Normally when you hear the term “advent calendar” your thoughts turn to childhood traditions at Christmastime, but how about a wedding twist on this fun tradition? I remember how stressful those final days before the wedding were and how much everything was weighing on my heart, so each time I’ve been given the honor of being a Maid/Matron of Honor I gift my friend with her own Wedding Advent Calendar shortly before wedding day. It’s an incredibly fun gift to put together and it’s guaranteed to brighten those stressful days before I Do!
Tip: Don’t want to put it together all by yourself? Consider getting all the bridesmaids involved! If each of you contribute a few gifts, the calendar will come together before you know it!
Step 1: Decide How Long your Wedding Advent Calendar Will Be
Assuming that the wedding isn’t within the first couple days of the month, I typically like to do one gift for each day leading up to the big day and then give it to them on the first day of their wedding month! For instance, my sweet friend was married on the 14th of the October, so I chose 14 gifts and gave the calendar to her on October 1st.
However, you could also do 7 gifts to count down the week before the wedding or 30 gifts to count down the entire month before the wedding! The number you choose can be based on your budget, your schedule, or just how over the top you want to go!
Step 2: Gather Your Gifts
This part is one of my favorites as it gives me the opportunity to think on what types of little gifts will bring a smile to my friend’s face! Cater the items to your bride’s style, tastes, and personality by thinking about all her favorite things!
Tip: I highly recommend choosing SMALL items for your gifts or items that can fold to be very small. Once you have 10 or more gifts, you’ll start to realize that fitting them all onto your board may get tricky! The smaller the items can be wrapped, the easier it’ll be to fit. You’ll also want all of the items to be lightweight enough that they can be held easily to your board by a thumbtack!
A few of the items I chose were:
Mint Julep Chapstick from Savannah Bee Co.
A relaxing, aromatherapy bubble bath to help her relax
Champagne Bubble Candies from Sugarfina
A cocktail shot
A Starbucks gift card
A leather monogram with her new initials
Honey-roasted Coffee from Savannah Bee Co.
Cute socks with a pattern that she’ll like (I thought the chili peppers would be a cute play on wedding day “cold feet”!)
A #honeymoonvibes shirt to lounge in on the Honeymoon
Cute pencils with fun messages
A cute pair of undies
Other Ideas: a gift card to her favorite store, a mini photo frame with a picture of the two of you, her favorite candy, nail polish, a confetti popper, Mr & Mrs luggage tags, a spa face mask, nail appointment gift certificate, a bath bomb, a ring dish, cute sunglasses, a mini bottle of champagne
Step 3: Choose a Color Palette and Gather Your Supplies
If you are going to attach all your gifts to a surface like my Wedding Advent Calendar, I recommend a cork board! They are inexpensive to pick up at a craft or office supply store (normally well under $20), reusable, and they make the perfect surface to secure and organize your gifts on!
I also think it’s nice to coordinate the color palette of all your wrapping materials. In this instance, I mirrored the navy and dusty blues that I knew would mimic her beautiful wedding color palette!
Medium Size Cork Board
Wrapping paper (for small pieces of BEAUTIFUL wrapping try a paper goods store like Paper Source)
Small Wrapping Boxes and/or Mini Gift Bags
Mini Tags (look for these in the paper goods or scrapbooking section of craft stores)
Step 4: Create Your Tags
In order to help your bride know which order to open the gifts in, I like to number each gift with a cute little tag! I used a die cut machine to create my tags, but it’s incredibly easy to find pre-made tags and number stickers at your local craft store. Apply the numbers to your tags and you’re ready to go!
Tip: Make sure that you’ll have enough of the numbers you need in your sticker set. You may need to buy more than one sticker pack if you have too many gifts for one.
Step 5: Create a Banner
For my banner I used a die-cut machine, handmade paper, and tore the edges for a soft, romantic look. But if you don’t have a die-cut machine at your disposal you can print one out, draw it by hand, or use letter stickers from a craft store. I secured the banner to the top of the board with regular scotch tape so that it would be easily removable, but not be obscured by thumbtacks.
Step 6: Wrap Your Gifts
This is the fun part! Have fun wrapping each gift in your coordinating wrapping materials and don’t be afraid to tuck a cute little note into each one explaining why you chose that gift for them!
Step 7: Arrange the Gifts on your Cork Board
I find that this is much easier to do with the board laying down flat to start with! Play around with the arrangement of the gifts until you are happy, then you can secure them to the board once you like the way they are laid out on your Wedding Advent Calendar surface.
Step 8: Secure the Gifts to the Cork Board
This part can be a little tricky! While some items you may be able to tack straight through the gift, other you may not. For gifts that were particularly tricky, I resorted to tying or taping a small loop of twine onto the back of the gift. I could then stick my flat thumbtacks THROUGH the little loop, hanging the gift on the board, without it showing or damaging my gift.
And there you have it! Your finished Wedding Advent Calendar! Now wasn’t that fun?!
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Lindsey LaRue is a Georgia Wedding Photographer for Heirloom Couples Who Love Timeless, Romantic, and Legacy-filled Imagery. Serving the Southeastern US and Beyond, Traveling Often.