13 jewelry-free bridesmaid gift ideas

Updated Oct 12 2015
The differences.
Thanks to laurenlemon for posting this in the OBB Flickr Pool.

Recently a friend of mine sent out a tweet asking for gift ideas for her bridesmaids in which she added "…and don't say jewelry." Which got me to thinking, what are some good bridal party gifts for the ladies that aren't jewelry. Even a check of the 'ol archives brought up mostly jewelry suggestions, so let's fix this. Here is a jewelry-free bridesmaid gift guide.

1. Flasks:

This was the winning decision generated from my friends Twitter inquiry. Someone suggested "monogrammed flasks! Boys get them, why shouldn't the girls?!" I like this hot pink one that can be engraved. But yet another friend of mine pointed me in the direction of these funky and girly flasks. These "Boozemin" fake prescriptions flasks are always good for a giggle too.

2. Stationery:

I know, I know, kinda boring, but at the same time, super useful. And you can find tons of sources for unique stationery pretty much anywhere, and it's not hard to make yourself. Of course, if you're not the "make your own stationery" kind of person, we highly recommend checking out Minted.com — so many amazing choices from pretty to silly!

3. Fashion accessories:

Fascinators, scarves, belts, headbands — your girls can wear them in the wedding as well as in every day life. The DIY inclined can make them themselves using our tutorial or check out all of our awesome fashion accessory vendors to get some gift inspiration.

4. Custom pottery:

In our last post about bridesmaid gifts a couple of commenters mentioned "text bowls" from Esty seller Paloma's Nest. At $22 each, it's a cute and affordable way to tell your girls that you love them. Plus it gives them a place to put all the baubles that you won't be buying for them.

5. The gift of adventure:

What about something like surf lessons or take the girls zip-lining. This idea would be perfect for a destination wedding — find something to do unique to the area and take your gang on a group trip. Not ones for adventure? Do a spa day or something — mani-pedies, or massages for all! Your friend will have fun and it's great for group bonding.

6. A scarf [with pockets!]:

I nominate the Julian Scarf for the best invention of the year. What's not to love about a colorful scarf with waterproof pockets!? I bought these for all ma' lady friends for the holidays. I wear/use mine all the time. And they come in all sorts of different color combos to fit everyone's personality, or to coordinate with your wedding colors. And for every two scarves you buy, they take $5 off your order.

7. Pampering products:

lush bath bombPretty much any LUSH product is awesome, hand-made, and cruelty-free. Create a basket full of goodies for your girls and include things like an effervescent bath bomb (pictured on the right). I am reminded of that one episode of Weeds: "My advice is to let it bubble between your legs. The carbonation effect… it's really… enjoyable. And, it smells nice."

8. Snuggies!:

No seriously, I know they're silly and all but they're also comfy! And if you get the pink one the purchase benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Also, how funny would it be to get them monogrammed? Ooh! And maybe this is just the photographer in me, but think of the crazy photo opportunities at the wedding! Go on — think about it — I dare you.

9. Earth-friendly, reusable tote bags:

Perfect to fill with your own personal "wedding survival kits," or all the gear they're gonna need to get ready for the wedding. And then when the festivities are over they can keep 'em in their car to use when they go antiquing on the weekends or general shopping outings. You can find so many styles of reusable tote bags on Amazon.

10. A "personal massager":

Remember when Ariel included the Hitachi Magic Wand in her groomsmen gift round-up? Yeah, well it's here too. And these babies should make for one happy, and less-stressed, bridal party. 🙂

11. A tattoo:

Something small and awesome, maybe even matching? Something that's indicative of your friendship or just something that she's been wanting for a while. I bought my best girl friend's first tattoo — a tiny lady bug sized lady bug and it was a super fun bonding experience for me, and a life changing experience for her! (Since then she's gotten too many tatts to count!)

12. Buy them their shoes:

Go on a group shoe shopping spree, or make it a one-on-one hunt for some fun bonding time with your friends. Budget brides can bring their party to raid a Payless, Ross or Target for fun and affordable choices. I had a beach wedding so I bought my entire wedding party Rainbow sandals and they thank me to this day.

13. Buy them their bridesmaid dresses:

Same thing with the shoes… take 'em out shopping as a group if you're going for a the same dress for everyone look, or make it a one on one outing where they get to chose the dress of their choice (in a certain price range of course). And who doesn't love a new dress!?

Of course it goes without saying that every one is different, and no one knows your buddies better than you. So, if they'd be happier getting a Lightsaber USB Thumbdrive than a bath bomb, keep that in mind. But whatever you get them (if you even get them anything) I'm sure you're bridal party will be touched no matter what.

  1. I got my girls handmade clutches from A03 Designs. They were all silver on the outside (to go with their navy blue dresses) but each had a different inside fabric to match their personality. My best friend for instance got one with a gorgeous black and red fabric, to go with her goth-y self, and my sister-in-law got the most obnoxious, girly pink fabric they offered. I was kind of in love with them and was super excited to give them away at the rehearsal dinner. They went over quite well, and looked fabulous the day of!

