As John Leonard once said, “it takes a long time to grow an old friend.” Assuming your maid of honour and/or bridesmaids are your most cherished friends, they will more than likely be trying to move heaven and earth to make sure your wedding day is as special as you are. And, while this time is all about you and your prospective other half, you will no doubt want to find a special way to thank these dedicated ladies for the support and enjoyment they will provide during the planning phase, as well as on the day of your wedding. Julia O’Hara from jewellery and accessory e-boutique Disgraceful Grace shares her ideas on personal gifts that last a lifetime and don’t break the bank!
Your wedding is one of those times in life when you can take ‘time-out’ and make a concerted effort to show your appreciation of friendship by giving your girlfriends a meaningful bridesmaid’s gift. This being the case, many brides opt for jewellery as a lasting gift that can be worn as a reminder of the special memories this time will bring – a sentimental show of affection to those who bring happiness into your life. But how do you make it personal and original without commissioning a bespoke design that will break the bank?
The Gift of Good Fortune
One idea is to choose designs incorporating the zodiac gem or birthstone of your bridesmaid buddy. While it may not be particularly unique as an idea, it is one way to personalise the gift, and wearing your birthstone is considered to provide good fortune so that’s not to be sniffed at! A note of caution here though… beware the bridesmaid born in April as her birthstone is the diamond and while they are indeed a ‘girl’s best friend’, this could be disaster for your budget!
If the idea of giving the gift of good fortune appeals to you, here is a list of birthstones provided by the National Association of Goldsmiths:
Speak the Language of Gemstones
Taking this idea a step further, why not take a tip from those sentimental Victorians, and speak the language of gemstones, particularly if you have injected vintage touches elsewhere into the wedding. You will enhance the beauty of the stones with the meaning behind them to create a touching gift.
In Victorian times, coloured gemstones, like flowers, were used to convey messages of friendship, love and support and could sometimes get quite complex by spelling out words with the first letter of each gemstone e.g. REGARD, with a Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby and Diamond.
The Ultimate Friendship Bracelet
If you feel a bit bamboozled by all the options available and would like a firm recommendation, my personal favourite is a modern turquoise bracelet – an affordable gemstone with a vintage heritage, appropriate meaning and a fashionable future. Turquoise was popular in bridesmaids’ jewellery in the Victorian era – a trend kicked off by the popular Queen Victoria in 1840 when she married her beloved Albert of Sax-Coburg. The devoted Victoria presented her bridesmaids with a turquoise set brooch with an underlying message of ‘do not forget me’; its turquoise colour said to represent the blue of the forget-me-not flower. Turquoise may have been a Victorian favourite, but its vibrant colour is one of the most popular contemporary trend colours right now. It’s also the symbol of friendship and joie de vivre, so this is the ultimate in friendship bracelets – what better way to say ‘thank you’ than with the joy of life!
Guest blogger Julia O’Hara is founder and proprietor of online jewellery and accessories e-boutique Disgraceful Grace bringing time-starved devotees of contemporary and vintage style jewellery, a sensational alternative to the high street on their terms.“Our little e-boutique is a siren song for brides with a passion for accessories and an elegant spirit” says Julia. “Our intention is to offer jewellery, veils, gloves and other accessories that keep an eye on current trends with an enduring appeal that will make them last beyond the current fashion season.”
Get even more inspiration on our Fashion pages and find gorgeous Bridesmaid Gifts in the Confetti shop.