Bridesmaids, oh bridesmaids! What would we do without them? For the most part, bridesmaids will be your lifesaver! They are everything that your fiance is not: excited about the ribbon you bought, eager to get your bikini waxes done before the wedding, and hopefully completely willing to let you unload all of your wedding stresses on. Not only do they act as your lovely sidekick throughout your wedding planning process, they likely have shelled out a lot of dough on dresses, shoes, shower gifts, shower planning and your ridiculous stagette (well, I say likely, because there are definitely some who do none of the above). Regardless, you are expected to thank your girls in the most appropriate way possible, and that means prezzies!
If you have a friend with specific tastes and they're uber easy to pick out presents for, then go for it! If they are a little more complex and have a wide array of interests, I say go for the bridesmaid bag! This is a perfect option because it can handle any size budget. For a teeny weeny budget, opt for a paper gift bag customized by you, and fill with the necessary goods. For a splurge, grab some incredible oversized hobo bags that will have your girls leaping for joy, and stuff it with even more exciting treats. Other types of holders you can stuff with stuff: fold-up toilettries bags, cosmetic bags, canvas tote bags, carry-on luggage bags, gym bags, picnic baskets, wicker baskets, laundry hampers, beverage coolers, beach bags and so on.
What I like the most about maids' bags is that you're likely to include at least ONE thing that they absolutely love, which means you really can't go wrong. By including a variety of smaller gifts you're not risking buying your future sister-in-law one big ticket item that she really will never use or just flat out doesn't like. A few ideas for your bridesmaid bag stuffers:
~a classic or special edition vintage book hand-picked for each one
~spa treats: scented candles, bubble bath, lotions and bath beads, slippers
~cooking lessons, cook books, a pretty apron, some organic cookie mixes, fun shaped cake pans
~gardening tools, seed packets (maybe even for the same flowers used at your wedding)
~ handmade pottery
~photo albums or scrapbooking things
~yoga classes with a yoga mat, towel and a lululemon headband
~for a beach bag: towels, sunscreen, lip balm, body butter, sunglasses, bikini, a fab floppy hat
~travel items: luggage tag, small cosmetic containers for carry-on, inflatable neck pillow, mini bottles of booze;)
~bottle of wine, corkscrew, decanter, glasses, and some really yummy dark chocolate
And, although it's super cute for the wedding, I say try to avoid any "Bridesmaid" embroidery on their bags. They'll be much more likely to use it again if you keep it plain. Instead, try using the sticky monogram embroidered patches from Fabricland, as they look great and can peel right off if your maid would like.