Bridesmaid Gifts: DIY Element; Part 1 of 2 Posts

I would just like to say I so appreciate the emails and comments on this blog.  I am so happy I’m able to provide insight to you girls on your wedding planning.  This post is finally here after a request from one of my readers last week, so here you are!

I wanted to get my bridesmaids something other than the typical gift and it took me a while to find something special for them.  I was on the hunt for a DIY gift idea, so I started making a shadowbox frame that was meant to hold a photo me and the bridesmaid at my wedding.  This turned out to be WAY too tedious (I had 8 bridesmaids!) and not nearly pretty enough, so I axed this idea.  (Still – in the event I wanted to do this for later, I had a solo photo taken with each of them at my wedding.)

So instead, I decided to do a “Bridesmaid Survival Kit” for the DIY Element of the bridesmaid gift after seeing a post online about a similar thing.  It was really well received by the girls so I think this is something all brides should totally consider giving your bridesmaids!

Shopping List:

-Cello bags, recommend 4×9 or bigger (can be bought at Michaels or here on Amazon.com)
-Cardstock to print labels
-Stapler

For inside the bags:
Advil or other painkiller
-Nail File
-Hand Sanitizer
-Mints or Gum
-Feminine Products
-Kleenex (for those tears!)
-Band-aids (for the feet – I got cute with it and got Hello Kitty bandages)
Shout Wipes
-Lipgloss or chapstick

Some people with bigger budgets (and less than 8 bridesmaids!) can also perhaps include a nice nail polish that is in your wedding colors.  It’s a cute addition and is something that the girls can all use for the wedding.  For the lipgloss, a cute idea is to get Stila Lipgloss Trios and give one each to the girls – these are usually only $12 at beauty supply stores and they come in nice colors.

Step 1:

I printed this ADORABLE templates (free, too!) from 100layercake on nice card stock and cut them to size.  I used a paper trimmer because I am OCD.

Step 2:

I started shopping for all the items on my shopping list (above) 2-3 months before my wedding – I went to Target and shopped in the travel section for the shout wipes, the Advil, kleenex (for those tears!), and band-aids.  I also went to Bath & Body Works and picked up the hand sanitizers there ($1 each!) because they come in really great scents.  The mints were also from Target, got the travel pack of Tic-Tacs and Breath Savers.  I think in retrospect I would have picked up the Victoria’s Secrets mints for that aspect… because the heart shaped tin is TOO CUTE.

Fun story: On the day of the wedding, a bridesmaid asked if I had Advil and her kit had it; another had some stain on her dress and the shout wipes also came in handy!  *yay*  The purpose of this gift was for it to be a truly useful gift and it made me happy that they used it.

Step 3:

Start putting all your items in the bags!  Do not underestimate how long this project takes.  I spent QUITE a few hours assembling this kit – do this at least 2 months before your wedding like I did.   Stuffing the items into the bag and stapling the tags over really takes a while.

Here’s the final product, which I think was truly worth the effort:

Bridal Party Survival Kit – Final Product

This was part 1 of a 3-part Bridesmaids Gift.  Visit later this week to see how the full gift turned out!  I was beyond thrilled with how the full gift turned out with the custom elements.  Stay tuned!

Total Project Cost: About $10/kit.

XOXO,
Sidra

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Three Eco-Friendly Wedding Favor Ideas in Honor of Earth Day

Have you considered doing away from the traditional edible favors and instead offering your guests plantable eco-friendly favors?  While brides traditionally opt for truffles or satchels of candy at their wedding, why not give your guests an eco-friendly favor instead?  In honor of Earth Day, we are exploring ideas that brides can use for unique favors.

1) Bucket of Flowers Favors:  These come in options of 50 flowers or 100 flower seed buckets.  The papers are plantable seeds so guests can go home and plant these in a pot of soil or in their gardens.  Within weeks, they’ll have blooms of flowers.

2) Plantable Seed Cards:  TheKnot.com also offers great plantable seed favors.  These customized cards can showcase your wedding date, your names and a heartwarming note to your guests.  Super cute for your guests to take home and plant wildflowers with.

3)  Gift Trees in Tubes:  These are the ultimate wedding eco-chic favors.  These spruces come in tubes or bags for guests to take home and plant.  They will grow to become real-life pine trees.  You can purchase the trees based on your zone so they grow best in your guests’ homes.  Cool, huh?  They start at just $3.00 a tube, so you likely would only give one per family as opposed to one per guest.   Each tree comes in its own eco-system ready to be planted in a pot of soil.  You can even customize the labels to reflect any sentiments you want to share with your guests.

Would you do any of these eco-friendly gift ideas at your wedding?  What trends are you seeing at weddings?  Let us know, we’d love to hear ’em!

-Sidra

Three Sweet Wedding or Bridal Shower Trends to Try

When planning a wedding, the biggest challenge is usually how how to make your wedding more you and less typical.  What are some ideas you can try to make your wedding a little more personal and unique?

Here are some things you can do at your wedding to make it a little  more personal, fun and unique:

1) Dessert Table

Cupcakes are huge trend at weddings, but don’t just stop there!  Consider hiring a designer to make adorable signs for the dessert items, or scour Etsy for affordable printable card designs to label your desserts.  For dessert items, you can have cupcake pops, cupcakes, macarons (my fave) and others sweet items to make the table unique.  If you’re a Pakistani/Indian bride, consider having South Asian dessert like Kulfi, jalebi and ladoo.

Photo from lover.ly, vendor details: http://lover.ly/image/details/91271

2) Candy Bar

These can be done by professional companies, or if you’re really crafty and have great friends who are willing to setup, it can be done by yourself.  Just remember, the last thing you need is for you to be running around the day of the wedding setting up your candy bar instead of getting ready.  It’s a really cute idea that my guests truly enjoyed.  Candy can be bought in bulk on various websites, or, you can stock up at your local grocer when they have sales.   When placed in gorgeous apocathery jars (bought from Crate & Barrel, Michaels, or HomeGoods) the candy can look quite appealing and gorgeous.  You can create your own backdrop to give it a little edge (I bought paper lanterns from Martha Stewart and hung them behind my table).

Candy bar photo via lover.ly vendors here: http://lover.ly/image/details/85353

3) Cupcakes in lieu of a cake
Tiered cakes … but they can be expensive!  Not only that, but cupcakes can be far more exciting and delicious for your guests.  We did this at our wedding and instead just placed a 2-tiered cake that we cut and had served.  In addition to that, we ordered around 200 cupcakes.  Our guests really enjoyed this.  A word of caution: If you’re a baker, DO NOT try to bake cupcakes yourself, that’s just silly and a poor use of your time.  There was a rumor that I had baked the 200 cupcakes for my wedding… and I’m not that crazy!  Our baker was kind enough to make gorgeous cupcakes and a great cake in addition to putting on the display for us.  I’m glad I paid her to do that!  Cupcakes are a great way to play with different flavors and just have fun with the cupcakes at your wedding.

What are some sweet ideas you have for a wedding or bridal shower?  Feel free to share them in the comments section!