Post # 1
If a bride foots the bill for all their bridesmaids’ dresses, hair and makeup, are they still expected to purchase them a Bridesmaid or Best Man gift as well?
My Future Sister-In-Law was a bridesmaid for a wedding and the bride insisted on 3 separate bridal showers (which all the bridesmaids were expected to attend and provide gifts), and had the bridesmaids pay for their own dresses/expenses. After the wedding, the bridesmaids received no more than a verbal thanks from the bride. This is probably on the extreme side, but I think if I was my Future Sister-In-Law I’d be expecting a little something more than a verbal “thank you” (they didn’t even get a card!!). She was understandably annoyed.
I am covering all the expenses for my bridesmaids (3), excluding their shoes (I just wanted nude/pink shoes, which most of the girls already have in their closet). All the BMs live in my hometown and I’m currently living in another city. Because of that, I’ve been on my own for virtually all the wedding planning (by no fault of their own of course), including making all my own wedding favors, dress shopping etc. The only real bridesmaid-related thing they’ve had to do so far was give input on dress styles, and they’ll need to get their measurements taken in the next month or so. Other than that, I basically told them to just show up on the day of.
I told my sister (maid of honour) that the only thing I’d want a small and simple bridal shower with a few friends and family when I come home before the wedding. No wild or extravagant parties. I was definitely planning on writing them a thank you card after the wedding, but don’t know whether it’s considered rude to not include a gift since I’ve already spent a considerable amount on each of them already ($200+ per girl). Is buying a Bridesmaid or Best Man gift considered a general rule regardless of what they do and don’t pay for? I’m leaning towards giving them something small, but have no idea what is appropriate. Are gift cards inappropriate?? They all have different interests. What’s an appropriate amount to spend when you’ve already spent a lot of them? Advice?
Post # 3
I would still get them something although you have been generous enough. It doesnt have to cost anything! you could make each one a scrapbook with memories youve had with each of them or get plain white photoframes and decorate them to each BMs taste and put a pic of you with each one at the wedding/bridal shower/hen party. They will probably love it and you will have put the effort in without spending much if anything.
Post # 4
@jcl12: I think it’s still nice to give a small gift. You can get pretty stationary for $1-$5 at Michael’s, or a small picture frame. Anything cute and sweet that you think they might like with a nice note of thanks is fine.
Post # 5
It sounds like you paid for their Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, right? You are totally fine – your gift was their dresses. 🙂
And as you stated, I would write them a personalized card after the wedding, a very nice touch.
Post # 6
I don’t think it’s necessary – but I don’t think bridesmaids gifts are ever mandatory. A thank you card is definitely necessary, but gifts? Eh, I don’t know. I think it would be really sweet of you to get them something small to thank them for their time and friendship, but I wouldn’t break the bank. A bottle of prosecco or a small piece of jewelry or something like that. And I think gift cards are fine, as long as it’s not a small amount at an expensive place. ($20 to Target? It’ll be gone by the end of the day! But I’m still carrying around a $20 gift card to Bloomingdale’s that I got two years ago. Lol.)
Post # 7
I would still get them thank you cards and a small gift. I disagree that their dresses are their “gifts.” However, I do believe that since you spent on them for everything that you wouldn’t get them a big gift like normal.
Post # 8
I think a very small memento would be nice, but as previous posters have mentioned, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Post # 9
@jcl12: If a bride foots the bill for all their bridesmaids’ dresses, hair and makeup, are they still expected to purchase them a Bridesmaid or Best Man gift as well?
I say yes, unless it was previously agreed upon that the dress would be the thank you gift. The reason being that hair, makeup, shoes, jewelry, and anything else to be worn for the wedding cannot be considered a gift because it’s really for the bride and her vision. The dress is the exception because, at least in the US, the BMs are expected to buy the dress.
Now the gift doesn’t have to be anything super fancy, just something to say thank you for standing up for you and supporting your as you enter into this new phase of your life. It can be a nice bottle of wine or simple scrapbook or even just a heart-felt thank you if that’s what your budget allows. We spent about $70 per person and I paid for my BMs’ manis and pedis. I think for your situation, I’d look to spend $20-$30 (if your budget allows). Gift cards are fine and you definitely don’t have to get them the same thing. Each person in our Bridal Party got something different based on their interests.
I will also say that the BMs don’t need to earn their gift by helping with x number of projects or attending y number of dress fittings/shopping trips or anything like that. The GMs don’t usually help with this stuff and they still get a nice gift, so I don’t understand why it would be different for a Bridesmaid or Best Man.
Post # 10
I’m in a similar boat. I don’t think it’s necessary to give a gift, but it is nice… even if it’s just a small one. My girls love tea, so I picked up some really cute tea cups with infusers and lids in different patterns and a couple sampler packs of loose tea from a local tea shop. I didn’t want to break the bank (let’s face it… it was already broken lol). It wound up being ~$15 per girl. A girlfriend of mine gave bottles of her homemade wedding wine. We loved it, and she had paid about $4/bottle.
Post # 11
I don’t think there is any need to, however you could always just get them something small as a ‘gift.’ For example, I was just a bridesmaid and the bride paid for our hair and makeup to be done but then on the day she gave us all little pearl earings to wear, she would have picked them up very cheaply, but it was a nice gesture on top of all the other things she had bought. I suppose it’s always nice to have something to keep.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Yeah, something small would still be nice – a dress they may never wear again, and hair/makeup for the day of, aren’t really lasting gifts per se. A $20 pair of earrings and heart-felt note, or something similar, would be really nice.
Post # 13
I think you’re doing more then enough but a little gift would be nice with a card.
Post # 14
I would do something really small since you’ve already been so generous. Perhaps give them each a small picture frame and then, after the wedding, mail them each a really sweet note with a picture of just the bridesmaid and you that she can put in the frame. Or, if you google bridesmaids gifts under $10, you’ll find some cute ideas (especially on Etsy) for personalized notecards, luggage tags, etc. I believe I even saw personalized cosmetic bags for under $10.00 on etsy that were super cute.
Post # 15
I just got a really cute compact mirror from things remembered with my name & their wedding date. It’s adorable & I know things are on sale right now bc mothers day is coming up. You should check them out.
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Buying stuff that YOU require them to use/have/wear for YOUR wedding is not a gift. You should definitely get them something that is not part of their bridesmaid uniform to show appreciation for them as individuals who have played important roles in getting you to that very moment in time.
I paid for MOH’s dress, shoes, hair, make-up and accomodations. Since they were all things related to MY wedding, I did not treat them as gifts to her. My gift to her was a giftcard that would cover a dinner for 2 at Ruths Chris, which is she and her husband’s favorite restaurant. Oh, and free babysitting for their child while they went to dinner (love that little guy, so I’ll take any excuse to hang out with him).
Edit: While I was thanking her on the surface for being my Maid/Matron of Honor, I was really thanking her for more than a decade of friendship, trust, love, and support. She is one of my marriage role models, and seeing her balance the role of wife with the role of mother and career woman, too, gave me a boost of confidence that I could do the same. And when I thought about it that way, facilitating a romantic dinner with her husband seemed to be the least that I could do.