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Gifts for your attendants

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What kind of gifts do you get for the lovely ladies that have helped you out throughout all of your wedding planning and dramas?

Most people give their bridesmaids some sort of gift for helping them out on their special day. Not only will they help you on your day with getting ready, calming your nerves, making sure that you have everything that you need, but sometimes they have to help you even more than you would realise. Depending on your dress, some bridesmaids even need to help you use the bathroom. Not only on your big day are they required to help, but think of all that they have done in the lead up to the wedding. Sometimes, bridesmaids may have thrown the bride a Hens Night or a Kitchen Tea. Some of them may have given up countless weekends having dress fittings, hair trials or just being amazing supports for you when you have had lots of things to do or check out for the big day.

In saying all of this, you don’t have to go and spend hundreds of dollars on the girls. You just have to exercise a little bit of thought and you can get them something great to show your appreciation. There is also nothing like a beautiful card that you have written something to each of them that tells them how much you love and appreciate them and their friendship.  You could also find an old photo or your favourite photo of the two of you and put it in a nice frame. Other than these lovely sentimental ideas, here are some other practical and fun ones.

Something to wear.

This is always popular! Something to wear as far as jewellery is always an excellent choice.  It is a great keepsake and is something that will ensure that all of the attendants are matching, and is handy if all of the girls are wearing different styles of dress. It can act as something that ties them all together. The same applies if you use a shawl or wrap, it can be something that you can add to the style of the day and be part of your thank you gift. A classic and elegant bracelet is always lovely. Something that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves, but something that they could wear again on a special occasion. Or you could have something for them to wear when they are getting ready and all of you are spending time having your make up and hair done. Personalised robes or t-shirts are a great bit of fun and something that they can use later on and will prompt memories of your special day every time that they use them.

Something to carry things in on the day.

Depending on if you want these seen or not, there are a few options here. You could have some lovely custom made tote bags done, keeping with the colour theme of your wedding. Having the bridesmaids initials monogrammed on to a tote is a great way for them to keep all of their belongings together, especially if they are going to have to take them to the venue. This will be something that they will get use after the big day too. My best friend got all of us girls lovely little handbags for us to have at her wedding that were perfect for our make up, mobile phones, some tissues and for other little things. They are stunning and all of them had our names engraved on them. There were no mix ups and it was another great way to give us something that all matched as we had different style dresses, but we all had the same lovely handbags.

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Something to keep, or a tradition starter.

Another thing that my best friend did was to put a lovely brooch on the bouquet of flowers. At the time, I don’t know if she intended these just to be a pretty way for the bouquet to be done up, or if the brooch was something that she really loved. I personally have used this the most out of all of the gifts that she gave us. I wear it now when I conduct weddings and it makes me think of how much fun we had on her special day and reminds me of her every time that I wear it. This would be a great idea especially if your attendants are not yet married, you could mention that they could pin it onto their bouquet on their big day too, or pin it inside their dress (especially if it had some blue on it somewhere), or attach it to their garter if they were wearing one.

Something to eat and drink.

People always love food and drink! You could incorporate this with the tote bags and fill each one with different things that your friends love. If one girl loves champagne and Oreo biscuits, put all of those things in her tote bag, and if another likes vodka and chocolate frogs, put these things into her bag. It is a great way to show them just how well you know them.

Something for after the big day.

Another great way to show them your appreciation, would be to get them something they can do after the big day, like gold class movie vouchers. Or perhaps treat them to a pampering massage, or facial, or maybe even organise a girls spa day! This way, you can all spend some quality time together when you come back from your honeymoon, stress-free post-wedding!

Again this is something that is only limited by your imagination. Think about something that your friends like and go from there. Have you been in a wedding and been given an amazing gift?

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Thanks to Untamed Images for their photos on the blog check out their website here and their facebook page here too. Check out my facebook page here too and be kept up to date with all things wedding.

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Should we have Bonbonnerie?

Many weddings include bonbonnerie gifts including the traditional sugared almonds. On many occasions I remember almonds wrapped in a piece of delicate tulle or lovely sheer fabric. Traditionally, five Jordan almonds were displayed this way to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the sugary covering are meant to represent the bitter sweetness of a marriage.

