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Custom Bridesmaid Catalog
Hook up with Wantful to give ’maids a present they’ll truly go gaga for. Answer questions about each gal’s personality and style, and the site will create a booklet of 16 taste-specific wares—from jewelry to décor—for each BFF (sans prices, of course). Then, the custom catalogs are mailed to your pals, and they order their favorite item. The fine print: You pay the cost of the goods (prices start at $30) and $5 per book.
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Keep best friends in the loop by giving them sashes that are a cinch to make. In an array of shades and bow styles, the belts will tie their looks together the day of, and then live happily ever after in their closets.
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Bows for Bridesmaids' Toes
With the world’s easiest add-on, an ankle-gracing bow, your 'maids can wear neutral or black frocks and still be subtly in step with your color scheme.
Have each one wear a basic sandal with an ankle strap. The morning of, they’ll take a 2-inch-wide ribbon, wind a length (each of these is 46 inches long) around their leg and through the strap on the outer ankle, and tie into a bow. Voila: dancing shoes!
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Graffiti artists and Martha Stewart Weddings editors agree: Spray paint is awesome. One spritz and it transforms its target, like these affordable rhinestones. After you’ve bought some costume jewelry, cover clasps with tape, place your finds on newspaper in a well-ventilated area, and mist with Montana gold spray. Use shades in your colors, lustrous metallics, or goes-with-everything black.
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Silk Scarf Bouquets
Say thanks for taking part in your day by giving each bridesmaid a beautiful silk scarf. Buy a few styles in your color palette, then have the florist tie them around the flowers.
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Dry-Cleaning Kits for Bridesmaids
Madame Paulette is the dry cleaner among New York cognoscenti (Melania Trump entrusted them with her six-figure wedding gown). The firm offers to-go kits containing cloths imbued with the same formulas used by their on-staff pros. Added bonus: a chart on how to tackle different stains. Give the packets to your bridesmaids, and they needn't fret about mascara (or marinara) stains.
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How not to be a bridezilla? Pick something your bridesmaids really can wear again, then list the details on a handy card.
Download our template, type in contact info, and print onto card stock. Write in other details, and add fabric swatches and images. Use a rotary cutter with a perforating blade to create a tear-off card that can be tucked into a wallet for easy reference.
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Fuzzy Flower Pins
Give tweed flower pins as bridesmaid gifts; they can be worn at the wedding on dresses, shawls, or cardigans, or pinned to ribbon for a wrist corsage.
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Give your bridesmaids pretty barrette gifts to spare them from windblown hair. These barrettes start out as inexpensive bare-metal clips. You add flair by supergluing mother-of-pearl flowers or flowery buttons.
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Gemstones for the Bridesmaids
Personalize your bridesmaids' gifts by giving each one their birthday gemstone. For an unexpected twist, skip the jewelry box and just tie a stone around each attendant's bouquet. The gold-green peridot echoes the colors in this bloom.
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For a great gift that is completely customized, ask your calligrapher to create something special -- a sentiment, an illustration, or simply each attendant's initial. Have the image converted into a digital file and print it onto iron-on transfer paper. Cut closely around the design, and iron onto a canvas bag (following the manufacturer's instructions).
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Keepsake Bridesmaid Requests
Honor friendships that bloom eternal by sending potential bridesmaids a handwritten note adorned with a miniature bouquet. The gesture is more personal than a phone call, and the cards make lovely keepsakes.
We attached millinery flowers from Tinsel Trading to a deckle-edge G.A. Lalo card by making holes on either side of the stem with a Japanese hole punch, then threading through and knotting a velvet ribbon.
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Bridesmaid Dress with Sash
Extravagant to the eye but costing just dollars, a tulle bow is an easy way to spruce up a bridesmaid dress. Cut three yards of the material in a coordinating color, tie it around the gown's waist, and create an oversize bow in back.
