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As a frequent bridesmaid and Maid of Honor myself, I sympathize with you brides (especially the budget brides) in your quest to find creative, thoughtful and unique bridesmaid gifts. I am here to help with a special boss lady’s guide to the best unique bridesmaid gifts under $60. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in this list, try browsing my supplemental guide of bridesmaid gift ideas.
Let me preface this post by acknowledging that I am mostly in agreement with the sentiment that it’s the thought that counts.
With that in mind, if you are going to put time into thinking about gifts for your wedding party and, more importantly, you’re going to spend money on unique bridesmaid gifts at all, then you may as well try to choose something they’ll love to receive.
Let’s think like a boss lady bride, shall we…?
When selecting gifts for your bridal party, it’s important to consider the following factors:
Budget brides are well aware that when it comes to bridesmaids gifts, cost can understandably become a major consideration. In my opinion, a good rule of thumb is to spend a minimum of $50 per maid or half the cost of the dress that you picked out for them to wear.* So if you choose a $300 dress, be prepared to spend $150 on a gift for your maid. I get it, you want to show your gratitude in a unique and thoughtful way without peddling your most vital organs on the black market in order to pay for it. But if your wedding budget is a sticking point, then it’s your responsibility to minimize costs all around by keeping your bridal party smaller and not expecting your bridesmaids to spend unreasonable wads of cash on gowns, shoes, jewelry, hair/makeup, extravagant bachelorette party activities, bridal showers, etc. *Obviously this logic doesn’t apply if you paid for the bridesmaids’ dresses yourself, or if you had the misfortune of a recruiting a deadbeat bridesmaid.
Assuming your bridesmaids don’t suck, their thank you gifts are not the area to try to save money when the average cost of being a bridesmaid now tips the scales at $1,500+. I’m looking at you, my beautiful budget brides. A monogrammed canvas tote the likes of which one might find given away for free at a corporate tradeshow is not an appropriate or heartfelt way to thank someone for the significant time, money, and energy that they will outlay to honor and support you leading up to and during your big day.
You’re bound to have different personality types in your group but you needn’t feel compelled to customize each bridesmaid gift if it’s going to cause you unnecessary anxiety. Even if your goal is to find unique bridesmaid gifts, it’s sometimes safer NOT to get vastly different gifts for each bridesmaid to avoid any unintentional bouts of jealousy or comparison between gifts, although it is common to get a little something extra lavish or entirely different for your Maid or Matron of Honor.
Whether you go matchy-matchy or fully customized, minimize gift-choosing anxiety by focusing on something that is timeless and/or functional so that they are likely to actually use it. It’s a bonus if it happens to broadly reflect the theme / season of your wedding or pulls from your color palette, but that shouldn’t be the goal. You can always package it or wrap it in matching paper, so just aim for buying a gift that will be useful beyond your wedding day.
While my proposed list of unique bridesmaid gifts includes some breakable/liquid/bulkier items, you need to pick something suitable for your specific situation. This can be a big deal if you’re having an exotic destination wedding or if many members of your wedding party are traveling by plane to be with you. If that’s the case, exercise good judgment and don’t gift them something that is super heavy or bulky, difficult to pack, or poses a broken glass hazard.
If you search the term “unique bridesmaids gifts” on Pinterest, you are visually assaulted with an endless array of the same old tired totes and chintzy cups! As a rule of thumb I like to ensure that when I give a gift to someone and it turns out not to be to their tastes, it can either 1. be sold on ebay; 2. get re-gifted to a more appropriate person; or 3. become the hot ticket item at the company White Elephant gift exchange. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am not a big fan of personalized gifts and my recommendation is usually to avoid them. Specifically, traditional monograms are a really dated practice and my feeling is that they have become so overused that they no longer hold the same charm.
Always weigh the long-term utility of the gift — a wine glass etched with “Tim & Lucy Forever” or your bridesmaid’s name or even the actual word “bridesmaid” is so specific that it won’t play well once your wedding has come and gone. I like it for the bachelorette party of the day of the event, but realistically it won’t match your bridesmaids’ existing or future set of wine glasses, so it’s probably going to find a home at the back of the cabinet collecting dust for a few years, and then it will end up at a yard sale or the Goodwill.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but with the divorce rate what it is, I don’t even want to imagine the volume of personalized drinkware that must end up in landfills commemorating broken marriages. But don’t worry, I’m sure you and your man will withstand the test of time, what with you being so well equipped with boss lady tips and tricks to keep you ahead of the curve!
