When you invite a friend or family member to be in your wedding, it is a privilege and honor to both of you. So why not treat it as such? To me, simply calling, emailing or *gasp* sending a text-message, lessens the experience. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are not just witnesses in pretty dresses and tuxedos. They are your tissue-holders, your party hosts, your nail polish finder, your 3 AM freak out session buddy. They can be the backbone of your whole wedding process and contribute time and money throughout. They are representatives of you and your family on the biggest day of your life. Bring them into the fold with thought and appreciation. Of course, asking your god sister Kelly to be your bridesmaid doesn't require as much fanfare as your proposal, but there are plenty of fun, cute AND cheap ways, to make them feel special. Even if your bridesmaids have known since they were 12, that they will be in your wedding, it will still mean a lot to them.
Five Ways to Pop the Question (to your attendants):
1. Flour Pot Cookies ($22 incl. shipping)
Imagine your bridesmaids faces when they open this box from The Flour Pot. Not only is the cookie pretty, its delicious too. There are four different shapes to choose from: 2 dresses, a bouquet of flowers and a ring. Mix and match and enjoy the conversation about who got what cookie and what they did with it.
2. Scrapbook (Price varies)
This is a relatively inexpensive option and will be fun to create. Leah @ Veil Tales made scrapbooks for each of her bridesmaids. http://veiltales.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/diy-project-will-you-be-my-bridesmaid/ In them, she detailed how she became friends with them, what they were up to now, and why they'd remain friends. The final page popped the question. You can make these books as long or short or you like. A nice addition is to leave a page or two blank for pictures from your wedding. Then when you send thank you notes, include a picture of the wedding party for the scrapbook.
3. Make a Game (Price varies)
Another option for the crafty bride is to make a game or puzzle for your bridesmaids. You can order puzzles made from a photo online at Puzzles.com. You can also go to a craft store like Michael's and get a blank puzzle and paint it or draw on it. Once you design your puzzle, take it apart and put it in a nice envelope and mail it off to your BMs. They'll have a lot of fun with this one. You can also do like one bride did and make a word scramble. Use your imagination with this one. You can do almost anything.
4. Buy a Handbook (~$10)
There are plenty of books out there for Bridesmaids. Choose one that fits your personality and have it shipped to your bridesmaids with an inscription such as "You might need this on June 9th , 2010!" It's also a good way to handle the tough situation of teaching etiquette to some of your bridesmaids or explaining what you expect of them. Kill two birds with one stone with books such as: The Bridesmaid Handbook, The Bridesmaid Guide, and even one for the guys: The Best Man's Handbook.
5. Send a Card (Price Varies)
Snail mail still has value when it comes to special occasions. There are tons of bridesmaid cards available to send your bridesmaids-to-be. Choose a nice card or an array of cards and send out to your bridesmaids. They are sure to keep the card for years to come and will appreciate the extra time you took to send it.