4 Ways To Wow Your Bridesmaids With "Totes Adorable" Bags

Tote bags are the absolute best kind of bags. All the storage space of a beach bag with all the style of a purse? And they’re so versatile. You can actually use one as a beach bag one day and then as a purse the next. Sign me up!

I don’t know who had the idea to start using tote bags as gift baskets, but they must be a genius. You can stuff them full of presents and give them as bridesmaid invitations or bridesmaid thank-you gifts, travel bags, morning-of bags – so many options!

Gold Weekender Tote Bag
Blue Striped Canvas Tote Bag
Source: Gold Metallic Tote, Canvas and Leather Tote

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Give your best girls everything they’ll need to be your best bridesmaids. If you’re unsure what to include, start with a sweet letter explaining why you chose them to be your bridesmaid and then use that letter to come up with ideas. Have you known her since high school? Frame that super embarrassing photo of the two of you from your yearbook. Work friends? How about an essential oil diffuser and bottle of oil for her desk? Siblings? Get matching anklets.

Here are some general ideas, too:
  • A small bag of coffee or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop
  • A bottle of wine—or whatever her booze of choice is!
  • Candles
  • Jewelry
  • A nice picture frame with a note inside that says “insert picture of us from my wedding here”
  • Her favorite candy or snack
  • If your wedding has a theme, don’t forget to include a related item or two! If you know all the details already, make sure there's a note with the date and location of the wedding.
If you’re worried about your potential for being a bridezilla, throw in a gift that will help everyone: a “tame the bride” gift, so to speak. What makes you happy? Put your favorite candy, a picture of you and your fiancé, a favorite CD, a scented candle, or even a bottle of alcohol. Attach a card that says “open in an emergency!” If (when) you start to freak out, whichever bridesmaid is closest can whip out her emergency kit and everything will be peachy again in no time at all.

Hand-deliver the gift bags to each girl or invite everyone out to brunch or dinner so you can all celebrate together.

Canvas and Silver Bridesmaid Tote Bags
Bridesmaid Brunch
Floral Tote Bag

If a formal outing isn't quite your style, opt for a sleepover! Start the night by giving the girls their beautiful, personalized tote bags, which should be full of all the ingredients needed for your best girls’ night yet:
  • Face masks
  • Eye covers and ear plugs
  • Nail polish
  • temporary tattoos
  • a mixtape (even better if you make a different, personalized one for each girl!)
  • Popcorn and toppings
  • Your favorite candy from when you were kids
  • Alcohol
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cards
  • Games
  • Give your girls a few minutes to gush and be excited for you and then turn on your party playlist and let the festivities begin!
Bridesmaid Pizza Party

Thank you for carrying my emotional baggage – here’s a tote bag to make it easier on you

Your bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law, and others worked tirelessly to not only make your wedding day extra special, but made sure the entire planning process went as smoothly as possible. Even though they already know you love them, make sure to thank them with an extra-thoughtful gift full of proof of your friendship and gratitude.
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • A small photo album with pictures from the wedding planning process
  • Jewelry
  • A locket keychain
  • A small shadowbox for their bouquet (if you're really on top of things, have someone collect their bouquets or corsages at the end of the reception for you so you can put the flowers in the boxes yourself. Just be sure your girls know they'll get the flowers back soon!) 
  • For an extra special gift, throw in an IOU as a promise to meet up for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine when you return from your honeymoon
  • Of course, you can't forget the letter telling them how much you appreciate them and everything they do for you

Morning-of kits

Another perfect use for a tote bag is to help you keep track of all your things while you are getting ready the morning of your wedding.

Wedding Morning Breakfast

This would be a great time to give your bridesmaids their thank-you bags, too! Along with the bag, throw in some things they may need to get through the day:
  • Personalized coffee mug (don't forget to provide the coffee, too!)
  • A protein or energy bar
  • Matching jewelry for everyone to wear that day
  • Flip flops if it's hot, or a cardigan if it's cold
  • A small bottle of perfume
  • For the “thank you” part, follow the same guidelines from above—gifts should be thoughtful, unique, and should remind your bridal party why they were asked to be bridesmaids.

Spread the love on your honeymoon

Don’t let your bridesmaids have all the fun – get a bag (or two) for yourself! They’re a great size for a carry on bag for a flight, and some are even small enough to count as a personal item.

Grey Striped Weekender Tote Bag
Blue Striped Tote Bag
Canvas and Leather Weekender Tote Bag

Taking a road trip? I put all of my road trip necessities in tote bags. The rectangular, somewhat stiff bottom paired with the soft sides allows tote bags to fit just about perfectly on the floor behind the front seats. Keep all your snacks, games, and travel guides within your reach, but out of the way. Not to mention, when the bags are empty, they take up next to no space, but don’t create the trash that plastic or paper bags do.

There’s no bad reason to buy a tote bag, we know that. But having a great reason is so much more fun – and so is sharing that reason! Besides, when it’s done being used as a gift bag,  a tote bag can go on to lead a very useful and varied life, being used as anything from an overnight bag to a grocery bag to a diaper bag, and it will carry the memories from your wedding with it everywhere. What’s your favorite use for your personalized tote bag, and where or why did you get the bag? Comment below!

Elizabeth graduated from The University of Findlay with a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing. She now resides in Portland, Oregon where she is employed in the real estate business and is particularly enjoying the local cuisine. As a writer, Elizabeth believes in a quote from one of her favorite TV shows: "We have only two jobs on this Earth. The first: to learn. The second: to cope." A deep desire to learn struck Elizabeth when she was young, and now she hopes to help you cope by sharing information, and helping you apply the knowledge. Weddings and event planning can be overwhelming; sometimes it's okay to take a little advice from a stranger on the internet.

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