These are some ideas I’ve used as gifts for my friends or gifts that have been given to me and my husband through the years and they have been very special because they took thought, not necessarily loads of money, to put together.
And for those with friends getting married on a budget, never underestimate the importance of getting them something simple but “frivolous” they can enjoy on your dime instead of theirs (i.e. dinner and a movie). When times get tight they will appreciate it a lot; I know we did.
Step 1: From the bride...
A Gift card to her favorite ice cream/ coffee shop and her own “save the date” card so you two can catch up.
A Mini scrapbook of the two of you with a note/journal thanking her for her participation in the wedding.
A Picture frame of a favorite memory with her OR put a cute piece of card stock inside the frame with a note reading “insert picture of my best friend and me on wedding day here” or something cute like that.
If she likes to read- make her a bookmark thanking her so every time she uses it she will remember your wedding with fondness…just make sure you have it laminated to protect it!
If she likes music- Buy her an iTunes card and in a personal letter of thanks explain why certain songs mean something to your friendship.
If she’s an activist- make a donation to her favorite charity or arrange for a time the two of you can work with an organization together after the wedding- you’ll be able to catch up and make a new memory!
I made each of my 5 bridesmaids a mini scrapbook for about $7-8 a book. My only advice for something like this is to plan ahead and start early so you aren't scrambling before the wedding to finish your gifts. We still get a laugh when we look back on the times we've shared.