I've written about bridesmaid gifts before and, yes, I have feelings about the subject. It's not that I don't appreciate the gesture of a gift, but in our globally warming world, I believe it's better to not give anything at all than to give something cheap that will create clutter. For example, I've been a bridesmaid something like 9 times, and I've rarely been gifted anything that didn't eventually wind up in the garbage (fall-apart jewelry, shiny photo frames, perfume, change purses to match my 'maids dress, etc—all personal-or-home items I kind of want to pick out for myself or don't need at all).
I've championed gift cards, but many people like to give something that isn't essentially the equivalent of money; they'd rather give something the recipient can look back on and think of the giver and the lovely day they shared. Soy candles are nice, but they burn away. Wine disappears (in my house anyway) in an hour. Finding something that is truly useful and lasting, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg, is difficult.
So that's why I'm seriously loving…purse holders. (Yes, I know they weren't invented yesterday, but I've kept my lust for them hidden until now.) Here's why I think they're great: They're generally inexpensive and they're seriously useful, especially if you are like (ahem) some people who spend the equivalent of a month's rent on a single handbag. Some handbag holders are really well-made and truly pretty, such as these Pavina Handbag Holders, which are essentially the Tiffany & Co. of handbag holders, featuring glittery gemstones and other bling. They retail for $45 to $60, but are 40 percent off here from 11/27 through 12/21/2009. (Quick disclaimer: I haven't personally tested Pavina brand).
A pretty Pavina handbag holder. If only these worked over the back of movie seats...
If that price is still too steep for your wedding budget, a quick web search turned up tons of great handbag holder choices for around $12, including plain ones you could decorate with your own flair (your 'maids' initials? a tiny picture under glass?)
What are your thoughts? Is this a good bridesmaid gift idea or a stinker? What will you give your 'maids? You can find more inspiration at SeattleBrideMag.com.