A special part of getting married is your chance to share such a life changing moment with family and friends.
The bridal party members are there every step of the day to support you, and likely are in that role because they supported you long before your wedding day. And your wedding, although important, is special due to the people you're surrounded by. Those special relationships you've experienced with the people that are genuinely happy for you and there to support you and your husband, are in my opinion what makes a wedding.
A gift I received from my maid of honor, bridesmaids and attendants the morning of my wedding was one of the my favorite wedding presents. This bridal memory book was compiled by everyone I treasured, and something I'll keep forever. From each was a personal handwritten note to me recalling our friendship, the fun and touching memorable times we shared. Some included pictures of me and them. Fun to see the changes we've all gone through.
My maid of honor, Melanie, pulled me aside, amidst the chaos of everyone getting ready and on their way to pictures, to take some alone time to look through it. The fact that my makeup was already finished is the only thing that held my tears in check. I had many emotions. One minute I was laughing and the next chocked up by their thoughts. It was absolutely perfect because it gave me the perspective to take a minute and remember it's not about the pictures or if things go smoothly. It's about the ladies and gentlemen standing up besides us that got us to this point. It was about marrying the man I love surrounded by everyone else I love.
You can see how much this gesture meant to me so I knew I had to return it when Melanie got married the next summer. Since I wanted to mimic the idea, but not copy it exactly I went with a durable binder that all her ladies were able to add their scrapbook pages. Melanie's turned out more as a scrapbook, loaded with pictures and short messages from the bridal party members.
And I learned from my experience to give it to her before the makeup application.
How to Make:
The ladies could add a single page or multiple ones. It was a personal choice of how they wanted to share their thought to Melanie. I reflected on our times through college and included two collages of pictures...6 years with hundreds of pictures made it too hard to choose only a few. The end result of everyone's contributions looked homemade and clearly filled with love for Melanie on her big day. A good time to collect the pages is at the bachelorette party or day of the wedding, just be sneaky.
I recommend letting the participants know of the memory book at least a month ahead of time. Give specific parameters (size of sheets, pictures, number of submissions etc.)
This is a great idea if you're in a wedding party. You could even include groomsmen...but I say this with love in my heart, that boys aren't always sentimentally serious and dependable for this sort of thing. And it is still very special between just us girls.