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Thanks, Girl! Gifts to Please Your 'Maids

She may be your lifelong companion - with whom you shared everything from grazed knees to trainer bras to broken hearts. She may be your sister, cousin, aunt, who has seen you grow from an unknowing child to an even less knowing teenager, to a woman in love (and everything in between). Perhaps she’s a newfound influence in your life who has managed to make such a difference to the person you are as you walk down the aisle, that to have her there is obligatory.  Either way, a bridesmaid is going to be your backbone in the frenzy of chaotic preparation, healthy nerves and overwhelming excitement that leads up to your wedding day.

On the day of days itself, she will be the one you turn to at the slightest hint of a glitch in the plan and the one you secretly smile at when the plan stunningly comes together. She will share and savor your highs, burden and compose your lows; and deal with all the wobbles in between (take note all you lovely, and now perhaps slightly terrified bridesmaids-to-be; this comes naturally I promise!). And at the end of it all she is the one you will want to thank the most, with a pleading desire that she knows just how much her brilliant bridesmaiding meant to you. So here’s a little help in saying thank you to the ladies that carefully guide you up the aisle with assurance and protection, and loyally follow you down as a blushing bride.

The first thing to remember is that buying something solely because it fits the traditional "feel" of what a bridesmaid gift should be is a huge no-no. Of course, adhering to tradition is perfectly lovely, but put it this way: if you wouldn’t LOVE it, chances are the ladies in your life won’t either. Whether you have one or 100 bridesmaids (hey, a little Royal ambition never hurt anybody) the most important thing to remember is that each one is probably completely different to the next, not only in terms of shoe-size, hair volume or shoulder width, but also in personality, taste and style. While it is perfectly lovely to have gifts that fall under the same category or represent the same emotion, be sure to alter each to suit the individuality of each bridesmaid.

Charm bracelets are personal and meaningful, not to mention some fabulous new additions to the jeweler's glass cases of late, the real beauty lies in personalizing each one with a charm specific to only them. Santos Wish Freshwater Pearl Charm Bracelet is perfect for a pre- or post-wedding thank you token. Choose from different pearl tones and charms which hold specific meanings, from luck to love to guardian angels. From $65 @ Santós Wish.

If you're getting a slightly humorous / light-hearted gift, the Minimergency Kit for Bridesmaids from Pinch Provisions ($16) could come in super-handy on your big day - it contains everything she might need to fix herself (or yourself) up, or get you out of a bind, from an emery board to safety pins and earring backs. Genius!

While intimacy is favored when giving thanks to your ladies, practical concerns shouldn't be ignored! Chances are, these women have spent the last couple of weeks slightly neglecting their own lives in favor of yours, so a bit of practicality will be graciously welcomed. This stylish travel fabric care kit from The Laundress ($60) contains cute fabric-care solutions that are not only effective, but eco-friendly too. Time for her to attend to her own wardrobe again! (If your budget would stretch that far, you could always go that one step further and book your maids - and you - in for a day of pampering at a spa a few weeks after the wedding. It would be a great chance to catch up, reminisce and unwind!)

Fragrance is always a thoughtful way to say thank you and chances are you will know your bridesmaid well enough to know exactly the scent that will delight her. Jo Malone scents are always enchanting, mix and match the different aromas until you find the one which best suits each of your ladies. If perfumes aren’t her thing, there is also a range of luxurious candles, diffusers and room sprays which are bound to please. This Vanilla & Anise candle is a great crowd-pleaser ($65) - although our ultimate favorite? Pink grapefruit. So refreshing!

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