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.

Postable // What a weekend!

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I am fresh off the mountain (and a very tall one at that!) and coming down from the high of an absolutely amazing wedding! I will post about that tomorrow–need a quick day to recover, my friends! Until then, check out this great new website Postable. Perfect for gathering your friends’ and families’ addresses for your wedding list (ahh, “the list”!) or just a party, Postable creates a database for you by collecting the information from each guest individually. They follow a link that you email them, and enter their own contact info. (WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS!?) You can also import an existing address book, or add the contacts manually. The site takes it a step farther and offers to write and send thank-you note for you, but I prefer to stick to handwritten notes (not a handwriting font).

Get Organized

Get Organized

Martha Stewart for Staples has amazing (and adorable) products to keep you on track!

Planning a wedding can be oh-so-fun, but it can also make you want to oh-so-kill-people. It is a highly emotional time for you and your fiance, and the new kinds of relationships that develop between you two while you’re planning can be fragile. It’s hard to balance your new unit with your established sense of family, and keep a united front with your fiance while you really just want to do whatever you want to do  plan the perfect day. It’s also hard to stay calm while your mother is (in theory) madly cutting grosgrain ribbon samples for color matching and your mother-in-law is tediously hand-writing her entire guest list. In theory. So, you, bride, need to be a shining example of calm, beauty, and bliss! Here are some tips to help you enjoy the process.

You + Me = US. You need to be a teammate and source of strength for your fiance. Things are going to get sticky. Make all big decisions as a unit.

Communicate. Seriously. Do this. It might come out wrong the first time, but work through it, and keep those lines open.

Compromise. Whether it’s your color palette, or your ceremony, there’s no way around it. YOU WILL HAVE TO COMPROMISE SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE. It sucks. But is worth it. I was so tough on Marc about our inner faith ceremony, and didn’t want to include the Jewish tradition of breaking of the glass because it messed with my vision of “my” wedding. I finally gave in, and our ceremony (all 7 minutes of it) could not have been more perfect, or more “us”. And I learned that it’s pretty fun to have a church full of people yell “Mazel Tov!” at you.

Stay Calm. Don’t let stress and anxiety ruin this for you! It’s an emotional time. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Address it. Release it. (Thank you, Beyonce-documentary-preview-on-HBO for that advice.) Be forgiving of yourself and the poor souls who cross your path, and take a deep breath before you react to any stressful situation.

Delegate. People will want to help, and you can use them for their variety of talents. If you don’t want to be a contact person for your wedding planner, let your mother take charge. A bridesmaid can organize a luncheon, an aunt can do the ceremony programs, a family friend can calligraph the escort cards. It’s fun to involve people in the process, and keeps your from losing your mind. Keeping people in the loop will make them feel good, and will ease the burdens on you, as well.

Be / Get / Hire Organized. If you hire a wedding planner or designer, they will take care of most of the nitty gritty details. But if not, remember to create a master list of to do’s (super rewarding to check off!). Create a file with fabric/color swatches, inspiration photos, pictures of your dress, location, and measurements of the reception space, tables, etc. Create a master contact list with telephone, email and FAX (for contracts) numbers. Keep a calendar with appointments. Keep a file with all contracts and important documents (birth certificates, driver’s license, etc.) Basically, be really freaking organized because it is 1) fun (for some of us) and 2) will pay off big time!

Take Care of Yourself. Eat right. Exercise. Sleep. Book some time for a date night. Laugh.

I was so involved in all of the design and planning of our wedding, that it was difficult for me to take off my “wedding planner” hat, and remember to be a fiancee sometimes. (Designing the table arrangements and creating the itineraries is just so darn fun!) But I did learn a few things as “the bride”. Things will go wrong. Your calligrapher will take the menu text that you give him at face value and calligraph all of the instructions for the wait staff onto the menu. (“Wedding Cake- Provided by Outside Vendor”)  A week before your wedding, your string quartet will tell you that they actually can’t play any of the songs you gave them seven months earlier. Your facialist will wax off an inch of skin below your eyebrow, leaving you with a beautiful raw patch on your face. For example. But if you are organized and calm, these things will just be little bumps along the way. And if you lose your shit every once in awhile, just remember to apologize. I’m sorry, Marc.