Ask Emmaline: “What to Put in Bridesmaid Bags?”
(+ Giveaway #15)

Holy smokes, you guys: you’ve been blowing up our Ask Emmaline inbox! Your wedding questions are awesome, our readers are the best on the planet, and we can’t wait to answer them all. Bride-to-be, Nicky, asks us, “I just bought cosmetic pouches for my bridesmaids, but I have no idea what to put in them. Do you give them as-is or are you supposed to put other gifts inside? Help!” Fantastic question, and an easy one at that! For starters, no, you don’t have to fill bridesmaid bags with any extra gifts, unless you want to (and your budget allows). If you do decide to add gifts, we’ve rounded up ten fun ideas for what to put in bridesmaid bags below. PLUS, we’ve teamed up with Almquist Design Studio to give away a set of bridesmaid bags to one lucky reader. Now you’ll have ideas for what to put in bridesmaid bags (and a set of cute handmade bags to give!) Enjoy!

Ask Emmaline:

What to Put in Bridesmaid Bags

1. Pretty Nail Polishes

Yesterday’s post about the best monthly boxes was so well-received that I have over two dozen emails about Julep alone! Seems you all love it just as much as I! Therefore, I know for a fact that your bridesmaids would love pretty nail color in pre-packed set or delivered every month straight to her doorstep. There are also some fantastic tried-and-true products from their website (like the Julep Plié Wand™ that I’ve been dying to try). They have such pretty combos, this this one:

Julep Maven Subscription - first box free

2. Favorite Makeup Products

What are your favorite makeup products? A bridesmaid bag is a great place to stow a few of your faves to give as gifts to your girls. For instance, I took to Twitter recently to find out about a new foundation (I needed something with more coverage than a sheer tinted moisturizer, you feel me?) and realized how fun it is to try NEW products, specifically when people recommend their favorites. So, think about your favorite mascara, lip balm or lipstick, blush, and eye shadow. Pick specific ones for each bridesmaid and put ‘em in a cute bridesmaid bag. They don’t have to be expensive, either: I love me some drugstore cosmetics, like this new mascara I recently bought after seeing the commercial on TV and settled on this foundation because it was on clearance at Target. LOVE THEM BOTH. Will buy again.

3. A Compact Mirror

A compact mirror is one perfect gift idea she’ll use again and again. Personalize it for an even more memorable gift. These custom compact mirrors by Spotlight Mirrors are cute!

personalized compact mirror

spotlight mirrors

4. An Emergency Kit

Include some wedding-day essentials she won’t want to go without, such as clear nail polish (for hosiery runs), eye makeup remover wipes (to get rid of mascara runs), aspirin, a small can of hairspray, mints or chewing gum… you get the idea. Or, get one that’s already been pre-made.

emergency kit wedding
with you in mind

5. A Gift Card

Who doesn’t love a gift card, the gift of being able to splurge on any thing your little heart desires? Some of my faves: Target (obviously, since it has EVERYTHING), Amazon (again, everything), Groupon, salon, movie theater, or a spa package experiences so she can relax pre or post-wedding. A gift card to her favorite clothing store is always a perfect gift, too.

6. A Piece of Jewelry

This one is a popular option, for good reason: there are so many beautiful jewelry pieces out there! Be sure to check this out for handmade finds. Pick a piece that is personalized with her name, birthstone, or something that’s entirely her style.

Peridot for fellow August birthdays!

peridot earrings

blue room gems

Pick something like a classic pearl bracelet with a splash of color…

bridesmaid gemstone bracelet

laura stark

… or a piece with a charm that’s totally her. This is so much my style.

personalized wing necklace

white truffle studio – use code EMMALINE for 10% off!

7. Foldable Flats

Foldable flats are a gift she’ll use again and again. Also, they’re extremely well-received: your bridesmaids feet are likely going to hurt at some point in the evening and these will keep ‘em dancing! I would tell everyone to go ahead and get comfortable flats, but then again, I know Tieks are SUPER expensive especially when you have to multiply by the number of bridesmaids + add in the cost of the bags themselves. So, I also recommend these: they’re just as functional and a HUGE fraction of the price. Plenty of colors to choose from, too.

8. A Heartfelt Note

Stick a heartfelt note or card inside the bag. She’ll love the sentiment and it doesn’t cost a thing.

9. Perfume

A small bottle of perfume makes a great gift. One surprising place to find inexpensive perfume? Kohls, especially when you use their 20% or 30% off coupons and you’re in business. :) Or try Amazon, since they always have pretty decent deals… like this adorable bottle.

vera wang princess

vera wang

10. Cell Phone Case

Custom phone cases are 1000x more fun than the boring case that comes with the phone. Plus, now there are so many affordable + custom-designed options, like this

anchor phone case custom
jennifer stuart design

… and this!

gold polka dot phone case
plush paper

Giveaway: What to Put in Bridesmaid Bags

Now that you know what to put in bridesmaid bags, it’s time to win a set!

bridesmaid bags gift set 2

These beautiful bridesmaid bags are up for grabs by the lovely Almquist Design Studio.

bridesmaid bags gift set

Here’s the full scoop:

o Enter between 8/15/14-8/21/14 (11:59pm EST) using giveaway form below
o Winner will be randomly selected and announced on 8/22; winner announced on this blog post and emailed
o Winner has 72 hours to respond to email or new winner will be selected
o No purchase necessary
o Prize: Set of six (6) bridesmaid bags. From Almquist Design Studio: “A unique present for your bridesmaids, to be paired with your favorite jewelry, or given alone as a stylish gift. These zipper pouches come in a modern gray chevron that is accented with a pretty coral bow. Set of six bags with a choice of bow style.”
o Winner has 3 months to use prize
o Prize value: $90; no cash value
o Free shipping included to the U.S.
o Past giveaway winners within 30 days not eligible to win
o Use entry form below to enter

Good Luck!

– – –

xo
-E.

What would you add to the list?

some affiliate links included in this post. however, feel free to shop wherever you wish!

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Emma Arendoski

CEO/Editor at Emmaline Bride
Blogger, author, wife + mother. I love coffee, DIY, handmade + all things wedding. Check out my books: "The Handcrafted Wedding" (2012) and "The Inspired Wedding" (2014). You can also find me blogging at Emmaline Baby.
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  • Heather R

    I love the mustard, black and grey leaf pattern pouch – great colors!

  • Jessica S.

    Grey chevron with the turquoise bows! Perfect gifts :)

  • Jo

    Love these bags

  • Marry June

    I love the bridemaid gift sets! The “Navy Chevron Coral Bow – Wedding Cosmetic Cases ” is probably my favorite. :) So cute.

  • nicki

    i like the neon cosmetic case!

  • miranda

    Bridesmaid Gift Set / Bachelorette Favors – Gray Damask Light Pink Bow – Customizable Wedding Cosmetic Cases – Choose Quantity and Bow Style is beautiful and matches my colors!

  • Stacy

    I really like the Cosmetic Case / Zipper Pouch / Makeup Bag – New Gray Chevron with Orange Coral Bow.

  • Heather R

    I love the new gray chevron bags with multi colored bows – honestly, they don’t match my wedding colors, but they’re so fun and cute, I know everyone would love them!!

  • Kellie Williams

    These are adorable!

  • Ginny

    I love these bags. I have been looking for a cute bag and these are by far my favorite. I also love the ideas of what to put in them…a phone case that reflects their style is such a cool touch!

  • http://www.cookingactress.com/ Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    My fave is actually the Bridesmaid Gift Set / Bachelorette Favors – Gray Chevron Coral Side or Center Bow – Wedding Cosmetic Cases -(what we’re entering to win!)