You’ve spent endless hours selecting the perfect dress, flowers, music, location, and man(!), and through it all, your bridesmaids have been by your side. Your friends helped you pick the wedding colors, listened to you complain that your future mother-in-law wants to wear white, and threw you a beautiful shower and outrageous bachlorette party. Up until now you’ve had to make a lot of decisions, but don’t forget to take the time to do something special for your bridesmaids. Why not create the perfect, personalized gift that will be meaningful and celebrate your friendship.

Anyone can run to the mall and order 5 engraved silver frames, and it’s not uncommon for the bride to give jewelry to their bridesmaids to be worn at the wedding. It’s nice, but not unique, and certainly has more to do with the bride than the bridesmaid. Another new trend is monogrammed robes and spa slippers. Personalized yes, but unique… not so much. And while many brides give engraved jewelry boxes, key chains and even wine glasses, it is still a gift where “one size fits all.” One of the latest trends in creating unique bridesmaids present is a personalized photo gift created from your favorite memories.

With today’s technology, photos can be put on just about anything, and I’m not talking about mugs, calendars and t-shirts. Some of the newest items are pillows, stationary, cookies, candy and jewelry that can all hold your photographic memories. For something really special consider a custom photo make up bag that your friend can carry in her purse everyday. And, if you still want your bridesmaids to have matching jewelry, why not put them inside the make up bag. If you have a few extra bucks, you can further personalize the gift by adding their favorite lip-gloss, gum, mints, perfume, and any essentials they may carry with them daily.

When looking for the perfect images, think about your friendship. If you’ve known her a long time, a great idea is to use several photos; a photo from your childhood, paired with a current image – maybe from a vacation together or day at the beach. If the gift is for a newer friend, use an image from your bachlorette party or recent girls night out. If your sister-in-law to-be is in the wedding, and you haven’t had a chance to become friends, consider using images of her kids or pets. Don’t forget to take your friend’s personality into consideration when choosing the photo. If she is goofy, a picture of the two of you clowning around may be appropriate. If your friend is more looks conscious, make sure she looks good in the photo you select. If you spent time with your friend backpacking through Europe, hanging out at Sorority parties or running a marathon, these all make great photos, as well as more formal pictures taken from your wedding shower.

Whatever you decide to do, take the time to give your bridesmaids a thoughtful gift that shows how appreciative you are, and how much you care about your friendship. It is the perfect way to thank them for standing beside you in life and on your wedding day.