She has been planning for months or perhaps years for her big day. Showers, parties, appointments, it can be overwhelming and exhausting. but mostly memorable.
I love ideas that take these memories and make them part of the present. I see the beautiful photos of bride and groom hanging in the home, or the dress beautifully preserved and boxed, perhaps to be handed down one day. Then there is the silver dish from your grandmother lovingly displayed in your china cabinet, and the personalized quilt from a dear friend draped over the chair in the bedroom.
With those visions dancing in my head, here are a few of my favorite bridal keepsake ideas for the bride-to-be.
Bridal Keepsake Ideas
Their Little Girl
When I got married my parents gave me something I had always loved as a little girl, a doll house. I never had my own, but was smitten with the one in my Grandma’s basement. It was a bittersweet gift in a way. On one hand it was a celebration of the little girl still inside me, and on the other it was a farewell to being their little girl. I couldn’t help but cry.
Is there something that defined who she was as a little girl you could give her? Perhaps a new pair of roller skates, a doll she coveted, a quilt stitched with fabrics from favorite outfits, a framed jersey or dance outfit or childhood books she read and cherished?
If you are reading this as a new parent, perhaps you want to start something now! No it isn’t silly, it will be awesome in twenty-something years. I love the story I read recently about the father who had all his daughter’s teachers over the years sign inside the same book to her, Dr. Suess’, “Oh the places we will go!”.
This would also be a time to give something “old”. I have my earrings from my wedding day tucked away for my daughter, and my purse hidden in the closet for her as well. I have a few more years(!) to think about what I would do, but if she wasn’t interested in wearing them, they would be beautiful made into a pin or added to a bouquet or hair clip. For Dads, if they have cufflinks or a tie tack, they could also be added to the wedding day by pinning to a garter or ring bearer pillow.
Of course, a wedding is also the perfect time to pass on precious personal or family heirlooms such as wedding rings, art or personal effects.
Kiss the Bride
Bridesmaids, your closet friends and family will be with you all the way. ..from showers, to bachelorette parties, tastings, fittings, rehearsals and of course the big day. Kiss the bride is a fun way to capture the love. These adorable frames were my way of giving brides an easy-to-do keepsake for their closest girls. Add kisses , signatures or messages and photos to make a frame you’ll always love.
I have always loved signatures. A signature is like a fingerprint, a unique identifier that embodies a person.
Recently I went on a girls trip with my college roommates. Each girl (I say girl very affectionately) mailed me deposit money on our Miami digs and I knew instantly who each letter was from by reading only the address line. Their handwriting was like seeing a treasured photograph. It told me who they were, even after all the years! I loved it and I saved them! Ok, enough on that but the idea is have your bridal party sign anything! I have seen photo frames, bottom of the brides shoes, chairs or other furniture, clothing or books. Selecting something meaningful for loved ones to sign will always speak volumes and evoke great memories.
Take the wedding vows and make them present in married life. The road will not always be easy and a refresher will be required, so displaying them in the home is a lovely idea. They can be framed handwritten vows or perhaps they can be professionally printed on canvas or on pillows for the bedroom or living room. They can be added to a wedding album or a favorite line can be made into a wall decal and displayed in the home.
If you don’t like advice from your parents, friends or relatives- skip to the end:) However, if you have been blessed to know couples who have had a long marriage, then I think it is worth an ear. A cute little advice book at the wedding to be filled out, or paper and pencil in the center of the table for guests to pen their advice would be fun. (possibly censored later!) If you are the creator of the gift, how about interviewing those married couples and putting their advice and experience in a book, journal or frame for the bride. If you are doing a video, those clips or words of wisdom might make for great material as well.
What are your favorite bridal keepsake ideas? What is your most treasured wedding keepsake? What have you given that was that “perfect” gift.