See below for fully itemized links and details on these gift ideas:
1. Fujifilm Instax MINI 7s White Instant Film Camera. This is a sleek and compact instant film camera that snaps and prints photos the size of a credit card. It has that fun, vintage Polaroid vibe but with an updated camera body and slightly better photo quality as well. It’s a total classic and you can even find newer (and slightly more expensive) models in pastel pink, buttercup yellow, robin’s egg blue, and even classic black. Oh, and don’t forget to buy some FUJIFILM Instax Mini Film!
2. Natural Leopard Burlap Classics by Toms. A classic and fashionable shoe brand that wears comfortably and could easily be exchanged for another size or color. Comes in plenty of fabric and colors to customize based on your bridesmaids’ personalities.
3. Wire Script Wall Sculpture by Paul Smotrys. Looking to make an impact in her home? A wire sculpture that conveys adorable phrases like Bonjour, Merci, Bon Appetit, Au Revoir, Good Night and Ciao could be just the solution.
4. Stackable Gold and Turquoise Bangle Bracelet. With its dainty wire bangle, this custom-made gift conveys an organic and sophisticated style that will appeal to both earthy and fashionista bridesmaids alike.
5. White Rabbit Ring Holder. What a simple and pretty way to keep her rings organized! These jewelry dishes come in a variety of flora and fauna-themed designs including a fox and even a dinosaur. Or perhaps your worldly bridesmaid would appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor of displaying her jewels on the porcelain heads of Marie Antoinette or Louis XVI, each of whom met a decadent demise at the edge of a revolutionary guillotine. Whatever her Spirit Animal happens to be, you can probably memorialize it with one of these porcelain trinket organizers.
6. Leather Tassel Keychain from Russell+Hazel. Understated elegance made of quality leather and a selection of 6 colors to choose from.
7. Tribal Feather Ear Cuff. Ear cuffs of all kinds are a trending item with the popularity of boho chic, tribal and festival attire. This is a fabulous eclectic accessory for the right person and you can find them all over Etsy with varying designs, materials and price points.
8. Rose Gold and Druzy Quartz Earrings. This bling is edgier than pearls but less expensive than diamonds. I’ve seen earrings like these retail for a pretty penny in upscale boutiques, but you can pick up a more budget friendly set from various Etsy jewelers. This particular pair comes with pink Quartz medallions bezel set in either 24K gold or rose gold vermeil. You can also find Druzy (or Drusy) quartz in other great colors like blue, black, yellow, green and silver.
9. “Best Friend Ever” Bridesmaid Idiom Bangle Bracelet by Kate Spade. This may not be the most unique bridesmaid gift on the list, but I included it because it’s a classic choice. Perhaps better suited for your Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor, this simple bracelet will go with everything, layers beautifully, and is engraved with idioms like Perfect Pair, Two of a Kind, Partners in Crime, and so forth. It comes in yellow, rose, and silver tones and the Kate Spade gift box is just as elegant as the bracelet itself.
10. Ivory and Rose Gold Foldover Sequin Clutch. Sequined clutches are both rich looking and on trend. You can find them in solid sequin materials or a combination. The one here features peachy vegan leather on one side and rosy gold sequins on the other.
11. Inspirational Phrases Rolling Ink Stamper by Kate Spade. Be an Elegant Thinker. Live Colorfully. Call the Shots. Escape the Ordinary. Your bridesmaid can express those phrases and more with this retro rolling stamp set from Kate Spade. It features 12 phrases total for jazzing up stationery of all kinds and would make a chic addition to her desktop.
12. Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired Eye Mask by Mary Green. Oh my gosh, this is one of my all-time favorites for a truly unique bridesmaid gift and I can’t even look at it without hearing Audrey Hepburn crooning her melancholy version of Moon River. She was so gorgeously fetching in her turquoise sleep mask and tasseled ear plugs that I almost can’t stand it. Now your bridesmaid can channel her inner Holly Go-Lightly with this lovely interpretation of the original and similar versions also surface on Etsy occasionally.
13. Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles by Charbonnel et Walker. A gorgeous and world renown confection that is almost too pretty to eat. Each pink bite features a luxurious Marc de Champagne center enveloped in milk chocolate and a pixie dusting of icing sugar for texture.
14. Metallic Zebra Dish by Jonathan Adler. Just in case the cheetah print Toms aren’t enough, you can add a touch of sassy safari to your display of gratitude with this zebra-inspired porcelain dish. It comes in silver and gold and is a great accent for her living room or boudoir, whether she wants to display candies, keys, or earrings.
15. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. Vietnamese ginger, Provencal honey, Tahitian vanilla and Tunisian ginseng are the primary ingredients in this award-winning French liqueur enhanced with VSOP and XO cognacs. This could add a fun dimension to a tradition Moscow Mule (see #17 for a great pairing opportunity) or just enjoy it on the rocks.
16. Moet and Chandon Ice Imperial. The price is right and the bottle is lovely, especially if your wedding is a black tie affair or your bridesmaid is a bonafied Billy Joel Uptown Girl type. This is one of the only champagne wines that you should actually serve over ice. It contains pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes combined such that they evoke the “broad, fleshy, voluptuous flavour of a fresh fruit salad.” It’s great garnished with mint, strawberries, raspberries, or even some fresh cardamom.
17. Old Dutch Copper Moscow Mule Mugs. A perfect alternative to monogrammed wine glasses, this pair of classic Moscow Mule mugs is both hip and pretty with origins dating back to 1940s Hollywood. They will elevate her bar cart and remind her of you every time she takes a sip. You can get a pair of the 16 oz. mugs (I prefer the hammered or smooth versions personally) with money to spare for some airplane-sized Smirnoff and a bottle of ginger beer to complete the historically accurate package!
18. Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand. A lush and vibrant book that will look great on her shelf as well as inspire her creativity. Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell share step-by-step instructions for creating DIY flower projects whose loveliness requires no watering or pruning and can endure indefinitely. While this book does qualify as a unique bridesmaid gift, I love that it could in turn produce many future gifts crafted by the hands of your bridesmaid. It’s multiplicative gifting!
19. Mini DIY Magnetic Terrariums from DarbySmart. I am obsessed with this website which offers you a database of DIY projects based on the latest fashion and home trends. You choose a project and they expertly package all of the required materials and detailed instructions, which they then ship directly to your front door in a pretty blue box.
A crafty bride can choose from any number of DIY projects and follow the directions herself to make unique bridesmaid gifts for her wedding party to enjoy, or just wrap and gift the unassembled components so that her bridesmaid can enjoy the DIY process for herself.
20. Sunshine Citrus Lemon Tree by Seeds of Life. For the environmentally-conscious or green-bethumbed bride or bridesmaid, look no further. These trees range in size but many fall under the 12-24″ height category. If citrus isn’t her preference, they also have species of Southern Magnolia, Japanese Red Maple, Rosemary Topiary, and even Olive trees that won’t break the bank. This is both a unique bridesmaid gift as well as a sweet and enduring gesture that she can enjoy for years and years.
21. Supersoft Short Pajama Set by Victoria’s Secret. A menswear-inspired take on the classic button-up pajama. These are super soft modal and also come in silk and a ton of other patterns. I love this as an alternative to buying coordinating kimono robes for your bridesmaids, which has been done over and over again.
22. Something Blue-Scented Candle by Oscar de la Renta. Confession: this gift idea actually retails for $65 but I just couldn’t resist since it’s such a clever tie-in to the age-old Something Borrowed, Something Blue wedding rhyme. I’m keeping it here because if you employ my discounted gift card trick you should be able to get a big enough discount that you’ll lower the price below the $60 threshold with no problem!
23. Modern Geometric Knuckle Rings. Handmade in Estonia. I love the simple, geometric shapes in colors and materials inspired by semi-precious stones. I suppose you don’t have to buy these from Estonia, but hopefully they do inspire you!