Gifts to make you the life of the wedding party

By Courtney Hollands
Globe Staff / June 25, 2009
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They’ve racked up sky-high cellphone bills talking about invitation fonts and centerpieces and the latest drama with your in-laws. They’ve footed the bill for over-the-top bachelor parties and feigned interest in cheesy shower games. They’ve ordered the tea-length fuchsia gowns and agreed (to your face, at least) that oh yes, we can definitely wear these again.

Point is, you owe your bridesmaids and groomsmen. They are your friends, brothers, sisters, and siblings-in-law, and you couldn’t have done this whole wedding thing without them. Thank your attendants with a golf outing, a day at the spa, or with classes at a local yoga studio. Or, if you want to go the more tangible route, give them gifts they can use again and again for years to come.

Stanley Flask, $18.70, from Design Within Reach,

Skip the monogrammed leather flask in favor of this rugged, iconic model. William Stanley invented his first vacuum bottle in 1913, and his products have been used by airlines, railroads, and in deep sea explorations. Dependable and pretty cool — just like your best men.

Wrench bottle opener, $25, from Design Within Reach,

This cast-iron bottle opener and conversation piece is as functional as it is fun. Complete the present with a six-pack of your friends’ favorite beer. Can’t decide? Pick a local brew, like Cisco Brewers’ Whale’s Tale Pale Ale (Nantucket) or Pretty Things’s Jack D’Or (Holyoke).

Audrey Pink Poppy Fields apron, $32.95, from Jessie Steele,

Got some gourmands or grill masters next to you at the altar? Jessie Steele’s chic aprons will ensure your maids and men bake, marinate, and chop in style. Women’s styles are flirty and retro and this chef’s apron will appeal to the meat lovers in the group.

Cashmere wrap, $69.99, from The Pashmina Store,

Churches and function halls can be chilly. And Saturday nights in July in New England aren’t always as temperate as we’d like them to be. Give your bridesmaids these cozy cashmere wraps in coordinating colors — they’ll look happy and comfortable in the photos. Hello, thoughtful bride.

Cadence Designs typewriter key necklace, $24, from Etsy,

Novelists and non-writers alike will appreciate these quirky personalized necklaces made from typewriter keys. Peterborough, N.H.-based jeweler Cadence Mapes sells her kitschy, found-object pieces online and at markets and fairs around New England.

Photo coasters, $20 (for four), from Boston Coasters,

Remind your bridal party of the fabulous time they had in Boston with these locally made wooden coasters featuring historical maps of the city. Every beer or glass of ice tea turns into a geography lesson. Select from hundreds of iconic and quirky images of the Hub and New England.