Tag Archives: bridesmaid favors

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).

Best of Etsy: Pastel Pretties

Take a look out the window. See snow? Again? Or it’s just really freaking cold? Girl, you are not alone. As a little pick-you-up, here are my fav recent Etsy finds, all in cheerful pastel hues to make you feel like springtime is already here. Whether you’re a bride searching for the perfect gift for your bridesmaids or a party planner on the hunt for bridal shower favors, these pretty accessories and thoughtful pieces are perfect for bringing a little sunshine into the mix.

I’m a little bit obsessed with the blend of delicate pastels and a modern geometric triangle pattern on this cotton pendant necklace from The Fox and Fig.

You can seriously never have too many vases—they’re stylish and useful. I especially love the organic feeling of this teardrop shape from The Object Enthusiast, with the modern pop of metallic dots to add color and shine.

Wouldn’t this be perfect for a “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” gift? The gem-shaped soaps from Vice and Velvet are crafted through a cold-process method the uses at least 50% olive oil, plus organic rice milk, macadamia nut oil and Australian pink clay.  The prism necklace gets a whole new look, cast in concrete that gives an almost industrial vibe and offset with delicate lilac and sunshine yellow. (Similar here.)Artwork is one of my favorite unexpected gifts. For a unique bridesmaid favor, ask Milk Foam to create a perfume watercolor for each of your ladies, showing her signature scent. The resulting piece will be personal and totally one of a kind.

Best of Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts: Bags and Jewelry Under $30

Many brides like to choose bridesmaid gifts that their maids can wear to their wedding, but I also love the idea of just choosing something fun that you know your girls will love and that they can mix into their daily ensemble. Bags and jewelry are always welcome—what girl doesn’t love a handy new tote or a little extra sparkle? Plus, one size fits all and lots of Etsy vendors allow you to purchase assortments of different colors and prints. Bonus: These picks are all under $30.

You got a diamond, so why shouldn’t they? I’m quite taken with this stunning little bamboo ring (and it will be way more affordable than your rock, at $19.92).diamond bamboo rings | Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts Under $30 | Ultimate BridesmaidBrighten up their day with this soft vegan leather foldover clutch accented with a punch of neon yellow (and it’s a steal at only $26). 
neon clutch | Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts Under $30 | Ultimate Bridesmaid

I’m loving the bold graphic statement of these leather cuffs ($18), laser cut with tribal patterns (and perfect with jeans and a chambray shirt, don’t you think?). tribal leather cuffs | Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts Under $30 | Ultimate BridesmaidYou can never, ever have too many totes, especially delicate arrow-printed ones, made from recycled organic cotton ($24.50). arrow tote | Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts Under $30 | Ultimate BridesmaidMix and match these enamel-dipped brass feather hairpins with their favorite colors. Can’t you just see them tucked into a loose braid? ($10 each, plus buy 3 get one free!) (similar here)feather hair clips | Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts Under $30 | Ultimate Bridesmaid

Looking for a cute bag to stuff with bridesmaid survival gear? Look no further. Dotted with stars and trees, this linen pouch will double as a stylish makeup bag after your big day ($29.94). bag trees and stars | Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts Under $30 | Ultimate Bridesmaid

Bath and Beauty Favors

I recently finished moving, so after all that packing and unpacking I’ve been seriously considered a spa day complete with a massage. Next best thing to an expensive appointment? One of these spa gift sets! These would be perfect for bridal shower party favors, or to incorporate into an at-home spa party. They’d also make great bridesmaid favors. Your maids are going to want to relax after the wedding too—and they don’t have a honeymoon to look forward to!spa gift set

The graphic ombre lines on this spa gift set box remind me of sunset over the ocean. The kit has everything you need for a perfectly rejuvenating bath: salts, body oil, a clay facial mask and lip balm.

owl soap gift setHello, darling little owl soap. Yes, I must have you! Oh, you arrive with a lip balm and nourishing serum? How lovely!

kitschandfancy

This sugar scrub, exfoliating goat’s milk soap and natural lip balm will leave you and your maids glowing. There are tons of scents to choose from here.

organic soap

In scents like lavender lemongrass, orange patchouli walnut, and rosewood, these organic soaps are not only gorgeous—they give back. For each bar you purchase, Poppy Soap Co. donates a bar to a local women’s shelter.

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This at-home facial kit is perfect for a spa party in your living room. Set up stations for manicures, pedicures and facials and then have girls switch off.

Bridesmaid Gifts from Lydali

I’m super excited to bring you a roundup of bridesmaid gifts from Lydali, a line of global handmade goods that connects you with artistans in developing countries around the globe. Oh, and it just so happens to be cofounded by my freshmen-year roommate, Ali Price! I’m so happy to see Ali’s business taking off and super impressed with the gorgeous collection she and her business partner (and fellow Wake Forest grad) Lydia Harter have curated. Here are a few of my favorite items, which would all be beautiful (and socially conscious) gifts for brides to give their maids. Ali was also nice enough to share a little about how her business got started, her tips for others hoping to do the same, and even a few special memories from her own wedding. Check out her interview below!

These banana bark and fabric bangles are absolutely stunning and highly stackable. Each bangle is handmade in Tanzania, where women peel the bark from the trees, treat it, then turn it into bangles with the help of colorful locally produced fabrics. $35 for a set of three

These soft cotton clutches handmade in Guatemala make perfect makeup bags or pouches for bridesmaid emergency kits. I particularly love the coral diamond print and the two-tone tassels. $24

I couldn’t resist adding a second set of clutches because they made me think about needlepoint in a new way. I’ve always associated this craft with bygone eras, but seeing it here in modern colors and striking florals (gotta love the pomegranate flower!) made me swoon. The bags come straight to you from a folk art fair in Uzbekistan. $25

I’ve always been a sucker for a leather-bound book and this one is no exception. These 40-page honey-colored journals are made by women in Northern India and the proceeds go to funding literacy in the region. $15

UB: So tell me about starting Lydali! How did you get the idea?

Ali: I was in Bali last year and I started talking to one of my friends who lived in Bali and was working with artisans there. She was employing talented people to make really beautiful jewelry and accessories, but she was having trouble finding a market for their products outside of friends and family. I had experience working with artisans in Kenya, and I knew that my friend’s issue was common—small groups of artisans were making really unique products with great stories behind them, but no one knew about it. I puzzled over that problem for the rest of my time in Indonesia, and then when I was on the 16-hour flight back to San Francisco, I came up with the idea for a store that housed a well-curated collection of artisan-made products from all over the world. Back in San Francisco, I talked to my buyer friend Lydia Harter about it, and she immediately signed on. A few months later, we launched Lydali.

UB: Can you tell me about how you track down these amazing artisans?

Ali: We have a couple of different ways of connecting with artisans, but most of the connections happen through friends and friends of friends. One of my favorite connections came from having my family friend, Jay, and his wife, Diana, who had just moved to the Bay Area over for brunch. They had been living in Haiti for the past few years, and Diana had been working with women who were amputees as a result of the 2010 earthquake. She helped to train the women to sew and make bags and hair accessories, and I loved the story and the products. A few weeks after the brunch, we had their products up on Lydali! (Here they are, if you want to see.)

UB: Do you have any advice for young women trying to set up an online business?

Ali: I was a little bit intimidated by the prospect of setting up an online business. Don’t be afraid to go for it, and once you start taking steps to make it happen, things start feeling easier. I reached out to anyone and everyone who was doing something even vaguely related and had conversations with them. So many great learnings came out of talking to others who had started businesses themselves or worked in similar fields. We also were really lucky to have lots of talented friends who wanted to help, so we had friends styling our products, taking photos, writing copy for our website, and helping us find more artisans to work with. Think about the talent you have around you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

UB: Since this is a bridesmaid blog, I have to throw in a wedding question! Can you share a special memory from your own wedding?

Ali: So, I mentioned that I worked with artisan women in Kenya when I was in college. Well, for my wedding, they sent me this hilariously awful pink plastic ring box that played music for our rings to be carried in for the ceremony. It clashed completely with my style and the style of the wedding, but it was such a sweet thing for them to think to send. We didn’t use it for the actual wedding, but we did bring it out beforehand for pictures so that I could thank the women for the thoughtful gift. (I attached the only picture of it I could find, which doesn’t really capture the true ugliness of this thing!)

For the Bride: Bridesmaid Favors

I am loving these custom clutches from Oatmeal Lace Design as a bridesmaid favor. You can choose a fabric for the exterior and/or liner and it will keep all her essentials neat and tidy on the day—no lugging a big purse to the reception or cluttering the limo with bags.