    Actually, I just remembered there's a picture of them: http://ao3designs.com/blog/?p=206. They're the silver ones in the last picture.

  2. I got each of my girls a leatherbound copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. I was going to get them each a different book, but I hit on something they'd all like.

    I hang out on the Wedding Party board on the Knot *gasp!*, and the advice we usually give is: 1) shop like it's their birthday, 2) they don't all have to get the same thing (though keeping them all around the same price point is usually good), and 3) if they wouldn't have any use for it outside your wedding, it's a gift for you more than for them. I think it's much more important to get them something they'd love and cherish individually then try to shoehorn them all into the same gift. I know I wouldn't say no to the magic wand, but at least two of my girls would DIE if I pulled that.

    • That's an amazing idea! Grimm's was a staple of our childhood and it turns out my sisters are my bridesmaids. Going to check this out right now…

  3. These are great ideas. I bought my 'maids pink croc (faux) jumpdrives. It worked out really well because several of them are still finishing various levels of schooling, and another is a new mom. 🙂

  4. Once upon a time, I got an ad that popped up on my Facebook for garter flasks! They're garters with a little pocket that hangs down so you can carry your flask in it. They're customizable and flipping amazing!

  5. it's not necessarilly jewellery, but we've bought the bridesmaids gifts already. The original dress design wouldn't have allowed for a necklace or anything like that and they can't all wear earrings so the jewellery route just wasn't an option for us. We settled on some beautiful butterfly pins. They can either pin it somewhere on their dresses, we can work it into their bouquets, or it can be put in their hair for a hair fascinator of sorts.

  6. If I were getting married soon, my girls (and possible guy friend) would love getting Lush. I'd probably get materials for a DIY Pedicure (bubble bar for soaking, exfoliator, and lotion)!

    • I was going to do this too!

      I changed my mind in the end when I realised that just because I am super practical and love tools like that, my bridesmaids were more girly types and might appreciate something different.

      I wound up scouring the web for photo frame jewelry boxes. Let me tell you, there are a lot of these with cheesy bells & whistles all over them, but few nice plain ones. A lot of them had lettering on the top (BABY, SISTERS, FAMILY, MOM, GRAD 20XX) but nothing bridesmaidy. Or they had half the interior space taken up by a music box playing "Wind Beneath My Wings".

      I finally found a single Amazon vendor that had just 8 very nice but plain wooden boxes left. I snapped up 5 (one extra in case one had some flaws – one did!)

      I wanted photos of myself with each girl, so at my bachelorette night, I got sneaky and asked each girl at the party to pose with me individually.

      The BMs were really surprised when they received their boxes with the photos. I guess they like them because I've seen the boxes out on their dressers : )

  7. My sister gave us each a Vera Bradley lunch bag. I have to say, as a student, I use it *all* the time. Usually VB isn't my style, but my sis gave each of us a different pattern that matched our personalities.

  8. In the last wedding I was in, all us ladies were given daggers. Yes, real, sharp daggers, with sheaths and everything. They were perfect, as we were a gaggle of geeks (predominately of the medieval-reenactor sort). Incidentally, the bride introduced me to this blog that very night.

  9. How much do I love the tattoo idea? So much. Now I want to get matching ladybug tattoos with my maid of honor/cousin/de facto sister! (I've always loved ladybugs, I adore what they represent and it would be so neat to have matching ones!) She might not be quite offbeat enough for that, but STILL. It would be so neat. Maybe I will suggest it.

  10. I got all of my girls the softest white robes I could find and had each of them monogrammed with their initials. We filled the pockets with fun bath products and gave them funky little slippers too. We all wore our robes all day while we got ready at the hotel (making for some fun pics) and the slippers made their appearance at the reception once their heels had run their course. Bonus — one of my bridesmaids had her baby two (!) days after the wedding and totally utilized the robe and slippers during labor, and another one had surgery shortly after and pretty much lived in her comfy robe for weeks. It made me really happy to have given them gifts that they could use later.

  11. yes! OMG, if you pull that off let me know and with pics! The nice thing about the lady bug tatt was that it was tiny (seriously lady bug sized), so it was easy to hid and easy to sit through and, hello! adorable!

  12. My bm's loved their gift (even though a few of them were initially unsure). I had boudoir photos done for my hubby to be as a gift for him and they had all seen them and gushed over them. So, I convinced my photographer to do mini-sessions with each of them. They all got to feel absolutely sexy and fabulous (the experience is ridiclously empowering) and then each got to choose their favorite photo for a 5×7. That evening, we got dolled up, drank wine, ate decadent food and laughed a ton. Everyone had their turn in private and the photographer is such a pro, made everyone comfortable and took beautiful tasteful portraits. Not for everyone, but with the right girls an absolute blast!

