Bridesmaid Gifts

We are kicking off a big wedding weekend today! BFF + GGE (greatest guy ever) = Fun with a capital F. As I started packing my bags (ok, not really but I thought about doing it) last night for the all-day bride & bridesmaid glam-a-thon on Saturday to get ready for the wedding, I was wishing that my bags looked a little more “wedding”y. I love me some L.L. Bean totes, but mine don’t match my makeup bags which is a TOTAL buzzkill, and they are definitely not the wedding colors. Plus, am I just going to carry my bridesmaid dress up to the Presidential Suite in the plastic bag it came in?! Like some sort of bridesmaid VAGABOND?! I’m having anxiety just thinking about it. Friends and clients always ask me for bridesmaid gift ideas, and I feel like my answers have been on repeat for the last few years, but fear not, inspiration has struck! Here are some ideas for bridesmaid gifts that your maids can use to pack for primping the day of, and will use as a cute, casual travel set for many weekends to come!

3 1 4 21. Cute Tote (Apparently I really can’t break away from the Boat n’ Tote aesthetic- thanks, Mom…)

2. Monogrammed Garment Bag: This is actually where I got my idea for this post. How cute would this be?! Functional and unique!

3. Monogrammed Clutch to match your bridesmaids’ dresses. Because 1) everyone’s always worried about whether or not to bring a purse and 2) how flippin’ cute would a picture of all these clutches, abandoned on the table after dinner for dancing be?! Someone PLEASE do that (even if it’s staged) and send the picture to me.

4. Monogrammed Makeup Bag. I obviously did all of these items in a kelly green and navy palette, and am SO happy I did, because my search brought me to this DARLING patterned bag!

Just picture your besties gliding in to get ready, tote on one arm, matching garment bag on the other. They casually pull out make-up cases that perfectly complement their other bags and then slip their lipsticks into a clutch that matches everything to a T. And this is all in your wedding colors. BE STILL MY HEART!

I might have a problem.

Springtime Shower

088A few weeks ago (months? what day is it?) my favorite people in the world and I hosted a bridal shower for one of our best friends. We played with her wedding colors, dialed up the “girly” for this personal shower, and really let the hot pink, gold, chevron and floral patterns run wild. Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions served up some DE-lish light bites, and the signature cocktails were flowing. A friend (and local party/style guru) and I made sure everything from the invitations to the signage to the guest towels was branded with flair. I arranged the simple florals, and she created that FAB floral wreath of the couple’s wedding monogram. A fun trivia game focusing on the bride and her move from Kansas to Texas kicked off the unwrapping of the gifts, and cookies with the same design as the invitations sent guests out the door (hopefully wanting more!)038044053054055056061073080085091093101103107114116124088

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

I love getting creative with all aspects of a wedding, so when one of my clients asked me to make up some fun gifts for her to ask her bridesmaids to be in her wedding, I jumped at the chance to put together these little goodies! We ordered the pink POP and created the cards to match her wedding colors (on the more “pink” end of things, since this project is 100% for the ladies), and added little pearl bracelets from the local Kansas City company, Pearly Girls (check them out!). We packaged them up in cellophane with big puffy pink gauze bows, and voila! IMG_0890 IMG_0887 IMG_0882 IMG_0886 IMG_0885

Partay

partyskirt headerI came across these adorable party skirts last year, and I think they would be totally perfect for a bridesmaid or house-party (honor attendant) skirt! They are fun and young, but also have a majorly classic silhouette, so they can be styled so many ways! I love all of the bright colors, too! partyskirtsPartySkirts_Styling Board

Casual // Earrings / Tank / Scarf / Clutch / Sandals

Sweet // Tank / Earrings / Pumps

Hipster // Scarf / Top / Flats

Partyskirts!

