10 Great Ways to Express Your Gratitude
The bridesmaids are a vital part of any wedding celebration. These are the most important ladies in your life, and they’ll offer so much practical help and emotional support in the lead up to your big day. Bridesmaids also help out with the logistical side of things, such as setting up your wedding venue and cleaning up afterwards - not to mention throwing your hen party!
We’ve put together a list of 10 excellent ways to express your gratitude for your hard-working bridesmaids. From writing personalised thank-you cards to whisking your girls away for a weekend, read on for suggestions to suit any bride’s budget.
1) Send Thank You Cards
Sending out thank you cards is an absolute must after a big occasion such as a wedding. It’s the responsibility of the bride and groom to send thank you cards or letters to everyone who attended the wedding, or was part of the wedding party - including the bridesmaids!
When writing your thank you cards, try to make each one personal to the recipient. Write them by hand, thank your bridesmaid for something specific she did to make your wedding amazing, and recount a special moment you shared on your big day.
2) Give Out Thoughtful Gifts
Any gift, either purchased or homemade, will be truly appreciated by your bridesmaids. Choose a perishable gift (chocolates, flowers, or a bottle of prosecco), a memento that they’ll be able to keep for years (e.g. ornaments or jewellery), or a practical present that will see everyday use - the choice is yours.
Bride and Groom Direct stock a wide range of gifts that would be perfect for saying “thank you” to your special ladies. For example, this beautiful love and cherish trinket box, or this silver and gold bridesmaid charm bracelet. For older bridesmaids, this pink hip flask and compact mirror set would fit the bill. Or, for a truly personal touch, these customisable champagne flutes can be engraved with your bridesmaids’ names.
3) Pay for Their Wedding Accommodation
A great way of showing appreciation for your bridesmaids is to pay for their hotel rooms - for the night before the wedding, the night after, or both. UK wedding etiquette states that brides don’t strictly have to pay for their wedding party’s accommodation, but it is a kind gesture that will be enormously appreciated.
This is particularly true if you’re having a destination wedding, or if any of your bridesmaids live more than an hour away from your wedding venue. Your ladies will appreciate not having to fork out for their room, especially if they’re already paying for travel.
4) Treat Everyone to Gift Cards
Some people see gift cards as ‘lazy’ gifts, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Gift cards offer the best of both worlds: you’re still treating your bridesmaids to a gift, while ensuring that you won’t buy them something they don’t like (or already own). Who doesn’t love the excitement of being able to pick out a present for themselves?
The best way to show your best girls that you care is to personalise their gifts cards to their specific interests. For example, if your maid of honour is a real bookworm, a gift card for Waterstones or WHSmith might be perfect. If one of your bridesmaids is big into makeup, a Superdrug or Boots gift card may be more appropriate. For a foodie bridesmaid, why not pick out a gift card to one of their favourite restaurants?
5) Have a Group Spa Day
Everyone enjoys a good pampering session, especially just before or just after a wedding (which, let’s face it, is probably going to be a fairly stressful experience). Find a local spa with a sauna, pool and hot tub, and book your girls in for a relaxing day away from the world.
Premium hotels (e.g. Hilton) usually have spa facilities that you can pay to use, even if you aren’t staying there. If you have the cash to spare, adding a facial, mud bath or massage to your package would be a fantastic treat!
6) Plan a Weekend Away
There’s nothing better than a weekend break for creating lasting memories and having an absolute blast with your best friends. Pay for transport and accommodation as a gesture of thanks, in lieu of giving your bridesmaids a physical gift - experiences are often more meaningful than material things!
Have a ‘staycation’ by the seaside, a city break to London to sightsee and socialise, or even a getaway to Paris for some wining and dining - the choice is up to you. You could even turn it into a road trip - just remember to split the driving duty fairly, so that nobody gets too tired!
7) Go Out to Eat
Treating your best girls to a posh meal out is the perfect way to show your gratitude. Whether it’s a bottomless brunch, a three-course dinner at a fancy restaurant, an all-you-can-eat buffet, or a quaint afternoon tea, your bridesmaids are bound to appreciate the gesture.
A meal out is a great way for you all to spend some quality time as friends, and thank them for their support and love at the same time. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! (Just be mindful of everyone’s allergies and dietary preferences when you’re choosing the location.)
8) Throw a Party
Why not host a private party, just for you and your bridesmaids, as a way of saying thank-you to your most important ladies? Whether it’s a casual party at home with board games, drinks and a home-cooked meal, or a night out on the town bar- and club-surfing, a party can be a great way for you all to have some fun and wave farewell to the wedding.
You can host the party anytime (and anywhere) you like, but if you throw it after the wedding has already taken place, it’ll be a great way for you all to let your hair down after a stressful year of planning.
9) Host a Photoshoot
Holding a private photoshoot for your bridesmaids is a fun experience that will provide lasting memories, in the form of photographs that you’ll all be able to keep forever. You can pay a photographer to come to your home, or go to a professional photography studio. It can be as casual or as formal as you like, and can take place either before or after the wedding.
When you get the prints back, why not pick your favourite photo of each of your bridesmaids and give them as gifts in a beautiful photo frame?
10) Treat Everyone to Mani-Pedis
Paying for each of your bridesmaids to get a posh mani-pedi (manicure and pedicure) is a great way to thank them for being part of your special day. You can all go to the salon together - it’s a great opportunity to bond as friends, as well as show your gratitude.
You can do this before or after the wedding; the choice is up to you. However, if you do it before the wedding, you’ll all be able to show off your nails on the big day! Be sure to book the appointment for no earlier than 2 days before the wedding, so that your mani-pedis are still in good shape.
When Do You Give Out Bridesmaid Gifts?
Many brides choose to give gifts to their bridesmaids, to thank them for all their hard work and support throughout the wedding (and planning process). Whether you’re handing out gift cards, surprising your ladies with personalised compact mirrors, or even hand-making their gifts, it’s important that you give them out at the right time.
If you’re having a wedding rehearsal dinner, or a pre-wedding celebration (such as a hen night), this is when we’d recommend handing out your bridesmaids’ gifts. It’s the perfect time, because it’s before the wedding - so if you’re giving out jewellery, for example, your bridesmaids will be able to wear it on the wedding day.
You can also hand out bridesmaids gifts during the wedding itself. The best time to do this is after the wedding breakfast, during the speeches and toasts. However, be aware that your other guests may get bored if this part of the day goes on for