As you know, one of my best friends in getting married in a few weeks. I wanted to do something extra special for her to celebrate this important time in her life. Gift giving is always something I've prided myself on. I love thinking of unique ideas that are especially meaningful for the recipient. And of course, this was no exception.
In the past, I've made a sort of "brag book" for friends getting married. Which is basically a completed scrapbook filled with everything except pictures. There are pages for each event from the engagement, leading up to the wedding and honeymoon. All the bride has to do is add pictures as the events happen. However, I knew I wanted something more personalized and special for Erica. And I wanted it to be complete when I gave it to her.
I decided what better way to celebrate the bride, than to compile a book of memories from her closest friends. And what better time to present the gift than at her Bachelorette Party when almost everyone was together.
Now, this gift isn't for the faint of heart! It takes a lot of prep time, and then of course time to assemble the final product. But the completed book, and the look on the brides face when she opens it, will be completely worth it! So, I'll walk you through the steps I took in case you'd like to create something similar for a bride in your life!
First, I used the email list for the Bachelorette Party, and added a few family/friends I knew were close to Erica. Then I sent out an email, explaining the gift and requesting that everyone please share a few pictures and a message to the bride. The message could be anything from a quote, to marriage advice, to memories shared with the bride if they wanted to be included in the book. I knew that it would take some time to get this back from everyone, so I sent the request a few months in advance. I sent periodic updates to those who I hadn't heard from, and kept a list of those who had replied.
Many of the girls had trouble finding pictures, but thankfully our friend who had organized the Bridal Shower had a ton that she shared with me. I'm also a picture hoarder, so between that and what I could find on Facebook and Instagram, I gathered enough pictures for everyone.
I organized the messages the girls sent in a word document, and sized them and used different fonts so each page was unique. I also organized all the photos and had them printed in a variety of sizes. I used to scrapbook a lot, so I have a lot of supplies laying around. And luckily, I even had a scrapbook, pages and page protectors to use for this project. But you can get everything you need at a craft store like JoAnns or Michaels. I did make a quick trip to the craft store for cute paper and stickers to embellish each page.
Once I had all the pictures and messages printed, I cropped them down and used a corner cutter to round the edges. Since I mostly wanted the focus to be on the photos and messages, I selected a simple paper for the background, and arranged the photos and messages on top. Then I just added a sticker or two, and the name of the person that page was from. Each girl had their own page, and then I did a 2 page spread for the bridesmaids. Mostly because I am indecisive and have so many photos of the five of us, I couldn't fit everything on one page.
I decided I wanted to start the book with something special, not just jump into the pages from friends. So the first page highlights their engagement. You can read more about their engagement on Erica's blog, but Corrie proposed in Utah while they were snowboarding on Christmas, and the ski resort photographer captured the whole thing! I also included a page of their engagement photos, which were taken by the lovely Stephanie at AT&T Park! Perfect for these two Giants fans! After the Engagement photos, I jumped right into the pages from all the Bride's friends and sisters.
|Missing a caption on the right because she's a new mamma :) so I left a space to add it in later!|
I hope it's something that Erica's treasures forever! It was so fun looking over all the photos, and reminiscing. Most of us have been friends with Erica since high school or even elementary school, so you can only imagine some of the old pictures and memories! Hopefully this book reminds her of how many people love her, and how excited we all are for this new chapter in her life! It's proof of all the support she and Corrie have as they start their lives together!
One of the best parts was watching Erica open this after breakfast one morning in Palm Springs. No one had seen the completed book yet so all the girls were eager to see "their page" and laugh over the old pictures and memories we've all shared with Erica. It's the gift that keeps on giving!
If you have any questions about how I made it let me know! It's pretty straight forward, but I wanted to share the idea since I can't think of a Bride who wouldn't love receiving a gift like this!