Bonbonnerie is a very old tradition at weddings, although sugared almonds are not that popular these days.  One wedding that I conducted had them given out at the ceremony with the Order of Service booklets, as the mother-of-the-bride wanted them to be part of her daughters day, as it her family’s tradition.  My best friend had them on the tables at her wedding too, but had so many other awesome bonbonnerie gifts I think that a lot of people might not have even noticed them. (see all the amazing bonbonnerie that she had on my blog post about her day here)

Bonbonniere is something that you can make part of the theme of your wedding and it doesn’t have to be expensive, neither is it really a crucial part of the wedding, but can be something you have some fun with.  You could make the gifts yourself, and it can be something that has a double purpose like place settings or table centerpieces. Bonbonnerie can be a great way to let people know more about you. For example, you could bake the bonbonnerie, if you are into baking, or create a little book with your recipes, or give some of your favourite spices if you like to cook or barbecue. If you love nature and bushwalking, gifts such as a seed bomb or some sort of seedlings that your guests can put into their own garden. Think of the things that you love and try to find a way to incorporate it into your bonbonnerie. Are you into Spiderman? Maybe either you or one of your artistic friends could make a comic strip style fridge magnet with you and your partner written into the story. This is another thing where only your imagination can limit you.

Do you really need it? No, no one needs Bonbonnerie. It is something that some people come to expect at weddings, although I am not sure why, there are plenty of things that you are spending money on, but again it can be something that can double as something else. Using them for place tags is a great idea if you are having a seating plan. You could always give them out to your guests when you are leaving for the evening or at the end of your reception to make sure that the guests know that they are for them to take home, not just lovely table decorations, and that way you know you will have said goodbye and thank you for coming to all of your guests.

Will it get left behind? Most of the time at weddings some people will always leave the party favours behind. It is sad to see when couples have spent so much time, money and effort on them. Personally, I love to keep a memento from special occasions – so I love all of the bonbonnerie.

Should I choose food for my bonbonbiere gifts?  Food is always popular, in particular chocolates or personalised lollies. Guest are likely to take it with them, or eat it at the wedding. With food at least you know most of the time it isn’t going to be a huge waste.

Have you been to a wedding recently that had fantastic or not so fantastic bonbonnerie? What do you think about not having bonbonnerie at a wedding?

Thanks so much to Untamed images for the use of their stunning images. Check out their website here.

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Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes used to be white with ribbons in the colours matching the colour of your bridesmaids dresses, now they are far more personalised. There are way more options than the traditional fruit cake! Lots of people now choose to have cupcakes, fantastic coloured cakes and all sorts of cake toppers that you can only imagine.
I’ve been amazed to see how some of the cake toppers are so detailed. I have seen some really fantastic bride and groom cake toppers that look uncannily like the bride and groom themselves.  I have also seen a few ‘cheese cakes’ where couples are choosing to have cakes that are made from layers of cheese, rather than a sweet cake.

More and more cakes are becoming a feature of their own.  It is a great way tie things into your theme (if you have one), my cousin had a theme throughout their wedding which was the Eiffel tower, it featured in their bonbonerrie and they had mini cupcakes on a model of the eiffel tower too. Some people are steering away from the traditional cake and going towards the cupcakes, macaroons, or gingerbread people.

Lots of couples are steering away from fruit cakes and if they are having some fruit cake, they tend to have one layer of fruitcake to keep a small part of tradition in amongst the new.

People are also steering away from tradition and choosing to have their cake as a dessert item, which I personally did at my wedding. It is such a lot of money for a cake if people don’t get a chance to eat it.  How many times have you been to a wedding, and the cake that they gave you to take home gets squashed in your bag and not eaten?

What kind of cake did you have? Have you been to a wedding that had an amazing or memorable cake?

Thanks again to Corey Brown for the use of the great cake photos. Check out his blog here.

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Party Favours and Bonboniere.

My dear friend Emily, whom I wrote about previously on my blog, had a wedding that had so much attention to detail. Nothing was forgotten. One fantastic thing she had at her wedding reception was a gorgeous gingerbread couple. Not only did they look fantastic, they tasted amazing. There were fantastic gifts at every location throughout the day, from the boat to the winery, reception and after party. Everyone got to take home fantastic bonboniere, from personalised lip gloss to custom labelled bottled water, cute moustache labelled bottle openers, beautiful soaps, and a beverage menu that was presented on a block of chocolate. There was a tree of drink tags. Everyone had their name on a label, with beautiful beads and decorations so that you could attach them to your glass and know which glass was yours. It is such a great way to add or carry a theme throughout your reception, and we had a great time the day before setting all of these things up at the venue, too.  Have you seen any fantastic ideas for bonboniere, or great table decorations?

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