Bridesmaid Basics

Happy Monday everyone! 1) How ’bout them Jayhawks?! 2) Bridesmaids. I have had a lot of questions from readers concerning the duties of a bridesmaid. What is a bridesmaid? For those of you reaaaal beginners: someone.who.walks.down.the.aisle.in.front.of.the.bride. Now that we are all on the same page, a bridesmaid, or attendant’s, duties are emotional and financial. These ladies (men can be included as well, but they are called honor attendants) need to be your closest friends and family members who are responsible, courteous, and considerate. In other words, that fun chick from the bar should stay just that. You can have a drink with her after the ceremony. Let’s talk quantity. The number of bridesmaids/attendants doesn’t necessarily have to match up with the number of groomsmen. In terms of maids of honor /matrons of honor (I am one of these in a wedding in July, and I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around that term. Woof.)/best men, you can have two. The size of your wedding party sets the tone for your wedding… for instance if you are having an intimate beachy wedding, maybe you want to rethink your 14 bridesmaids.

Ok, now for the maids. What the heck do you do? First things first. You pay for shiz. Here is the list from Emily Post: and then my input too!

-Purchase of apparel and all accessories. Sometimes the bride picks up the dress and accessories, or at least pays a chunk to help out!

-Transportation to and from city where wedding takes place. Usually the bride will pay for hotel rooms (or provide rooms if it is on a family property, for example) for the wedding party. If some bridesmaids are married (or have a significant other) and don’t want to stay in an attendant room, they would only have to pick up the cost for half of their room. This isn’t necessary, but is a very thoughtful gesture.

-A contribution to a gift from bridesmaids to brides . This is a great way to avoid buying gifts for every shower you are invited to as a bridesmaid, but requires some organization by the group!

-An individual wedding gift to the couple (if being in the wedding is not the gift)

-Optionally, a shower or luncheon for the bride. If your group chooses to host something, go for girly! Host a lingerie, personal, or linen shower.

I would add to EP’s list:

-Hair/ Makeup for the wedding. I didn’t make my ladies pay for their hair and makeup, but I know that many people do. Plan to pay and be pleasantly surprised if the bride picks it up!

-Bachelorette Trip. This can be a vacay ($$$) or an in town bash ($), either way, you are going to have some expenses like dinner, transportation, and most probably a gift for a lingerie shower! Budget wisely, because you don’t want to miss out on this fun weekend- it’s a great time to bond with everyone before the wedding weekend!

The bride should keep you informed as to the calendar of showers and events that you will be invited to attend, the costs you will have (for example, if it’s a destination wedding, you will know in advance!), your attire, and the schedule for the wedding weekend. In the months leading up to the wedding, just be a good friend and answer the phone if the bride calls in a panic, and always show her how excited and happy you are for her and her fiance. Pretty simple stuff, really.

Your other obligations are to attend the wedding weekend festivities (rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids luncheon, WEDDING, etc…), assist the bride and keep her calmed the eff down, be attentive to guests and children at the reception, participate in the receiving line (if there is one) and bouquet toss (we TOTALLY forgot to do this at our wedding), and basically just be a good friend and do what you would want done for you on your wedding day.

Now, if you have any other questions, hit me up on my 2 way. Just kidding. Email me. I have done a few posts about bridesmaid attire in the past (here and here), but thought that would be a fitting (is that a pun in this sentence?) way to finish up this post! What you should always ask yourself when choosing a bridesmaid dress: Will this looking really stupid in 20 years when my kids look at these pictures? Some new kind of pleating and peplums might seem like a good idea at the time, but opt for the timeless classics. Some of my faves from J.Crew and Lela Rose for Dessy.

jcrew1 jcrew12 jcrew13 jcrew14 jcrew15 jcrew123 jcrew17 jcrew18 jcrew19 jcrew122 jcrew16

lelarose17 lelarose18 lelarose122 lelarose19 lelarose13 lelarose1 lelarose12 lelarose14 lelarose123 lelarose15

