They’re your trusted confidantes, your closest pals and your loving family—and they’re standing by your side as you say your vows. Here are a handful of ways to keep your bridesmaids happy—whether you have just one maid of honor or a bridal party by the dozen:
Best Dressed: Anyone who has ever been a bridesmaid already knows what the bride is going to say about the dress she chooses: "You can wear it again!" An easy way to keep that promise is to select a "non-bridesmaid" dress from a retailer that doesn’t specialize in bridal wear. Stores like J.Crew, Nordstrom and The Limited—and even budget-friendly online retailers like Newport News—offer a selection of bridesmaid dresses they actually can wear again.
Embellished Bouquets: "A really fun way to surprise your bridesmaids is to attach a necklace or special pendant to their bouquet, such as a letter rhinestone pendant with the first letter of the bridesmaid’s name, pinned to the bouquet’s ribbon," says Tara McClurkin of Moments in Bloom Florals. "A lot of brides give their bridesmaids jewelry for a gift, and this is a fun way to present it." www.momentsinbloom.com.
Relaxation Retreat: Pamper your party to pretty perfection at a Be beauty Bridal Soirée. Each customized event at the Little Italy beauty boutique includes a selection of à la carte services—popular pre-wedding choices include manicures, pedicures and facials—and the option of an elegant garden tea party. Learn more about Be Beauty.
Girl Getaway: Escape with your bridal party for your final girls’ getaway as a single gal. Exclusive travel site Jetsetter.com (from the fashion geniuses who brought us Gilt Groupe’s luxury discount site) helps score outstanding deals on fabulous getaways, from a Wyoming dude ranch to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort. www.jetsetter.com.
Bachelorettes, Bridesmaids and Beer: Temecula wine tours are plentiful, but if your bridal party is more pilsner than Pinot, you’re in luck. San Diego, recently named the top beer town by Men’s Journal, boasts a host of local breweries that open their doors for tours and tastings. Book a group tour with BrewHop and ride in style—think stretch Hummer or Escalade—as you sip suds from up to four San Diego breweries. www.brewhop.com.