However, as one of her bridesmaids, you are obviously one of her closest friends (or family members). Who knows her better than you do? If anyone is at liberty to get a gift off the registry and know that she'll like it, it's you! Just use your judgement!
One of my favorite things to do is have all of the bridesmaids chip in together and get a sort of combination gift. Half from the registry, and half using our creative imagination! One of my most common gifts is the travel/honeymoon gift and it's a great compromise of on and off the registry. This gift can include any or all of the following items, depending on your budget.
- Luggage that the bride registered for
- Luggage tags (possibly even personalized with the couple's monogram or last initial)
- LL Bean Boat & Tote bag with the bride's new initials
- "Mrs. _____" tank top for her honeymoon or morning after brunch
- Just Married Underwear
- "I Love [Groom's Name]" underwear
- Travel cosmetics bag (possibly personalized with name or bride's new initials)
- Travel lingerie and/or shoe bags
- Bathing Suit Cover Up
- Travel slippers
- Robe (possibly personalized with name or bride's new initials)
- Honeymoon Journal
- Honeymoon disposable camera
I have given this to numerous brides, even for weddings that I am not in, and have always gotten the most positive reaction. They all love it!
If it's just you and you are limited, but want to go off the registry, the following are some great generic gifts that I heard are always appreciated!
- Lingerie (use your discretion how risky you want to get here)
- Picture frames
- Serving Pieces
- Gift Certificates (restaurants, spas, etc)
If you want to be really special and go off the registry, here are some other ideas.
- Create a scrapbook of the bride and groom's pre-married life together and give her a blank album to start when they get married
- Buy the bride a personalized recipe box with her new married name. Secretly e-mail the other bridesmaids and important family members (sisters, both moms, grandmas, aunts, etc) and fill the box with the recipes. I did this for Bride #5 and she said it was the best gift she received at her shower. She was so touched to have in her possession the recipes her friends and family members are best known for. She even gave herself the deadline of her one year anniversary to make each recipe at least once. Her husband is loving every minute of it!
- Personalized stationary with the bride's new name
As I always say though, keep your bride in mind. If you know she really wants her registry completed- buy her something off the registry and use your creativity somewhere else. We did this for Bride #2 and Bride #4. We bought them their pots and pans and then their luggage and they were both thrilled to get the high ticket items they didn't think they would otherwise receive.