Some fun earrings to accessorize:

bridesmaidbasicearrings

And the perfect basic pump… for under $100!perfect bridesmaid pump

Earrings 1-5 /  6   ///   Peep toe Pump   ///   J.Crew dresses   ///   Lela Rose Dresses

 

Robyn Brooks

I just recovered one of my favorite bracelets last week, my Robyn Brooks cork bangle. It is actually the strangest story ever: It was returned to me by a friend after I had left it in a hotel room last spring… the same hotel room she had happened to stay in last fall when she found it. So random, but freaking awesome. So, bracelet recovered and back with its other friends (I have an RBNY bangle-addiction) I am now thinking how great these would be as gifts for bridesmaids! The designer, Robyn Brooks, is a Kansas City girl, and aside from hearing about her when I made custom stationery for her mom (she’s the cute lady with the floppy straw hat that you can see on my Facebook and website!) and her sisters, I became familiar with her line at market in Atlanta last year. Some of them are a little pricey, but if you only have a handful of maids, then it’s definitely an item to consider! Her earrings are so chic, as well, and she has a collection of handbags that scream “honeymoon!”. I love it ALL!

RBNY RBNY

This would be such a great pattern with grey bridesmaid dresses!RBNY

Love the emerald green!RBNY RBNY RBNY RBNY

I am obsessed with these dangles…RBNY

I’m thinking this necklace would be perf on a honeymoon in the Maldives (well, I’m always thinking about the Maldives. And Ojai.)RBNY

Love love love LOVE this cork necklace!RBNY

How fun is this pink piece for a tropical honeymoon?!RBNYRBNY

Cool rings
RBNY

Amazing cork purses… I saw someone carrying this tote last week, and I was gawking so much I could have walked into oncoming trafficRBNY RBNY

And don’t forget to check out her sale items! RBNY_SALE

There is much more on her website!

SHOP SALE / SHOP BRACELETS /  SHOP NECKLACES / SHOP RINGS / SHOP HANDBAGS

All images from Robyn Brooks

Lingerie Shower Guide

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys. I am STILL hurting from the weekend. Feel free to judge. These bones are definitely getting old. The good news: I can just now stomach writing about the total blast that was the Scottsdale Bachelorette Bash. We arrived at the Biltmore on Friday, and I instantly felt a connection to this luxurious compound. I knew we would get along just fine.

Scottsdale Biltmore

Picture me here with a glass of champagne

Biltmore Fire

Since we were flying from east to west, we arrived at 11am and had the whole day to layout and shop. I picked up a super cute Lilly dress on sale for 75% off. I can’t find a picture of it on the internet, but I swear it exists and it is this really fun turquoise with a pleated skirt and gold brocade top. Anyway. There were 17 (yes) of us here to toast the beautiful bride, and we all met up at that gorgeous firepit above before heading out to Mastro’s for dinner.

MastrosHere is a link to the menu, if you are a fat kid like me and love reading menus

We got our dance party on later that night and into the next morning… and once my bestie (the bride’s sis) and I realized we had been up for over 26 hours, it was time to hit the hay. Of course I’m a superfreak and can’t sleep past 8am, so I was up 2 hours later, bumbling around the pool and spent the whole day catching up on all of the important current world affairs  Justin Bieber’s breakdown. Now that I’ve explained my antics that led to this 5 day sleep deprivation, I have to tell you the BEST part of the weekend: the lingerie shower!

Lingerie showers are such a great opportunity to give your bride the most fun attire that so girls few buy for themselves! I love shopping for these parties and picking out what I think will make her feel sexy (or comfy) or just happy to own! Sometimes these showers are called “personal” showers, and invite the guests to give other personal items, like jewelry…basically anything that is strictly for the bride, and not for the couple. Lingerie showers can be thrown (as this one was) at a bachelorette party or at home (a bridesmaid’s home, a private room at a restaurant or country club, or at a fun venue like a salon!), and are usually over the top girly. So here are some basic ingredients from the Scottsdale shower that made it an occasion to remember!

