Bridesmaid 101: Gifts I've Given & Loved

Thursday, August 17

Nashville blogger, Bridesmaid 101, Bridesmaid tips and tricks, Bridesmaid gifts, Bridesmaid, Bridal Party advice
Just two posts left in my Bridesmaid 101 Series that I started...a while ago!

These tips come straight from the trenches of my bridesmaid days! Whether you're an expert or just got asked to be in your first wedding, this series is for you! The truth is that weddings are full of gray areas- what exactly are you responsible for as a bridesmaid? That answer depends on who you ask, and when I was a bridesmaid for the first time, I knew nothing. Learn from my mistakes and you won't have to make your own :)

Today's topic: gifts! This was actually the post that inspired the whole series, because I realized I've given some pretty unique/fun gifts to my bride friends. 

First off, to answer the question (I addressed this in B101: the Bridal Shower as well):
Do I need to get a gift if I'm a bridesmaid? I would say: especially if you are traveling for the bachelorette party/wedding, the bride doesn't really expect a gift from you. And certainly not the pricey kitchen appliances or fancy duvet cover off the registry. My mom always taught me to never show up empty-handed, so I really like getting a little something. Maybe even more than the gift, I love writing a card for the new couple. 

I may make some bride enemies today- as a general rule, no one should get a gift for the new couple that is not on the registry. However- this would be the exception. If your best friend is getting married, who better to know the one thing she really wants but didn't register for, the perfect accessory for her festivities (or honeymoon!), or the forgotten but essential addition to her new home?? 

These are all examples of little "extra" gifts I've given that have gone over well (but yes, you can ALWAYS get something off the registry for safety.) 

Kate Spade "Mrs." earrings | This entire collection just begs to be gifted at a bridal shower (dun it!)
+ Kate Spade "Mrs" necklace | Maybe she doesn't have her ears pierced or she's just more of a necklace gal? Done!
+ Kate Spade "Mrs" keychain | If she hates jewelry, but she's still a Mrs (something for everyone thank you Kate!)
+ Address label stamp | This is pure genius for wedding thank you cards (and sharing their new address!)
+ Thank you cards | Even if they have custom thank you cards for wedding guests, the bride will be writing a LOT of cards (for vendors, etc.) Cards are always a safe bet (Rifle Paper Co. even safer!)
+ Honeymoon travel accessories | You know what is so functional and I totally do not own? A passport case and matching luggage tags! The tiniest detail that I bet your friend forgot.
Moscow Mule mugs | The perfect accessory for their new favorite cocktail, monogram, optional.
+ His & Hers coffee mugs | Super cute for the morning of the wedding (and every morning forever after.)
+ His & Hers champagne flutes | So pretty & would be great for the wedding toasts (or wedding night toasts!)
+ Recipe box | Especially perfect if you had people contribute a recipe for a shower! This one is customizable!
+ Cookbook | If there's a better date than cooking alongside a partner...I haven't found it! I love to give the Newlywed Cookbook but any one will do. Bonus- write an inscription and skip the card!
+ Spoon dock | I think any pretty kitchen accessory from Anthropologie would do (they have so many!) A spoon dock in particular is something everyone NEEDS but doesn't always HAVE.

Ok- am I totally off base here? Is it ever acceptable to gift something NOT on the registry? What's the best gift you've ever given as a bridesmaid? Share below!

And stay tuned for the conclusion of Bridesmaid 101: a list of good old "Do's & Don'ts"! 

Don’t miss the rest of Bridesmaid 101: Now What? / Bach Party / Bridal Shower

Tobi Look #3: Acquainted Lace

Tuesday, August 15

| lip: Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose | pants: Gap | heels: Anthropologie | clutch: gift (Anthropologie) |
| top: c/o Tobi {I'm wearing a size Small and it fits perfectly!} |

Well hello! Excited to share my third and final look in collaboration with Tobi today! If you missed looks one and two: I went for it with a lace-up dress / the tropical crop top of my dreams.

