Some of My Favorite Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

I get asked all of the time, “do you have any great bridesmaid gift ideas?”! I’m really a fan of gifts that combine useful and meaningful, so that is how I have categorized them! I’ve included links to some of my favorite products and specifically geared these gifts for ‘destination weddings’ because so many of you are having a destination wedding in the hill country!

So let’s start with the practical…

This tote is one of my absolute favorites for several reasons. You can find lots of cute matching totes for your gals, but this one is especially useful in the destination wedding scenario for a couple of reasons.
1. It’s closes completely! This is really great for actual traveling. It’s the perfect size for a plane carryon and has practical straps (hand or shoulder). It’s also the perfect size for all of your hair and makeup supplies a couple of extra pairs of shoes and wallet to double as their bridesmaid bag on the day of the wedding.
2. It’s stylish, and is it too old lady of me to call it “adult”? We all have a million Victoria’s secret totes that have sparkles and sequins and say “PINK”, but if you are old enough to drink, or mature enough to be married, it’s time to put those away.  Save those for beach trips where they will get trashed with sand, but it’s really time for something a little more sophisticated.
3. It’s quality. So I actually own this weekend tote and love it. I can attest to the fact that the zippers are heavy duty, it’s lined nicely and the straps are comfortable and secured really well. I actually use this as my bag for bringing my change of clothes to weddings and it’s perfect! The embroidery is also a really nice touch.
Tip: Use first names if many of your friends aren’t married yet.   

I also love this tote, because I’m a sucker for stripes, but I think it lends itself to a more spring/summer wedding.

 

Secondly, if you dream of having those matching getting ready photos, you’ll want to purchase those for your ladies as well. There are lots of options here, but try to think of the weddings that you and your gals have been in recently, and pick something different. For example, you and two of your gals were in a wedding last spring that did robes, so avoid robes. We all know what it’s like to get the same things wedding after wedding.

If you want to go the robe route, these are darling:

I love these hoodies for a fall or winter wedding, or Shirts/PJ’s are a good choice also:

Last, and possibly most importantly, would be the personal/meaningful gift. This is the gift that makes each of your girls remember why they were chosen. Hopefully not because your groom had 5 groomsmen and you had to match that number, but because they are genuinely one of your tribe. The people that have and will help you through life. When you are picking out this gift, don’t think that it has to be the same for each girl. Start by thinking, what would you get them for Christmas or a birthday? One of my brides (an English teacher) gave each of her girls a book where the lead character reminded her of them. Then she wrote an inscription in the front of why, and how they were the leading lady and what each of them meant to her.  How sweet!

(image credit: Lori Blythe Photography & Contigo Ranch)

Another option would be a journal (if you know they like to write) with an inscription and a photo of the two you in the front. Maybe for a musical friend, it’s a mix cd (yes, I know this is old school) of all of the songs you guys grew up screaming with the windows down, about your high school beaus. Maybe it could even be a personal experience! An individual friend date (not wedding task related) where you take them out to a concert, or dinner, or mani pedi’s and remind them how important they are to you.  Even a personalized letter for each of them could do the trick. Yes, this one takes time! Not just a quick order and go, but it’s the one they will remember the most!

Hope this helps spark some ideas for gifts for your gals!

 

La Tavola Linen’s Dreamy 2016 Collection!

In the past month I took a “work trip” up north a few hours to visit some amazing vendors in Dallas (I say this in parenthesis because I really just met cool people and played with fun linens). I had a great time doing a little private mentoring workshop with Lindsey Brunk (if you don’t know her name, you should, she is pretty much the bee’s knees of the planning and style world). I also got to visit the La Tavola fine linens show room and fell in loovveeee.wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0062

I often use linens as the inspiration piece for designs in weddings and in my home. When designing a wedding or a room in my house I almost always start with a table runner I’m in love with (or some other form of wedding linen) or a pillow that I paid way too much for. I’m a sucker for pillows especially. Some girls have shoes. Some girls have jewelry. I have pillows. And will never have enough. PS- La Tavola has pillows you can rent for your party. This shouldn’t be an “extra” but a necessary in my opinion… Okay maybe not for everyone. One day, I will do a blog post entirely on the purpose of a pillow at a wedding. Feel free to drool here at this stunning assortment.

wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0068

So they are the shiz in fine linens for weddings. They search the world for the latest patterns, colors and textures and manufacture them in the sunshine state of California. I would sleep in their soft linen Tuscany collection any day. Even their basic poly blend linen is woven to feel like pressed cotton. I can tell you folks, one big way to make your event Style Me Pretty worthy, pick out a decent linen. The best part? La Tavola’s basic linen starts at just $13.00 (plus shipping) WHAT. A. STEAL.

