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  • Writer's pictureliz panella

a complete gift-guide for the bride: useful gifts that she actually wants

Updated: Aug 13

& yes, I am referring to those "wifey" tumblers...

Girl, it's 2023. Long are the days of cheesy bridal gifts!! Let me help you get your bff something that she'll actually want & use during the most exciting time of her life.


After having most of my best girls get married over the past few years, I've learned a LOT about being a bridesmaid. Lucky for you, gift-giving is my love language. I truly enjoy everything about gifting, from the thought behind selecting the gift, all the way to the execution.


Having been in a handful of weddings & attended many bachelorette parties, I have curated the perfect list of amazing engagement gifts, bachelorette party gifts, & even something thoughtful to gift her with on the morning of her wedding day!


No matter if you are a bride, bridesmaid, attending a bach party, or just want ideas for the future when all of your friends start tying the knot, make sure you check out my gift-guide below.


Engagement Gifts:

Let me preface this: she will get way too many bottles of champagne that will take a year to drink, & 2 too many ring dishes with only 1 engagement ring.

  • The Mrs. Box

  • The cutest, most aesthetic-looking ring box you could get. Plus, the bride can use the box for her details photos on their wedding day!

  • Engagement Ring Cleaner

  • One thing I went out & bought myself is a diamond ring cleaner from our jeweler. Ask her finace what jeweler he used & see if they sell ring cleaner online or in store. If not, there are a bunch on Amazon, but I'm not sure how well they work. The one from the jeweler that I got makes SUCH a difference when my ring gets foggy.

  • Custom Return Address Stamp

  • Order a custom stamp & pad with the bride & groom's name and address for them to use for their save the dates, invites, thank you cards, and more! This will definitely come in handy.

  • Polaroid Camera & Memory Book

  • This is the perfect commemorative gift for such a special time for any newly engaged girl. Use the polaroid camera to capture memories throughout the day / night of the engagement party & place in a memory book for the couple to have forever.

  • A Celebratory Date Night

  • Go in with some friends & get the couple a gift card to a nice restaurant for dinner to celebrate the occasion!

  • "Champagne" Themed Gift Basket

  • I love putting together a themed gift basket. For this celebratory champagne basket, I would include: OPI "mimosas for mr & mrs" nail polish, a candle ("Champagne Toast", "Let's Toast", or "I DO"), Sugarfina Champagne gummies, Venus Et Fleur mini blush eternity rose, slip silk sleep mask, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in shade "Mrs. Kisses" or "Wedding Belles" & Becca Cosmetics "Champagne Pop" Highlighter (my ultimate fav).

  • Wine & Cheese Gift Basket

  • custom last name cutting board / cheese board, charcuterie knives set & cheese / snack assortments, a bottle of wine with"Pairs Well With Wedding Planning" wine label, a new set of wine glasses, wine decanter,& something else for the home (I love anything from Hearth & Hand at Target) such as: tea towels, coasters, candle, etc.

  • Wine Club Memberships

  • A fun & unique idea! Gift the couple a few months of a wine membership to Cooper's Hawk Restaurant, or let them enjoy the subscription at home from Bright Cellars or Winc.




Bachelorette Party Gifts:

Bachelorette party gifts are not expected by the bride by any means. The MOH should set the standards when planning in terms of if there is a game associated with gifts, if there's time set aside for opening gifts, or if the bride is requesting no gifts at all. It will just depend on each bachelorette party, however, it's more likely than not these days.

  • Self-Care Gifts

  • Self-care gifts are my go-to because they are the best gifts in my opinion! I would suggest getting a pre-wedding massage, hydrafacial, or spa gift card. You could also gift a pedicure for you & the bride to enjoy together! I promise these won't go unused and will be such a nice treat for the bride to enjoy during the stress of wedding planning & treat herself prior to the big day

  • Honeymoon Kit

  • Help the bride get ready for her honeymoon! For a tropical location, I would suggest a cute reusable beach bag (not a fan of monogrammed or MRS bags), white satin pj set or white coverup, a cute visor for the beach, toiletry or makeup bag (option 1 / option 2 / option 3), mini SPF (some of my favorites are from Tula, Fenty, Tatcha, Peter Thomas Roth, & SAIE), Summer Fridays vanilla lip butter balm, Farmacy "Honeymoon Glow" Face & Body serum, & head to the target travel section for some minis to throw in (advil, hero mighty patches, mini deodorant, etc.)!

  • Engraved YSL Lipstick

  • This is such a cute add-on to a bachelorette gift for the bride! Grab the bride's favorite shade and customize the lipstick on the YSL's website with her (soon to be new) monogram!