  13. Great list! I put together fun and inexpensive gift bags for them, which included their hair flowers and wooden fans for the wedding (instead of bouquets), and added hand cream, organic lip balm, and a small compact just as a treat. They were super excited and amazed that I had put together a gift for them in the middle of all the planning, but I just found it really fun 🙂

  14. Oh, and if you're on a really tight budget, you can do stationery sets for the girls through VistaPrint. Just sign up for their e-mails and get it a few pieces at a time, and you'll only have to pay shipping.

  15. Funksouldiva: Check eBay for the Easton Press editions. They're so gorgeous, I ended up picking up one for myself as well. With a little patience, I picked up seven copies for $25-35 a piece, including shipping.

  16. I did get mine earrings (they are all more traditional sorts who actually prefer stuff like that – I suggested flasks to two of them and got nixed to give you an idea) but I will also get them a beverage I know they'll like with something "keepsake" to enjoy with it (a wine stopper with a bottle of wine, beer steins and a cask of good beer, tea and two hand-fired teacups etc.)

  17. I got my girls their shoes. They were grateful to not have to pay for something else on top of their dresses and I let them have a big role in picking them out so I know they can wear them again later! This list is great.

  18. We got our bridesmaids (and our groomsman) leathermans with their names on them. So they had awesome pocketknives.
    They say that they use them, which makes me happy.

  19. I wanted to go traditional and have everyone wear the same dress (as it matched my dress perfectly with the rouging and sweetheart neckline). all of them were talking about how they felt their girls were hanging out. so, as their gift i bought them all wraps so they would feel somewhat covered and more comfortable (since i had to have the specific bridesmaids dresses). i also bought them peacock feather fascinators to match the theme.

  20. These ideas are great! I'm getting my girls custom-made perfume. There's a store in town where you can go and put together your own perfumes. That way they can each have their very own signature scent!

  21. I was in a wedding once where the bride made us little black capelets to wear to keep us warm when we did outdoor photos after the wedding. (We were wearing bright autumnal colored dresses and black shoes, so the capes matched the shoes.) The thing is, the faux-furry fabric she used to make the capes a.) was prone to shedding, and b.) looked like some poor Goth Muppet had been scalped. In fact, we referred to our capes as "the Dead Muppets." It became this huge joke among all of us in the wedding party, including the bride, and was kind of a comical bonding experience that we all enjoyed. Before every picture we took, we had to vigorously shake out the Dead Muppets to get rid of as much loose fur as possible so it wouldn't get all over our dresses when we put them on. Somewhere, there's a picture of us doing this and giggling.

  22. I'm planning on getting my bridesmaids (and man) Sigg water bottles. We're all outdoorsy/active folks, so I thought that would be something cool we'd all use. I'm going to get a different one for each person to fit his/her personality. They may also come in handy for the inevitable next-day hangover!

  23. I've thought about buying my maids toms, I don't think any of them have any and I'm obsessed with mine. Plus, they help others! I also got them long strands of faux pearls from j crew – they more eclectic girls can knot their strands and the classic ones can double wrap theirs.

  24. I bought all my bridesmaids flasks from the Lady Rene store on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/LadyRene)- they were too cute to resist! Barnes and Noble also sells beautiful hardcover copies of some new and old books (such as Pride and Prejudice, the Chronicles of Narnia, Picture of Dorian Gray, and I know there was one by Neil Gaiman but I can't remember the title…) and I purchased a book for each based on their tastes and my relationship with them, then wrote a note as to why I picked it for each person.

  25. Just a quick tip if you're using bath bombs – please DO NOT let them dissolve near your sensitive bits! Bath bombs 'fizz' because they're mostly baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), which is on the alkaline side of the pH scale. That's why the water feels 'soft' when you use bath bombs – and your skin will feel soft, too. Problem is, the vaginal/vulval environment is slightly acidic – it's absolutely fine to bathe in a diluted solution of baking soda, but concentrating the stuff near your vulva could disturb the delicate balance, leading to irritation and even yeast (thrush) infections. Not fun!

  26. I'm planning on getting my bridesmaids cosmetic bags from someone on etsy. they come in like 10 different patterns and the girl who makes them said she reduces the price by $1 per bag for brides (which makes them $9 a piece)! i also found some awesome glass nail files in bright colors to put in the bags.

  27. I have bought a collection of bags like this in different patterns for my bridesmaids, which I am filling with stuff (including jewelery, soft shoes for late at night and since it is a winter wedding, an umbrella)

    sounds like a lot – yet everytime I say anything about it to my mum she complains that I have to get them something DECENT.

  28. Love all these ideas. I get married in this summer and also have been searching throughout for creative personal ways to request my bridesmaids to be in my wedding. It has been harder than i figured it might be to locate something which personally i think is really special and unique.

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