1) Food: think tea party fare and light bites. Wine and cocktails are a must! It can be fun to come up with a signature “pink” drink named after the bride, too!

SMP app SMP app SMP appSMP pink cocktail

2) Gifts. Panties, bras, nighties, and more! I already posted this gift guide, but it is a great place to start!

Lingerie Gift Guide

3) Games! Remember, opening gifts can take awhile, so you will probably only have time for one or two games. We did a panty line (with poem) and a question game for the groom!

The panty line poem is read by the hostesses, and each stanza corresponds with a pair of panties. Here it is…

Panty Line

I have a secret to share
About our little bride
She is obsessed with underwear
And that I cannot hide
 
So for our little panty queen
I gathered up some twine
And put the panties in a row
To make a panty line.
 
Lacey, these undies are to last you
All throughout your life
And Andrew will be pleased to say
He has a sexy wife!
 
So listen up to hear about
Your lifelong panty plan
These underwear, we have no doubt
Will last your whole life span
The first are for your wedding day
Of course they are pure white
We know Kevin will shout, “Hooray!”
When he sees you on that night
 
The next are for your honeymoon
They’re sexy and all lace
We hope you’ll leave your hotel room
’Cause Maui is such a gorgeous place!
 
On Valentine’s you’ll wear this pair
Before you hit the bed
‘Cause Cupid’s arrow in the air
Shoots tushies that are red
 
After a year has passed you’ll face
Anniversary number one
With these you’ll surely have a blast
’Cause leopard’s so much fun!
 
Then when the time is right for you
And don’t be saying, “Maybe”
You’ll wear your little pink or blue
In honor of your baby
 
And when your years of wedding bliss
Become the big 2-5
Don’t worry – you’ll just slip this on
To keep the sparks alive
 
When finally you’re old and gray
With these you can’t go wrong
’Cuz sorry Lacey but at that age
You just can’t wear a thong

 

 

The questions for the groom is always funny (seriously- my sides hurt), and this maid-of-honor actually video taped the groom’s responses, which made it extra fun! The idea is that the groom answers these questions ahead of time, and then the MOH reads them and the bride answers them at the shower. The answers are sometimes in sync, sometimes totally off, and always hilarious. Here are some sample questions:
 Where did you meet?
Where was your first kiss?
Who said I love you first?
What’s your favorite thing about her?
What’s her most annoying habit?
What’s your most annoying habit?
How many children does she want to have?
What’s your favorite meal that she cooks?
What’s the best part about her personality?
What’s her favorite band?
What’s her favorite restaurant?
How long does it take her to get ready?
If she could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
What’s your Sunday night routine?

 

Disclaimer on this: Make sure you give the groom a list with the pronoun “SHE” (i.e. How many children does SHE want to have? If SHE could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?) because my adorable, only-child husband answered all of the questions about HIMSELF when we did this at my bachelorette party. Love you, babe.

 

D) Favors! It is always fun to leave with a little gift! These lingerie cookies are always a hit, or you can put together a little gift bag (with the nail polish you want your maids to wear at the wedding!)

lingerie cookies
Gifts
This shower was held at a beautiful home, and was just the most perfect party for a Saturday night. Everyone headed out to Chelsea’s Kitchen for dinner afterwards (amazeballs sea-salt chocolate chip cookies BTW), and then called it a (relatively) early night. The next day we brunched at True Food Kitchen (edamame dumplings are to die for)(also, I am on a one-woman crusade to get a franchise in KC), and then headed home! So here I am on Wednesday, still a little groggy from all of the traveling and all of the fun!

 

Shop the Bachelorette Lingerie Gift Guide on this post.

 

Shop the Panty Line // Bride // Honeymoon // Valentine’s // Anniversary // Baby Baby // 25 year // Granny

Other images via Style Me Pretty