Thereâ€™s no sweeter way to ask friends to be attendants than tucking notes inside ceramic macaron cookies from Site NYC. Arrange several on a plate, offering one to each pal, or hide them among their edible counterparts for a true surprise. Make it personal by calligraphing recipientsâ€™ names on strips of paper. Later, the gold-clasped compacts, which come in six shades, can store tiny treasures like earrings or special coins.
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.
Share your favorite family recipes with your closest pals. Annotate with recollections to add personal flavor. Scan and size recipes and photos with photo-editing software, and print onto card stock. Cut to size, and place in tins. Wrap tins with a wide band of paper printed with a colorful pattern (scanned vintage kitchen linens work well).
A homey take on the traditional locket: Bottle caps inset with small black-and-white pictures can be used as thumbtacks or magnets. Put favorite pictures of you and your bridesmaids in the caps and give them each a pretty box filled with tacks or magnets full of memories.
A video of your bridesmaids dancing at your bachelorette party or laughing at your bridal shower can be transformed into a keep-at-hand photo flip book for repeated enjoyment. Websites such as flipclips.com will turn a 10- to 30-second digital video clip into a palm-size tome with pages that re-create the big event when leafed through quickly. Choose from a range of sizes and custom-cover options.
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? Start by creating a template at a specialty manufacturer (we tapped Name Maker) with the fonts, colors, and sizes of your choice. Hand-stitch the labels to the backs or insides of purses or other fabric items you plan to give your bridesmaids.
Start with bars of white soap with flat sides and then create a custom graphic you can make into a decal. Here, we used a Japanese motif to spice up the soap, but you could use a digital image of your choice that you design on your computer and then print on special decal paper.
Transform plain bookcloth- or linen-covered albums into one-of-a-kind keepsakes using iron-on transfer paper available from office-supply stores. Choose a favorite snapshot from your wedding (light, neutral-color fabrics work best with photos), or design a simple label yourself on the computer.
Although bridesmaids are likely to be more relaxed than the bride and groom, they still have their own share of anxiety and excitement. Soothe them with a set of luxurious toiletries more likely to be found at a spa than a wedding. Here, a simple box lined with a cloth contains small indulgences such as scented bar soaps, bath salts, bath gel, lotion, candles, and tea bags.
Give your bridesmaids a fashionable floral accessory that will look fresh long after the wedding day: wrist corsages made with silk-ribbon flowers. They can even be tied around a ponytail or worn as brooches. These corsages are easy to make: Tie elastic ribbon around your wrist in a big bow, then pin the bloom to the knot.
Cashmere pajama shorts. Perfume in a bejeweled bottle. Butter-soft leather driving gloves. Nothing here is a necessity, but to your friend who has everything, they are all necessary indulgences.
1. Candle in figuier vert, Diptyque, $68, bergdorfgoodman.com
2. Estee Lauder private collection tuberose gardenia parfum, $300, esteelauder.com
3. Tap shorts, White + Warren, $100, whiteandwarren.com
4. Monogrammed notebook, Graphic Image, $53.75, graphicimage.com
5. "Twist" tumblers, LBK Studio, $40 each, lbkstudio.com
6. Lacquer boxes, Pacific Connections, $59 and $77, lilleashop.com
7. Faux shagreen pencils, Dransfield & Ross, $26, unica home.com
8. "Princess" necklace, Suzanne Kalan, $520, Sundance Catalog, 800-422-2770
9. Topaz pendant, Suzanne Kalan, $380, Fragments, 212-537-5000
10. Driving gloves, Carolina Amato, $149, eLUXURY.com
For the bridesmaid who takes time to smell the roses (and gardenias and freesias), thank her with a unique artisanal find, such as a handmade porcelain vase, a striking photograph of peonies, or old-fashioned (but cheeky) engraved calling cards.
1. Print, Kari Herer, $25, kariherer.com
2. Engraved gold baby disc, Ginette NY, $490, 212-627-3763
3. Pink star tourmaline ring, Jamie Joseph, $1,331, shoppersimmon.com
4. "Cable knit" vase, Alyssa Ettinger, $120, alyssaettinger.com
5. "Gold suitcase" card, Dempsey and Carroll, $55 for 10 with envelopes, dempseyandcarroll.com
6. "Bicycle" card, $34 for 10; "Flying pig" card, $26 for 16; Foxglove Writing from Thornwillow Press, thornwillow.com
7. Scented soaps, Caswell-Massey, $35 for box of 3 in various colors, caswellmassey.com
If she's a foodie, she'll savor these delightful items we've cooked up for her, from gourmet sea salts to a coffee-of-the-month subscription to steak knives that look like works of art.
1. Pierre Dubost steak knives, Laguiole, $250 for 6, touchofeurope.net
2. Truffle salt, $28; set of finishing salts, $39.50; williams-sonoma.com
3. "Golden berry" champagne glasses, Roost, $16 each, janandaya.com
4. Rose champagne, Veuve Clicquot, $76, wine.com
5. Ice bucket and tools, $30; cocktail napkin, $3; Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's, macys.com
6. Stone spice bowls, SURevolution, $25 for similar, vivre.com
7. "Milano" 14-ounce milk frother, Frabosk, $30, chefini.com
8. "Ellipse" silverplate serving spoons, Calvin Klein Home, $40, 212-292-9000. Engraving, Jenny's Engraving, 212-221-2611
9. Coffee of the month, $60 for 3 months, igourmet.com
See what sweet tokens these real couples chose as gifts for their guests.Get the Ideas