You said YES and now it is your time to pop the question and ask your best friends to join your bridal party. But how are you going to do it? Is there some kind of bridesmaid proposal etiquette? You want them to know how special they are and how much you would love for them to take on this important role and stand by your side at your wedding, but you also don’t want them to feel pressured to say yes if it is too much for them to commit to. The wedding day is a meaningful occasion that also involves a commitment financially and time-wise, so it's nice to show your love and appreciation as you pop the question. Don’t overthink it, this should be a fun and exciting part of your wedding planning. But there is athing or two you should know to save yourself headache and money before you start shopping for your bridesmaid proposal gifts!
HERE IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BRIDESMAID PROPOSALS & GIFTS:
WHAT EXACTLY IS A BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL?
During a bridesmaid proposal, the bride-to-be will present her bridesmaid with a sentimental gift and message asking her to take on the important role. It might be done in person or as a surprise delivered to her home or work.
WHEN SHOULD YOU PROPOSE TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS?
As soon as your wedding date is set, you should propose to your bridesmaids (or maid of honor). This gives them time to save the date and prepare for the big day. If you really like this trend you can also propose to your flower girl. This would be one hyped little person and is a wonderful way to include them in the wedding from the beginning.
WHERE SHOULD YOU PROPOSE TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS?
When it comes to bridesmaids' proposals, you can make them as intimate or elaborate as you wish. Your imagination, budget and logistics will determine how you execute this exciting moment. If you are having a small group of your best friends and perhaps family members in your bridal party, a brunch or dinner could be the perfect setting, or you might arrange a cocktail party at your home.
If your girl tribe is scattered around the country or even abroad, a video call can work well. Sending a proposal gift is one of the most popular options. Even though you won't be there to see her open the gift, you can be sure of a phone call from a very excited someone after she opens the gift box!
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND FOR BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL GIFT?
This depends on your budget and how many bridesmaids you will have. If you are budget conscious, start with writing down everything you wish your bridesmaids to wear/use on the day of your wedding (bridesmaid robes, pretty flutes or mugs, cute bridesmaid socks, etc) and simply gift them these practical and pretty gifts as part of your bridesmaid proposal. It will save you from having to buy it later on and spend more on bridal party gifts when your wedding day approaches and you realize that you didn’t buy the robes yet! Price for a bridesmaid proposal gift box filled with all bridesmaid essentials (robes, drinkware & self-care gifts) varies from $70 - $150 per box depending how luxurious you want the final result to be.
If you are not tight on the budget, you can gift them a thoughtful and celebratory package when you propose and then give them “practical gift” (robes, cups, earrings) on the day of your wedding.
The price of the gift is a factor, but the thoughtfulness behind the gift is priceless!
WHAT GIFT SHOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS?
Bridesmaids proposal boxes became a trend in the last few years. It is a lovely way to present gifts to your girls as you ask them to join your bridal party. You can find some thoughtfully curated gorgeous bridesmaid boxes here, have them made & mailed to your bridesmaids directly with a personal gift note from you. You can even leave a note for them to zoom call you before they open it!
Or if you are a bit of a DIY bride, you can craft the boxes yourself. It’s a little bit more time consuming & often turns out to be more expensive, since you have to buy (or make) a gift yourself & find pretty packaging to put it all together. But it is really fun to choose every single detail and gives you options to include some of your girl's favourite products (face masks, champagne bottles, photos of you together, etc.) You can match the styling and colors with your wedding theme if you are doing it all yourself!
When choosing gifts for your girls you want to think of 3 types of gifts:
- Something they can enjoy right awayto celebrate this special moment - such as luxury chocolate or Champagne candy treats, mini Champagne bottle or wine!
- Something they can enjoy during wedding planning parties - such as personalized drinkware, trendy sunglasses, t-shirts or scrunchies. You can also gift them candles or beauty products for some self-care time! Everyone deserves extra pampering and especially your bridesmaids who have been there for you through many ups and downs. Options are endless, the goal here is to give them something practical which will make them feel special.
- Something they can enjoy on the day of your wedding - if you wish to take getting ready wedding photos with your best friends, it is nice to give them a package filled with silky robe, champagne flute, pretty slippers, bridesmaid socks and even bridesmaid earrings! Everything you imagine them to wear and take detail photos of during “getting ready time” should be gifted to them from the bride. You can include these items in your bridesmaid proposal boxes or if your wedding budget is higher, you can gift it as a “wedding day gift” to your girls on the morning of your wedding.
- Lastly,something they can keep as a keepsake - think earrings, monogrammed necklaces, personalized jewelry boxes, or mini photo albums filled with your favourite memories if you are DIYing your bridesmaid gift boxes!
- Include the expectations- you can include a message & letter where you explain what you expect from your bridesmaids after they take on this role. It would include financial & time commitment they can expect as your bridesmaids. You can include the letter in the gift box or just include the gift note and send the letter in addition as an email if you don’t want to make it awkward during the gifting experience.
DO YOU NEED TO GIVE ANOTHER GIFT TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS ON THE DAY OF YOUR WEDDING?
This depends on your budget and what you decided to gift to your girls during bridesmaid proposals.
If you gave a more sentimental gift in your proposal boxes and didn’t include silky robes, wedding day drinkware and earrings - then it is nice to gift them to your girls on the morning of your wedding. You can include a heartfelt handwritten thank you card to express how much you appreciate your friendship and their presence.
If you already gave them all the pretty & practical gifts that you want them to wear during “getting ready time”, then you can just give them a small thank you bag, which may include a candle, luxury candy treats, mini champagne bottle, personalized jewelry box, etc. It is really up to you! It is not the size or price of a thank you gift that counts, it is the thought behind it and kind words that you express to your best friends in your thank you cards.
Bride to bride tip:
If you are gifting your girls bridesmaid robes, slippers or flutes, make sure to mention to your photographer and wedding planner that you would like to take getting ready & detailed photos on the morning of your wedding with your bridesmaids. It always takes more time than we think and you will have a lot more fun if you won’t be rushed, but instead will have time to sip back and really enjoy that glass of bubbly with your best friends as you are all getting your hair and make up done!
WHAT IF YOUR BRIDESMAID SAYS NO?
It's a bit like rain on the wedding day, even though there is the tiniest chance it will happen, we need to address the issue. What happens if you propose and she says no? No doubt this will catch you by surprise and you will feel disappointed. Let’s be honest, besides having a blast and a little bit too much cocktails during your wedding planning parties - there is a financial and time commitment for your girl friends when they agree on being your bridesmaids. But if you can gather all the grace and understanding your heart can possibly muster, it will make the experience easier. First, listen to the reason your friend or a family member has to decline the invitation. If she says, guess what, I'm pregnant, your sadness could instantly turn to joy. Or perhaps she has all the love in the world for you but doesn't feel she can commit the time you need and deserve. There are many reasons someone might have to say no. It would be kind to let her keep the gift if it's easy to get a replacement gift you might need to give to someone else. Go gently with the flow and end the whole proposal with a hug.
Hope this blog has answered your questions and inspired you to propose to your girls in the most creative and loving way. However you propose, I am sure they will be super excited and wowed by your expression of gratitude and appreciation for the close bond you share. When it’s time to cross those bridesmaid gifts off your list, make sure to check out our bridesmaid collection here.
Happy wedding planning!
Owner & creator of My Handmade Wedding Co.