  • Self-Care / Beauty Gift Basket

  • Combine a few items from the self-care gifts, honeymoon kit, or champagne-themed gift basket from above. Throw in a bath bomb, face masks, eye masks & you have the perfect self-care basket!

  • Skims Soft Lounge Sleep Set (Marble)

  • These are the comfiest pjs EVER. This set will be long appreciated after the wedding planning phase! Perfect for the bride to wear the night before the wedding, honeymoon, etc.

  • Pink Polaroid Camera & Photo Album Kit

  • This is one of my fav gifts to give! Use the same polaroid camera & photo album as above, but add extra film, markers, & more for the girls to sign and write memories next to the photos during the weekend

  • New Initials Necklace

  • I love this idea! You can get their first & new last initials or customize however you'd like. I found this 14K option on Etsy.

  • Old Initial / New Initial Bracelet

  • A super sweet jewelry idea. You can find bracelets like this on Etsy where you can engrave the inside of the bracelet bar & the outside. On the inside corner, put the bride's old initials (ex: LP) and on the outside corner put her soon-to-be new initials (ex: LT).

  • Lingerie

  • You can never go wrong here! Victoria's Secret has an entire bridal lingerie collection. I would add a few other sexy gifts for the honeymoon as well!

  • Bach Party Photoshoot

  • One of the best gifts I've ever given was a 1-hour photoshoot during the bachelorette party! This photo below is from a bachelorette party I was on in Charleston, SC where we did a super cute spring shoot. I found a photographer on Instagram (shoutout to Rebecca Sigety Photography), set up all of the details, & gifted it to the bride the day before! She absolutely loved this & will have these photos forever.


Wedding Day Gifts:

As a bridesmaid, your job is to help make this the most special day for your girl. I've been able to first hand see the impact that gifting something sentimental on the morning of their wedding can make. This does not have to be a big expense, as being a bridesmaid is very pricey. Spending $15-20 & putting in thought on something that will make the bride's morning is absolutely priceless.

  • "To My Best Friend On Her Wedding Day" Card

  • At the very least, I think it is super thoughtful to write the bride a heartfelt note. I have used this creator on Etsy for every single one of my friends and I love her so much!

  • Engraved "Signature" Wedding Day Fragrance

  • If you know the bride's signature scent or favorite perfume, this is a great gift! An engraved perfume bottle gives such a special touch & can be used for the photographer's detail shots!

  • Custom Embroidered Handkerchief

  • Whether you want to lighten the mood with "no ugly crying bitch", or send a sweet message like "happy tears only" or "your something blue", you can do that with this Etsy seller here.

  • Something Blue

  • Gift your girl her "something blue"! You could do the embroidered handkerchief above, MILK makeup under-eye cooling water gel, Herbivore Blue Tansy face oil, Laneige Water Bank blue hyaluronic seurm, these fuzzy blue slippers, a blue jewelry box, a satin scrunchy, or a Capri Blue candle for getting ready in the AM

  • Box of Love Letters

  • This one is sure to have the bride in tears! Before the wedding day, collect a bunch of letters from the bride's family, friends, & future husband and put them together in a cute box. It is such a sentimental gift for the wedding morning

  • Wedding Morning Glam Prep

  • There's a reason why you always see brides ice-rolling or wearing eye masks before getting glammed -- they want to de-puff from any crying or prep their skin before makeup to look snatched! If I was going to get a girlfriend a wedding morning gift, I would get a high-quality ice roller / eye masks.

  • The best ice roller you could get her is the Skinny Confidential Hot Mess Ice Roller

  • To be honest, the gold eye patches from Amazon don't do anything for me. Try one of these medical grade skincare eye masks from Colorescience, 111Skin, Skyn Iceland, Skin Medica, or any of these from Dermstore.

  • Venue Watercolor Portrait

  • I think this is the coolest gift! Find a creator on Etsy (like any of these) who can do a custom watercolor painting or drawn portrait of the bride's wedding venue. Put it in a frame & gift it to her to hang in her home!

  • Custom "Mrs _____" Hanger

  • If the bride doesn't already have one, you'll want to make sure she has a nice hanger for her wedding dress photos (please don't let her use a plastic one). You can get a custom hanger with "Mrs. _____" here on Etsy.



I had so much fun putting this gift-guide together & ultimately hope that it helps you in some way:) Of course, sharing this blog post & following me on socials is the ultimate "thank you" :* You can do so on Instagram, TikTok, & Pinterest

& stay tuned every Wednesday for #weddingwednesdays


xo,

liz

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