sexy time. Judge your audience on this one. You can be subtle with massage oils and scented candles or go wild with sex toys and skimpy lingerie.

2am: She’s fast asleep, but gift her something that can be working for her while she’s catching some zzz’s. A slow cooker, a bread maker, a sous vide machine or an ice cream maker can all can be turned on overnight and provide a welcome surprise in the morning.

3am: Can’t sleep? Maybe she needs some soothing decaffeinated teas and a fancy teapot. Or a gift certificate to a local spa so that she can relax and ultimately rest better at night.

4am: Does anyone else always wake up at 4am after a night of drinking with a terrible hangover? I can’t be the only one. Stock her medicine cabinet for this and all other ailments. And while you’re at it, maybe she needs a cute soap dispenser and toothbrush holder, plus a cleansing face wash to help her feel refreshed.

5am: For the super early riser, create the perfect bath or shower. Opt for fancy shampoos and soaps, a high-power shower head (seems silly, but it’s such a luxury!), a new patterned shower curtain or soft fluffy towels.