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Bridesmaids' Goodie Boxes
From bustling your gown to fetching relatives for photos, your bridesmaids' wedding-day work is never done. Miniature lunch boxes, packed in advance, provide a midday snack and a small token of gratitude. Choose the nibbles (make sure they don't stain!) favored by your attendants, and nestle them in boxes with napkins and drinks. We secured ours with bands of decorative paper and adhesive seals bearing each name.
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To turn wedding-day accessories into lovely keepsakes for your bridal party, why not add customized labels bearing your wedding date, monogram, or some other personal note?
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This old custom is charming indeed: At the bridesmaids' luncheon, each guest pulls one ribbon from the center of a Bundt cake to find a good-luck charm and message dangling from the other end.
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Silk-Flower Hair Bands
Silk flowers never wilt or fade, which makes them a fitting memento of your wedding. Share them with your bridesmaids by making these pretty hair bands.
Begin with a full-bodied silk flower, such as camellias, and attach a metal-free hair elastic with a twist of the flower's wire stem. Clip off any excess wire. Cover the wire by sewing a bit of 1-inch-wide ribbon, ends folded under, to the base of the blossom using a few stitches.
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Bridesmaids should be put in touch with each other early and then kept abreast of all the wedding plans as they develop. To keep them in the loop, send out a letter complete with all the fine points they will need to know.
Begin by listing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the bridesmaids (they will be thankful when it comes time to plan the shower). Also include a photograph of the bridesmaid dress, a swatch of the fabric, any information about fittings, and a photo or sketch of the bridesmaid shoes. Finally, a few fond words from the bride will make them feel special -- as all VIPs should!
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Stash items in a makeup bag to help you get through any little mishaps that might befall your bridal party.
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Dress for a Cause
Now there's a way your bridesmaids can make sure their dresses really are worn again. The nonprofit Illinois-based Glass Slipper Project collects formal dresses and accessories and distributes them to disadvantaged girls to wear to their proms. Similar programs can be found in many states; look online to learn more about how to donate your gently used wedding attire.
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Keep bridesmaids' dresses from blowing in the breeze at an outdoor wedding with these handy weights (available at sewing-supply stores). Simply slip the metal buttons inside the hem, and stitch into place.
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Your attendants have the best chance to record behind-the-scenes video of your wedding day, and luckily, there are plenty of reasonably priced and pocket-sized digital models on the market (this one, for $108, is from RCA). Buy one, and ask a bridesmaid or groomsman to use it throughout your event, then view those magic moments on the way to your honeymoon.
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Custom Calligraphy Stamps
Custom rubber stamps, each bearing a bridesmaid's name in elegant script, let you -- and your attendants -- make a good impression. Ask a calligrapher to pen the women's names, then have a specialty vendor or office-supply store turn them into rubber stamps (Stampworx 2000 made ours). Use the stamps to imprint names on pretty box tops; place stamps inside with ink pads nestled in tissue paper.
Calligraphy by Elizabeth White-Pultz.
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Give your bridesmaids tumblers etched with their names and a decorative motif, such as a ring of leaves. You can take them to a professional, or etch them yourself with etching solution sold at craft stores. To make the presentation even more special, buy a flat of pansies at your local nursery, and set one in each glass, to be transplanted after the wedding.
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Bridal Party Snack Box
Wedding days can be long, especially for the attendants who are with the bride every step of the way. Having some snacks close by will ensure that the bridal party has enough energy to make it to the last dance. Line flip-top kraft-paper boxes with natural parchment, and fill them with finger foods such as pretzels, crudites, small sandwiches, and dried fruits.
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Polish in Your Palette
Polish off your bridesmaids' wedding-day appearance with a one-of-a-kind nail tint that's custom-blended to match your palette. Use a fabric swatch of their dresses to guide you toward the perfect shade, or have your salon mix up a polish that's close to your favorite color. Hands down, it's the easiest way to get the very look you've been searching for.
Custom Blend Nail Enamel, Giella.