Post # 1
I am a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding next month. He lives on the other side of the country. I’ve spent around $800 on airfare to and from showers and the wedding, $200 on the dress + alterations. The bride is requiring us to have our hair styled (at the price of $70 + tip each), but is paying for makeup. The three bridesmaids have agreed to split the cost of the bride’s mani-pedi the day before the wedding, and are doing champagne and fruit the night before.
For the shower, I gave them a $50 giftcard to Bed, Bath and Beyond. They registered there and at Macy’s. The bride told me, before opening gifts, that the only reason they registered at BBB was because they can return the gifts for cash (my brother’s idea, and completely like him, money is extremely important to him). Oops – guess I messed that one up by giving them a gift card there! That can’t be returned.
It’s my brother, so I feel like I should probably get him something, but at the same time, I am feeling a bit tapped out. Consequently, I just changed jobs and took a significant pay cut ($11K/year).
I got married a few years ago, and my brother was in the wedding. However, it was within driving distance for him, and he wore a suit he already owned. He gave us a $200 certificate to a vineyard three hours from where we live, which we never used because living where we do, there is no need to own a car. But it was still a really nice, thoughtful gift.
If I hadn’t spent what I have on this wedding, I would probably get them something in the $200 range. How much (if at all) should I spend? Also, is it totally terrible to just get them another gift card (obviously to Macy’s this time), or is that too impersonal for one’s sibling? We’re not particularly close.
Post # 3
I’m in the exact same situation with my SIL’s wedding. DH and I have spent well over $1K from traveling to their out of state wedding, hosting the shower, BM dress, groomsman tux, etc.
We’re giving them a small/personalized gift and if we have the funds we’ll get them a gift card for their favorite restaurant. We cant afford to do more than that though.
Post # 4
@QuietOne: Just give them what you can afford. After I spent a lot of money on my sister’s wedding a few years ago, I could only afford to give her a card. They loved the card and never complained about it, and I felt comfortable with my spending (and didn’t resent them for it). The wedding is about the marriage, not the gifts!
Post # 5
I don’t think the wedding party is required to give a gift. I was a BM for the first time recently. I flew in for the shower and both FI and I flew to the wedding. I also had the costs of the dress and alterations and all of us BMs chipped in for the shower. It added up to a lot. I did end up giving a gift that was partly funded by the credit card points I earned for all of the purchases I made for her wedding!
I would think the mani/pedi is part of your gift to her. If you throw in $50 in cash or gift card and a nice card saying how you’re happy to be a part of their day, I think that would be fine. They’re family and should understand! You can always do somehting nice for them in the future when you’re not so stretched financially!
Post # 6
Hm, all of my BMs (and the groomsmen) gave me gifts on par with the rest of the guests, and I’ve always gifted as if I was a guest at the weddings I’ve been in. Sorry I can’t be of more help!
Post # 7
Thank you. I worried that because it’s family, I was more obligated.
Post # 8
Can you think of anything super personal and super cheap? Like a copy of his favorite recipe from when you were growing up, and something to make it with like a cookie sheet, a casserole dish, etc? And in the card talk about all the fond memories you had eating that dish together growing up, and welcoming your new SIL into the family with that dish.
Post # 9
I know one of my BM’s got me something but with her I am pretty sure it’s either something she made (she can knit really well) which is awesome or it’s something inexpensive but very personal. My other BM (my sister) is not getting anything but she is from Europe and we dont have BM’s there so she doesnt know anything about being one and she already spend over 1k to fly out here so I would never expect anything from her. My MOH is paying for our DJ, she made me cry when she told me because I couldnt afford one and was really strugling trying to figure out what to do. I don’t think I can ever repay her, ever!
Honestly, I feel like bridal party really shouldnt give gifts because they already spend money on dresses, shoes etc. I feel like being my BM’s is gift enough! The fact they are getting me anything means so much to me but also makes me feel bad because I can’t give them anything amazing as we are paying for our wedding completely by ourselves and we have 3 kids.
So in short, I don’t think you have to get them anything, maybe just something inexpensive that would be realy personal.
Post # 10
I am confused on this as well- here’s why. Is the shower gift the same as a wedding gift? If I give a shower gift (like you did here) is that enough? Do I also have to give a “wedding” gift? I have always done one or the other, but now I am questioning that. Would they even expect something here after the shower gift?
For every wedding I have been to with a shower, I have given the gift then, and then nothing after the actual wedding. Not even for my sister’s wedding when I was her MOH? I gave at the shower only….
Post # 11
With my circle of friends and family we give gifts for each event we attend so I budget for that. If i know there is a brdal shower, a stag, and the wedding gift then i tweak how much i spend to fit the total cost I want to spend…However, flight costs definitely change that, in my opinion. Id never ask A BM who is flying back and forth to my wedding to buy me a wedding gift on top of that.
Post # 12
@stephee: They are separate events. I’ve always given gifts at each event I attend. I don’t know if that’s normal or just me.
Post # 13
I’m sure that’s normal, I guess I just never thought about it. Opps to all the weddings I’ve been to!
Post # 15
@QuietOne: Out of our wedding party of 6, 3 did not give us gifts (including the maid of honor, best man, and groomsman). Additionally, 2 out of 5 of our siblings not in the wedding party did not give gifts. It is noticed and it hurts. It isn’t about the gift or money, it is kind of like a slap in the face– here you are the closest people to us and you didn’t even wish us well?
When you agreed to be in the wedding party, you agreed to the cost. As a sibling, you would have paid for a new dress, airfare, and a shower gift anyway. The extras are what you agreed to.
I would say give something. It can be personal and not so expensive, but you need to give something. Nothing is more awkward than when we realized that we aren’t writing thank you notes to our best friends and siblings.
Post # 16
@Pollywog: Even if a physical gift was not give, those people still gave you the gift of standing up for you, along with the new outfits and associated costs.
I told my BMs not to give us gifts – them being there and helping me was more than enough. They did for the shower anyway but that was thier choice.