Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Presents for the bridesmaids!

Now that the wedding is behind us and the presents have been opened, I can tell y'all about the totally awesome gifts I got my bridesmaids, parents, and groom. I was REALLY PLEASED with myself as these came together, but since I know some of those people are occasional readers of this blog I didn't want to give anything away before it was time!

First up, the bridesmaids. I had originally thought that I should stay away from giving jewelry since it's a really common bridesmaids' gift, and whatever I found might not be to all the girls' tastes. Having recently acquired some letterpress skills, I entertained the idea of making stationery for each of my bridesmaids. However, the investment of time in printing and money in materials to even get me to the starting point of such a project deterred me.

I circled back to the jewelry idea, searching Etsy every so often for something hip, inexpensive, and untacky. I didn't turn anything up there, but I did come across these charming silver honeycomb necklaces from Stone & Honey via a blog, I believe. They were interesting and delicate, in the right price range, fit the aesthetic I had in mind, and made perfect sense for a wedding with jars of honey as favors. Better still, there were about a dozen different styles, so I could choose a different necklace for each of my friends! Score.

One of my favorite Atlanta shops carries this line of jewelry, so I went to try a similar necklace on to see how it would fall. It looked great, so that part of the present was decided! Hooray. Before I ordered the necklaces, I emailed Stone & Honey to see if there was any sort of discount for ordering a bunch of things at once, and sure enough, they regularly knock off 15% for wedding parties. Done and done.

I had sought my sister's stamp of approval on the jewelry, but I didn't want her to know everything that was coming to her as a thank-you for being a bridesmaid. I wanted something more to complete the presents, maybe something sentimental or personal. I had heard (and still hear) so much about brides who carry a grandmother's handkerchief around their bouquets, but I didn't have any hankies from my grandmas, or any other women in my family. I also remembered holding a sweaty mess of Kleenex around my flowers when I was a bridesmaid two years ago in case of crying. Putting two and two together, I decided that getting each of the girls a personalized hanky embroidered in blue to match the bridesmaids dresses (and perhaps to later serve as a something blue) would round out the gifts perfectly.

I logged onto Etsy again and was much more successful this time around. In almost no time, I came across SheriAngellCreations, a shop selling simple, hand-embroidered hankies at an excellent price. What sealed the deal for me, aside from her lovely handiwork, was that she lives in Kingsport, Tenn., where my parents grew up! What are the odds? I chose a simple design with a first-initial monogram and flowers in one corner, and a little reminder of who the hanky came from (me) in the opposite corner. Sherri was a dream to work with and even let me be finicky about the particular shades of blue and green and gray she used. I highly recommend her! Here is the one she made for Lindsay:

Pretty sweet, no? I ordered hankies not only for the bridesmaids, but for all of my best high-school girlfriends, who were all participating in the ceremony in some fashion. I also got the same lady hanky for Jon's mom, a similar one that says "Llama" for my mom, man-hankies for my dad and Jon's stepdad, and of course a commemorative wedding hanky for myself, on top of the pile in the picture below.

The girls wore their new necklaces for the wedding and we all had our hankies handy in case of tears (or sweat, or running makeup). Thank god for mine! That may be the best wedding purchase I made... it did a lot of blotting in the heat of the afternoon. It's my hope that everyone will have these gifts and use them for years to come!

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