Post # 1
Wondering about gift etiquette!
I saw a similar post but I believe the guest was just a regular guest not in the wedding party.
My partner and I are spending over $2000 to attend a wedding (non-destination…that would be worth it!) out of country. It’s the town where the couple lives now.
Flights alone are $700 each plus hotel, events, drinks at these events etc.
I am also in the wedding party so have already had to spend $200+ on a bridesmaid dress, $60 on alterations, about $100 for the right shoes, plus a $100 “spa day” the day before.
I have recently gone back to school, work, and rent an apartment in an expensive city. (Of course these are my choices but it’s also a financial factor). The bride and groom both have high paying jobs, have already lived together for years, and just bought a home.
Basically, this wedding is really draining me financially. I have been told that the other (intown…but also maybe out of town family) friends/bridesmaids spent about $125-$150 on their gifts for the couple AND I have been asked to chip in to pay for the bachelorette party and showers that happened months ago that I didn’t even attend, as I’m out of town.
What is the right move? As a Bridesmaid or Best Man am I obligated to pay for parties I didn’t organize or attend? Do I also have to spend $150 on a gift?
I am so happy my friend is getting married! I am so honoured that she asked me to be a part of her special day and will remember it forever but I literally do physically have this much money at the moment.
What should I do?
Post # 2
first of all, you should not have been asked to pay for parties you weren’t attending. Nope.
Second, I would say that you shouldn’t measure your own gift by others’ yardsticks. Meaning, give what you can afford which at this point might be simply a nice card, and then send a gift within a year of the wedding. I would think (HOPE) that the bride and groom would not be petty over a gift after they are aware of the money you’re spending to be in attendance at their wedding.
Post # 3
I think a nice card with your best wishes for the bride and groom is sufficient. You have probably spent much more than an average guest already.
Post # 4
You absolutely do not need to chip in for events that you didn’t help plan and didn’t attend. The people asking you to chip in (especially after the fact) are insane!
You should also only give a gift that you can afford. If that’s just a nice card with a sweet message inside, that’s fine! Your friend will be thrilled that you were able to stand up with her and be in attendance even though you live so far away. Don’t stress about this!
Post # 5
I agree with PP’s. You have fulfilled your bridesmaid role by buying the dress, the shoes, the spa day etc. If you did not help plan or attend the events then you do not need to pitch in. I would also hope that the couple are happy enough that you were able to spend so much money to get there and not expect a gift. A card or something small would be enough!
Post # 6
so i don’t know where you are, but in the US the prevailing custom is:
-you don’t pay for the bachlorette if you don’t attend (but ALL guests who attend the bachlorette – including those who are not in the bridal party – pay)
-as a bridesmaid, you DO help to cover shower costs even if you don’t attend the shower. ideally, the host of the shower contacts the bridesmaids first and discusses budget with everyone to make sure it’s within reason.
My *personal* feelings are that bridemaids already spend so much money, that they shouldn’t have to give a gift as well. But I know that it’s typically expected that you do give a gift. I’m telling my bridesmaids that I do no want any gifts from them, and this is what I’ve been told in the past when I’ve been a bridesmaid. I think it’s the curteous thing to do.
Post # 7
I don’t know what “prevailing customs” you are referring to, but the Bridesmaid or Best Man has no requirement to pay for a shower, especially if she wasn’t even there.
OP, don’t pay for any parties you weren’t apart of. If you can’t afford the “spa day” the day before, you can decline that too. As for a gift? Get them whatever you feels is within your budget, even if it’s just a nice card. The gift of being their Bridesmaid or Best Man should be enough.
Post # 8
You aren’t obligated to pay for parties you don’t host, and particularly not for parties you didn’t attend. It’s pretty rude for the other girls to ask you to pay for any of it.
As for the gift — a lovely card is sufficient, and if you can afford it, perhaps a small gift. But honestly, you’ve spent more than enough to show you support their wedding. Don’t go without a card though!
Post # 9
For a gift– agree with others, a card is nice, or if you have a nice photo of the couple, perhaps that with a nice frame; you do have a year to give a gift, so you could always secretly ask other guests to email you some photos of the bride and groom from other occasions, then make them into a photo book. You can usually get a groupon for these for a nice hardcover book for $30 or so, and it takes like one evening to put them together. Sentimental stuff is awesome and affordable. But really it’s not necessary and a simple card would be fine.
As for the parties– if you did not agree to pay a share, then you should not be expected to pay. if you did agree, then you should pay, whether or not you were able to attend.
Post # 10
let me clarify. There’s what everyone thinks on the wedding bee, and then there’s the typical experience of being a bridesmaid. By prevailing custom, I was referring to the latter. For example, on here everyone will tell you that the ONLY thing BMs have to do is buy the dress (and even this is up for debate here) and show up on the day. But typical experience of being a Bridesmaid or Best Man in the US is that when you’re asked, there’s USUALLY an expectation of more than that. There’s an expectation that you’ll help plan and bachelorette and throw a shower, at the very least.
I’m not here to advocate that bridesmaids have “duties” or anything like that – but just being real about it for a moment that there’s usually more strings attached to being a Bridesmaid or Best Man than just showing up the day of. You and everyone on here can deny that, but it doesn’t make it inaccurate to the real world.
So the “prevailing wisdom” that I was referring to comes from that basis. Do you HAVE to pay for any parties? You don’t HAVE to do anything. But yes, it’s typically expected that the Bridesmaids help host the shower, even if they don’t attend. However, only those who attend the bachelorette party are expected to pay for it.