Semi-Bridesmaids’ Gifts

I am not having bridesmaids at our Japanese or American weddings. In Japan, there is no such things as bridesmaids, and I don’t have anyone that I am that close to in Florida. I do, however, have five women who are helping me a lot with the Japanese wedding, and I wanted to get them a few “semi-bridesmaid” gifts.

I just want to say that I am horrible at gift giving. If I could just give everyone money I would be very happy, but that is considered rude so I had to really put my thinking cap on for this.


I don’t know about you, but I would be happy with any of these gifts.

Top left: Money umbrella / Image via; Top right: Money tree / Image via; Bottom left: Balloons filled with money / Image via

Unfortunately, my thinking cap did not work, so I called my sister and she helped me out. My sister is an amazing gift giver and party planner, so I knew she would be helpful.

First, we looked for something fun to put the gifts into. I had a 50%-off coupon for Vistaprint, and we decided to buy all of my semi-bridesmaids personalized tote bags with their names on them. Grocery stores in my region of Japan no longer give out free plastic bags, so I am hoping they will be able to use them as eco-friendly shopping bags. I went through the designs Vistaprint offered, found a design that matched their personalities, and added their names.


My bags for my girls. Pardon the white boxes—had to cover up some personal info.

After that my sister suggested we get them something to wear, so we went to and got very cute pairs of PJ pants for all of them. My sister then suggested that I buy two more small things for each of of the girls and left me on my own.

I am now in gift-giving limbo. I want to get the ladies something that they can actually use and that is under $20, but that turns out to be pretty difficult. Right now I am currently debating makeup pouches, Godiva chocolates, and L’occitane bath soap. I have also been all over Pinterest and Etsy looking for good bridesmaids’ gifts.


I wish my girls liked to cook! / Image via / Photography by Andrews McMeel


A beautiful tea wreath for tea lovers / Image via

I thought personalized beach towels would be nice, but they’re not really beach-goers.


Image via Etsy shop: Occasions Embroidery

Once I do settle on gifts for them, I will mail them to them all on the day of wedding so they won’t have to carry the presents around all night. It is another additional cost, but I think they will be grateful for the convenience, and who doesn’t like getting things in the mail?!

Where did you find your bridesmaids’ gift inspiration? Do you have any gift ideas for me?


Mrs. Gondola

Wedding Date:
December 1969
Going Postal, or Why I Should Care So Much About a Damn Stamp
A Picture's Worth a Thousand words, and a Photographer Costs Way More
Add a comment


  1. Member
    jasonkatie2014 757 posts, Busy bee @ 5:16 am

    Are they wine drinkers? I’m getting my bridesmaids personalized wine glasses that flow with their personalities. Like, my MOH is a Harry Potter fanatic so I’m getting her a wine glass that says “Accio Wine”. Another BM is a teacher, so I’m getting her one decorated with teacher “things” (haha like the typical apples, rulers, chalk, etc.) and it says “Drinks Well With Others” on it.

    If they’re not wine drinkers, are they coffee drinkers? Water? You could do travel mugs or water bottles depending on who they are – and fill it with cute stuff!

    I’m also getting them pretty silver initial necklaces (like the Tiffany ones… but without the price tag.)

    Both of these ideas are from Etsy!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    js, Guest @ 5:40 am

    You could monogram tank tops to go with the pj pants. Similarly, robes or slippers would also work. Monogram toiletry bags are a great idea. Jewelry is always good, costume or otherwise. Books you like, they like or that ate featured in your wedding in readings, etc. are a great idea. DVD’s of an entire TV series or movie you enjoy together. Wine glasses- there are so many tutorials out there on how to customize them? Are you having a tea ceremony? If so, perhaps tea pits, diffusers, etc., are the way to go. Personally, I like the make up bag and chocolates.

  3. Member
    thatredheadedbride 791 posts, Busy bee @ 5:44 am

    For my bridesmaids, I started out with a common item (custom-made make up bags with different fabrics). Inside each bag, I put in smaller items I thought the bridesmaid would like. For example, one of my bridesmaids is into pinup style stuff and reading. She will get a makeup bag with retro-style fabric, red nail polish, a Barnes and Noble gift card, and a nice pair of earrings.

    Maybe you can include some smaller items that you think your bridesmaids would enjoy, like a small pair of earrings, some cute socks, or a movie.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    js, Guest @ 5:46 am

    Also, you should check out, for all the stuff this lady got for free for her wedding! I used some of her tips and was able to get free tshirts, pens, banners, address labels, hats, tote bag, cards I used as welcome cards in OOT bags, magnets for our STD’s, etc.

  5. Member
    ms_purple 2675 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:58 am

    Love the tote bag idea! I have some coupons and groupons for vista print! I think I am going to have to do this for my bridesmaids!! So cute.

  6. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 7:19 am

    The tote bags are great! And I wouldn’t be too intimidated by the Pinterest ideas. I made that tea wreath for my FSIL last Christmas and it was pretty easy to assemble. And she loved it!

  7. Member
    Red Poppy 31 posts, Newbee @ 7:34 am

    Pinterest is a great resource! I like your idea of makeup bags though… maybe monogrammed? Girls can always use an extra pouch to store stuff in. Simple jewelry could be appreciated too. Chocolates and soap are great gifts, but don’t have staying power.

  8. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:16 am

    I really like the idea of a monogrammed tank top (or just plain tank top) to go with the cute pj pants!

  9. Member
    BigJohno 36 posts, Newbee @ 9:35 pm

    Love the tote bag idea!

  10. gondola Bee
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:41 pm

    @jasonkatie2014: I love the accio wine idea! The water bottle idea may work. Thank you!
    @js: I’m going to steal your monogrammed tee idea! Thank you!@thatredheadedbride: Yes! I like the idea of a gift bag with small items. One likes nail polish so maybe I’ll do one with nail polish, files, etc. Thank you!
    @js: Her site is pretty cool. Thanks!

add a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors