When Michael and I got married, we faced the normal barrage of pain-in-the-ass things one deals with when planning a wedding: family being family, us not being millionaires, having jobs, etc. But despite the myriad things stressing us out, our friends were like shining beacons in a storm, particularly our wedding party. Which is probably why we both became obsessed with choosing just the right gifts for them. Gifts that would say, “Thank you for calming me down while I was having that epic fight with my mom,” or “I appreciate you taking me camping for my bachelor party, even though you made me dress up like a pirate.” You know, without costing a million dollars.
But if you’ve been paying attention, you probably know that the wedding industry has some messed up expectations around wedding party gifts. Have you heard the one about how you should cut down on your wedding party to save money, so you don’t have to spend so much on all those people? Because your friends obviously won’t want to be part of your wedding unless they’re all getting tickets to see Beyoncé, or something. Right? Um, wrong.
Believe it or not, your wedding party members are not in it for the swag (le gasp! What?!) So if you’re looking for a thoughtful way to say thank you, a heartfelt note (and maybe a photo of the two of you) will always be the most appreciated gift. But if you also have your sights set on something fun to give your best people, I feel you. Today we’ve partnered with Zazzle and picked out some of our favorite personalized gifts that won’t collect dust in your friends’ closets or bankrupt your wallet:
(thoughful) #lazygirl THANK YOU BOXES
I normally hate any kind of premade bridesmaid gifts (2001 called and it wants its swag back). But when Meg and I saw these customizable gift boxes from Zazzle, we looked at each other and said, “SOLD.” With each box, you get to choose what message you want on the outside of the box, and which accouterments go in the inside. And since they aren’t exclusive to weddings, I plan on making them my default thank you the next time I want to show a girlfriend my gratitude.
For Your Girls Bridesmaid Box ($55): The “For Your Girls” box is the one I would buy myself if I wanted to show me some gratitude (would that be weird?). It comes with your choice of a cute travel tumbler, a clear or lavender clutch (which I fully intend on using as my new makeup bag), bougie soap that will make you feel fancy (we test drove it for you and it’s awesome), and a foil-printed notepad—aka a lot of shit that is both useful and cute.
Best Day Ever Box ($35): For a little less cash, this box comes complete with a fancy scented candle of your choosing, really good chocolate that I definitely already ate (or a drink koozie if you so choose), and a fun foil-printed matchbox. Top it off with a “Will you hold my dress while I pee?” card for $1.85 and you’ve got a decidedly non-cheesy gift.
Non-Cliché Bridesmaid Swag
Prefer to put together your own thank you box? The nice thing about Zazzle is that they have two options for customizing gifts: you can either choose from one of their bajillion premade designs (like this Drunk in Love Tank Top that I obviously need), or create something of your own from scratch. And the latter is especially nice if you’re looking for an alternative to all the “Future Mrs.” swag. In fact, it was so easy to make custom stuff with Zazzle that we created a few APW-exclusive pieces just for you guys:
APW’s Picks (Clockwise from top left): 1. You can customize this name bar necklace with your friend’s name, initials, or an inside joke. We chose “Squad Goals,” because #duh. ($53) 2. In case you’re burned out on all the “Mrs.” swag, and don’t ever plan on being one, we made you these Ms. Sunglasses. ($13) 3. Talk Feminist to Me Boyshorts. ‘Nuff said. ($16.95) 4. Because practical and pretty aren’t mutually exclusive, we included these watercolor bag tags (which were surprisingly sturdy! Will definitely survive the TSA.). ($10.75) 5. Lastly, white chocolate covered Oreos that you can customize with your own text. Because who says no to edible faux glitter? ($34.80/dozen)
Zazzle has some beautiful and affordable jewelry options. We loved this minimalist midi ring above, which Meg is currently rocking like it’s her job. But this ring was a close runner-up. It comes in a special box that says, “I couldn’t tie the knot without you.” “V” Gold-Filled Midi Ring ($8)
What do you think about wedding party gifts?