I really couldn't see past the Acquainted Lace Peplum Top after finding it on the Tobi website. It jumped out at me as being a) SO pretty (that detailing!) b) unlike anything I owned or really would ever pick out for myself and c) perfect for a night out on my upcoming trip to NYC.

I loved it even more after receiving it, because I don't know if these pictures convey how perfectly it fits me (I am wearing a size small, for reference.) It's kinda like a cute hug! I didn't even have to adjust the straps, which is absolutely unheard of for me! Though I might have gulped after looking at it, and felt like it would show more skin than I usually do, honestly I felt super comfortable wearing it. Though the back is open, the front comes up pretty high- I didn't have to worry about any gaping or adjusting or showing off more than I wanted! And though the peplum has that see-through peek-a-boo affect, it's actually fairly subtle, and perfect for concealing a LOT of pizza (I tested this for you, you're welcome.)

With the 50% promotion for first time orders, the top is $28, which is completely reasonable for the quality. All of the stitching/detailing is very sturdy! I didn’t experience any unraveling, and all the appliqu├ęs feel luxe (instead of cheapy/plastic-y, which can sometimes happen in tops like this.) 
Big thanks to Kathleen, Carina, and Elyse for taking these pictures for me! Aren't they cute? And yes, Carina is totally wearing the crop top I also received from Tobi. Of her own volition, I should add.

A huge thank you to Tobi for allowing me to participate in this collaboration! Though they allowed me to pick out these three items to review and keep, I can honestly say I would order from them anyway (we loved this top so much, I'm about to order one for Carina!) I was super impressed by the quality/fit of all three items I received, and can't wait to wear them again! I know they will quickly become well-loved items in my closet. Be sure and check out the wide and trendy selection that Tobi has! 

Tobi provided me with this top in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own!

Weekend Update: Little Peanut, Big City

Monday, August 14

photo creds to: Kathleen, Carina, and a stranger on the boat

So New York City is really cool! I'm convinced you need to visit around five times before you have any semblance of bearings. Luckily I was in great hands, between Carina and her wonderful friends Elyse and Kathleen. I mean that for a few reasons: they always answered my "so...where are we?" (pro tip: "If you don't realize you're leaving Manhattan you're still in Manhattan"), they let me ramble about Britney Spears/make-up and pretended (?) to listen, and they were down to take some pictures for this little blog. Seriously. Wait for my outfit pics (tomorrow) when I had THREE SHOOTERS at one point. For real!

Anyway I flew to NYC early Friday morning on Carina's 29th birthday! Happy Birthday Peanut!! We met in the airport and went straight to Russ & Daughters and Milk Bar (for the birthday cake truffles!) and then to get our nails done. We met up with Kathleen and checked into our Airbnb which was this AWESOME loft in SoHo/Little Italy/Chinatown. Then we got glam (I tied Carina down to do her make-up and force her to wear fake eyelashes haha) and had a really great dinner at Meadowsweet in Williamsburg (complete with champagne toast and singing to Carina which she hated. HA!) 

On Saturday after a slow start we had a brunch at Two Hands (seriously so good and the Australian waiters were also not bad) and then walked around and shopped, before a pizza slice en route ^^ (how funny is this picture? I was literally running down the street with cheese dripping down my face) to a sunset cruise on the Hudson. That may be so disgustingly touristy that you hate me, but it was pretty spectacular. And then there was loads of pizza at Rubirosa (plus "pizza portraits") after a stop at Parm. I broke my cleanse and really went for it (at one point...was eating gluten wrapped dairy and washing it down with a Negroni.) 

Finally Sunday, before heading back, we had time for brunch at Freeman's and a stop at the 9/11 memorial. Neither Carina nor I had ever been, and I don't want to gloss over that it was a really beautiful and moving tribute.

Well NYC, there's nothing like it. It also completely wore me out! HBD to my little peanut!