Here are some photos from their 2016 Linen Collection Release Party that happened in Napa (sorry I couldn’t make that one!). Thanks to Studio EMP for the pretty photos. Credit to Found Vintage Rentals for the furniture, Casa de Perrin for the tabletop decor, Paula Le Duc for the catering, and of course La Tavola for the showstopping linens.

Geometric fun! wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0066

Fall inspiration!

wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0065

And my personal favorite… these botanical prints! I have been dreaming of mid century modern wedding (or styled shoot) lately with lush tropical botanicals and a green color palette…

wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0064

A particular velvet table runner (from La Tavola) has actually been the inspiration piece for styled shoot/workshop I am styling this November (Cedar & Stone Workshop). Maybe I’ll post some sneak peeks soon!

Budget Tips for Planning A Hill Country Wedding

We all work on a budget when planning a wedding. Whether the budget is huge or small, if you spend a dollar on flowers that is one less dollar you can spend on cake. We all must be budget conscious. If you are looking to save some cash, here are a couple of really reasonable budget tips for planning a Hill Country wedding.

– Consider getting married on an off day (example Thursday, Friday or Sunday) or in an off season. Off-season will vary depending on location, but for a Texas Hill Country Wedding this is likely going to be December-February, or July-August. This can save you up to $1000 in some cases, and if you have a lot of family or friends flying in for the weekend anyway, this typically doesn’t extend their travel plans, just changes them. This can also save on lodging and flights, since you won’t be traveling at peak times.

-Cater buffet style. Plated style incurs more staffing, serving pieces, and china then buffet style. Buffet style is also a lot less work. There are no extra time or money costs of collecting menu selections from your guests and guests can choose their own portions. Station and Family style will likely fall between the buffet and plated menu prices as there is more setup required, usually a specialized menu, and sometimes extra serving pieces and staff.

-Stick to beer and wine, and maybe a signature drink. Open bar weddings are awesome, but rarely do the guests remember them, because they had one too many of their favorite cocktails. Feature unique beers and wines (maybe local or sentimental) or consider a signature drink that shows your style. This is plenty of alcohol for your guests to have a good time.

-Re-use flowers, as much as possible. If you are getting bouquets for all of your bridesmaids, plan to use them as floral centerpieces for the head table, gift or cake tables. After photos and the ceremony they are going to set them down on a table somewhere, where they aren’t in water and they aren’t being displayed. Make good use of them! This will save you the cost of arrangements for those tables. If you have aisle arrangements they can double as flowers for a fireplace mantle or staircase you want to decorate.

-Re-use, really as much as possible. For example, buy mason jars for guest favors, but have them use it through the evening as their glass! If you are using baby succulents for décor on the tables, have the guest take them at the end of the night as favors (provide care and travel instructions).

-Consider using high-end plastics instead of china. Clear plastic plates and silver plastic flatware are perfectly acceptable for casual weddings. If you are having a buffet the plates and flatware will likely be stacked at the end of the buffet tables. This obviously isn’t okay if you are serving quail, but if you’re menu is an eclectic Mexican buffet or a southern bbq, it fits perfectly. In this case put your favors on your place settings for each guest, request a 3D napkin fold, or print up menu cards, where the plate would be, to make the table look full and beautiful! This isn’t the most “green” option, so consider getting recycled bamboo plates like these and recycle them after the wedding!

-Get a wedding planner! Believe it or not, wedding planners can save you tons of money. Let a planner know up front what you are looking to save money on and they can usually make it happen. Often, planners have vendor discounts they can pass on to you and will know who the best and most affordable vendors to work with are. They also know tricks of the trade that you can’t find on Pinterest!

These are just a few of the most basic tips for saving a buck on your Hill Country wedding. I hope some of you can buy a couple more margaritas on that honeymoon to Cabo!