Bridesmaid gift ideas

As a wedding photographer, I’ve been privvy to a vast variety of different bridesmaid gift ideas, so I thought I might make a list of some of the more thoughtful bridesmaid gift ideas that I’ve come across at my weddings. Giving your bridesmaids a gift before your wedding ceremony is a modern traditions and is seen today as a way for the bride to thank her entourage on a personal level for helping her plan and put together her big day.

Bridesmaid gift ideas


The most common of bridesmaid gifts are pieces of jewellery. Usually given to accentuate what the bridesmaids are wearing on the day, and also to give a bit of uniformity between the bridesmaids – if that’s the style you’re going for at your wedding. Jewellery can also be very personal, it’s usually small and easy to package as a gift. Generally jewellery gifted in this way should be something you’d know your bridesmaids would like to wear and enjoy after the day itself.

Personalised gowns

During your wedding preparation with your bridesmaids, it’s fun to dress up in matching gowns that have been embroiled with either their names, or fun monikers, such as ‘bridesmaid #2’ or even ‘bride’s b****’, depending on your personality 🙂 There are a number of different ideas when it comes to this sort of thing and while the gowns are personalised specifically for this one wedding, they can be used at home for lazy days also.

A services gift certificate

Here’s one that’s not directly related to your wedding! How about gifting your bridesmaids a gift certificate for a massage, or a beauty treatment, or even a portraiture sitting with a professional photographer? This can be a great idea to allow your bridesmaids to pamper themselves after your wedding day and to show them that you think they are all beautiful and care about them outside the sphere that was your wedding day.

Personalised items

One common gift I’ve been seeing lately are personalised items such as wine glasses to drink from at the reception, or even clothes hangers to hang dresses on. These are easy, simple gifts people are bound to use more than once, or at least put them someplace in their home so that they will be reminded about your wonderful day and the role they had to play in it.

Personal artwork

This one may not be to everyone’s taste, but if your the artsy type, one of the most personal bridesmaid gift ideas I’ve ever seen was a personalised piece of art drawn and painted by the bride herself. This is heartfelt, personal and cheap! And it’s something that your bridesmaids will no doubt put on display once they get home. Failing that I’ve also seen professional artists at weddings where they would hand out quickly drawn caricatures of guests at your wedding reception, but this really falls more into the reception souvenir category along with photobooth photos.


Be it shoes, a bag, or even her dress, having a formal dress for each girl at a wedding can get expensive, so many brides opt to make this their bridesmaid’s gift. It’s practical too in many ways, as if it’s the type of dress that would not look out of place at a club, or even at work it may get quite a bit of wear out of it. This goes for shoes also, and you can never have too many clutch purses to choose from can you?

There are of course a thousand other ideas for bridesmaid gift ideas, just to list a few other ideas – body products, candy, movie tickets, etc. But really whatever you decide to give, or not give your bridesmaids, I’m sure they’ll love you just the same 🙂

Why we give guests a gift for attending a wedding

Ever wonder why we give guests a gift for attending a wedding? Seems a bit odd doesn’t it? I mean you’ve just forked out a small fortune to host this spectacular wedding reception to celebrate your marriage, why should you spend any more on gifts? Surely the $100 per head 3 course dinner you’ve provided for them is enough, right? Well in my research of wedding traditions, the answer lies in what people believed to help with the vitality of the party.

Why we give guests a gift for attending a wedding

The origin of the tradition dates back to the 1600s when French aristocrats used to give out jeweled boxes full of sugar coated almonds as a means to increase vitality in the party. A gift of a bonbonnière was a symbol of care extended to all guests. Sugared almonds carried additional significance at weddings, as the bitterness of the almonds and the sweetness of the sugar was thought to symbolise the bitter-sweetness of marriage. The practice spread across Europe where the Italians, Greeks and Spanish also thought the sugar on almonds gave health giving properties. As the price of sugar fell, more and more people were able to copy society’s elite much in the same way white wedding gowns became the norm in the 1800s. The shape and colour of the almonds also mimicked eggs, a symbol of fertility.

While the opulent, jeweled boxes have fallen to the wayside in favour of cheaper options, such as paper bags in modern times; those sugar coated almonds remain. Love them or hate them, they are a staple at weddings and you’ll find them in almost every wedding. They are cheap, small and easy to give out, but these days people often opt for more substantial gifts to compliment them. From photo frames to lego minifigs right through to bottles of liquor and pieces of jewellery, modern bomboniere can be very diverse.

The reason why we give guests a gift for attending a wedding all stems from the tradition of the French of getting a sugar high from eating too much sugar. Who knew? 🙂