One of the hardest things about Desi weddings apart from the sleepless weeks of wedding planning, making the guest count for huge Indian families and maintaining your sanity is also figuring out the perfect gift for your bridesmaids. Gifts should be special and meaningful, but also fun and useful. And you don’t want this to be just another thing to cross out on your to-do list. You should have fun with it!
There are SO MANY South Asian-owned businesses out there selling creative products for you to discover. It gives you brides the opportunity to totally customize the way you ask your friends to be your bridesmaids that aren’t your run-of-the-mill nail polish and candy. Instead, you can use items specific to your culture, heritage and experience of being a South Asian American. And the best part is, these gifts are still great even if your friends aren’t Desi (win!).
1. Jungli by Nature
We are HERE for this 90’s-inspired attire! Jungli by Nature brings out the kid in us with a Desi flair inspiring you to embrace your inner jungli. It’s perfect to reminisce with your squad with The Pinky Swear shirt that symbolizes sticking together for life. Or maybe you just want to stick with the classic Jungli (meaning “wild”) tee. If you and your best ladies are edgy and not afraid to show it, then this is the brand for you.
2. Pajama Sutra
Ah Pajama Sutra, the way more chic version of the comfy Indian sleepwear our moms have been rocking since the dawn of time. Pajama Sutra specializes in 100% cotton robes and loungewear, giving you the option of purchasing matching pieces for your bridal party (think ‘get ready’ pics on your wedding day). Or maybe you’re more interested in gifting your bridesmaids with a bunch of high-quality goodies instead of just a robe? You’re in luck, ’cause Pajama Sutra also has Bridesmaid Gift boxes. These boxes take all of the work out of pretty packaging and combining thoughtful South Asian gifts by doing it for you. You can choose from Pajama Sutra products paired with gifts from a variety of different businesses such as The Chai Box and KAYA Soaps. FYI, this company is on the pricier side with gift boxes ranging from $42 to upwards of $100. Robes and loungewear range in price from $38-64.
Fun fact: Pajama Sutra was the loungewear sponsor for the Miss Universe Pageant.
3. The Indian Feminist
OBSESSED with The Indian Feminist’s approach to South Asian empowerment. They are so much more than just an online shop that sells witty t-shirts – they are a movement. Self-described as ‘For badass brown women worldwide,’ they have an amazing range of products from sweatshirts and tees to mugs, stickers, and totes with beautiful artwork set out to smash the patriarchy. Whether it’s the Maharani Mood or the Paratha Rolls Not Geneder Roles t-shirt, The Indian Feminist is perfect for the feminist-minded bridal party.
P.S. They offer discount codes to brides for large orders. Email them at [email protected] for more information.
4. Buttermilk Co.
Have you ever been craving indian food but you either don’t have the million ingredients or your mom there to help you? The Buttermilk Co. has made it accessible for anyone to have homemade Indian food ready in less than 5 minutes. Yup, that’s right, 5 minutes. From upma and basmati rice to pav bhaji and chana masala, all you have to do is heat it up. The best part? All of the packets are made with fresh ingredients so you don’t have to worry about preservatives. Buttermilk Co. is the perfect gift to sustain your girls during all those late wedding planning nights, bachelorette vacay hangovers, and even the chaos and multitude of events during the week of your wedding.
5. One Stripe Chai Co.
No one is more frustrated with stores selling “chai tea” (why won’t these people learn?!) more than the One Stripe Chai Co. The taste is always off, you feel some type of way ordering “chai tea” (eye roll) and it almost always makes you miss the comfort of drinking chai from your couch. One Stripe Chai felt the exact same way and decided to make their own. After trial and error to come up with the ultimate recipe, they turned it into a company. Introduce your bridal party to One Stripe’s Spicy Chai Concentrate that they can use from home or even during your wedding festivities to stay energized and refreshed.
6. The Chai Box
Imagine Teavana but for all things chai and you get The Chai Box. Totally understanding that there is not just one way to make the beloved drink, The Chai Box specializes in making blends from various parts of India. The mix is sourced from Kerala and is as authentic as it can get. Since it is a blend, you could be really creative with it and use the spices to make chai, or add it into a cupcake mix or hot cocoa (drool).
7. Stories for South Asian Super Girls
Growing up your South Asian ladies probably NEVER got to see themselves represented in books in a positive way. Enter “Stories for South Asian Super Girls“ from the Pink Ladoo Project‘s Raj Kaur Khaira. This beautifully illustrated book includes stories about influential South Asian women like Jhansi Ki Rani, Mindy Kaling, Indra Nooyi, and SO many more. Give the super girls in your life this gift that keeps on giving.
8. The Pakistani Martha’s Favors
The Pakistani Martha Stewart is one of the OGs of creating hilarious and beautiful artwork based off of the trials and tribulations of growing up South Asian. What’s even better than her artwork? Having it customized on chocolate bars for you and your ladies. Affordable AND delicious! Satisfy you and your bridal party’s chocolate fix paired with the infamous artwork of The Pakistani Martha Stewart.
9. Madhu Chocolate
Clearly we’re feigning for some chocolate in our lives – because the next company we’re all about is Madhu Chocolate from Austin, TX. Saffron milk? Rose pistachio? Coconut milk cashew? Dark masala chai? These flavors are UNREAL. Not only do they create unique flavors guaranteed to delight the taste buds of your bridal party, they also have beautiful packaging inspired by Indian textiles making them almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
10. Paper Samosa
How could we create a list of bridesmaids gifts without including Paper Samosa?! Her artwork speaks for itself – it’s Desi, contemporary, with the perfect amount of snark. I mean, have you seen the Disney-inspired mugs of hers? Just the right shade directed towards the annoying Aunties in your life. Just like The Indian Feminist, Paper Samosa has a wide range of products from stationery, mugs, t-shirts, and phone cases that you can put together in a gift box or give as individual presents.
Have a beauty, health or wellness topic you want us to explore? Drop me a line at [email protected]
Digital Beauty Director, Queen City girl, makeup obsessed, lifelong dancer, and cheese aficionado.