Post # 1
The recent post on Monetary Gifts, and what is "enough" to give as a cash gift, has got me thinking. I was wondering what other people thought about the gifts given from the bridesmaids (or groomsmen too, I guess) to the couple.
I have only been a bridesmaid once, actually I was the maid of honour, but it was a funny situation where I felt we weren’t close enough for me to get that title, and we have since drifted apart, but anyways… I was in post-grad school at the time and did not have much money. The dress was $300, my contribution to the shower for friends was $75 and for the bachelorette party $150-200. Anyways, I had a chat with another of the BMs (also a student) and we both confessed we could not afford to get the couple a wedding gift, especially one of the "usual" ones (for us) that is upwards of $100 or $200. So, neither of us gave a wedding gift (just a nice card), although we had given shower gifts.
Looking back, I regret not giving something that did not cost much but would have had sentimental value. And now that I am planning a wedding myself, with 4 bridesmaids from various ends of the financial spectrum (some are grad students, some are coming in from out of the province, some make $50,000+ a year), I do not expect a wedding gift from them. I know how much time and money goes into being a bridesmaid, and having them up there with me that day will be enough. A gift would be great, but by no means would I be offended if I did not receive one from any of our attendants.
What are other brides thoughts about this? Do BMs/GMs *usually* give a wedding gift in addition to everything else, or not? Are you like me and would not be hurt if you did not get something? Or is it an etiquette no-no? (I know gifts are gifts and no one can expect one, but still… it’s usually a safe bet that you will get gifts at your wedding.)
Post # 3
I’ve only been a bridesmaid once as well. It was this summer for a cousin’s wedding out of state. She and I aren’t very close, but all her bridesmaids were our girl cousins our age, so I figure that’s why I was asked. I’m the only one (of 25 cousins) that lives outside of New York. I spent money travelling and on the dress, but I wasn’t there for a shower or bachelorette party so I didn’t incur those costs. I ended up getting her something from her registry and made a pretty collage wall hanging from a Bible verse from their wedding reading in what I gathered from their registry to be "their colors" so that it would be a little bit personal at least. Honestly I don’t know if I ended up spending more or less than the other maids or if she appreciated it (I haven’t heard from her since the wedding.) I wouldn’t expect my bridesmaids to give me a gift at all since I know that they are making some sacrifices and spending quite a bit of money to stand up with me, but if they do I think something personal and inexpensive, would be more appropriate than an expensive registry item, since they are supposedly the girls who are the very closest to you.
Post # 4
I’ve only been a Bridesmaid or Best Man twice and they were both relations. It never crossed my mind not to give a gift. But I wasn’t buying $300 dresses either! I think I would expect to get something, even if its more silly than gifty. Hadn’t thought much about it.
Post # 5
I absolutely wouldn’t expect an expensive gift. Something small and personal, maybe something handmade, would be totally appropriate. Unless you are one of those brides who is buying everything, so your BMs don’t have much in the way of expenses. For my sister’s wedding, us BMs (who did have some significant travel expenses) got together and made her an album of all our informat photos of the shower, bachelorette, rehearsal, and wedding related events, including all our snarky and sentimental comments on the events. It mostly cost us our time, and she loved it.
Post # 6
My Maid/Matron of Honor and BMs spent thousands on my wedding events. Even if they didn’t, they’ve given me some valuable time helping out with DIY stuff, traveling, etc. I’ve mentioned here and there that I know they’ve spent a lot of time & money and to consider what they’ve done as the wedding gift. I think like gaudior23 said, it never crossed their mind to not give a gift. Their wedding gifts were extremely generous.
Post # 7
I am not expecting any gifts from our BM’s because they are coming from out of state and incurring travel expenses. I think our GM’s will likely get us something because they are all local and not really incurring any major expenses, just tux rental. Either way we’ll be happy to have them stand up with us and don’t need them to show their support in any other way.
Post # 8
One of my bridesmaids works for "Pampered Chef", so rather than registering for my pampered chef stuff (there are about 10 items I want, all under $40.00), my bridesmaids are all chipping in and getting me my pampered chef stuff. I think that is above and beyond what I would expect, but I am very close to all of my BM’s.
Post # 9
i would expect a gift, at least a sentimental but inexpensive one, from my BMs. they are ur closest friends and know you the best, so they should be the ones to spend the most on you. my family through my bridal shower, so my BMs only have to pay for my bachelorette party and their Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses. so i would hope they get me either a monetary gift or an actual gift. i, in return, am also getting them nice presents ($100 worth) and giving it to them at the rehearsal dinner.
Post # 10
I think it depends on circumstance and what I gave in the past.. I went to my MOH’s wedding last year, she’s not destitute by any means. I travelled across the country for her wedding, gave her $300 cash for myself and my fiance. Because I couldn’t make her shower, I spent another $200 on a basket and decorations for her room on the wedding night. So I would expect some sort of "normal" value gift from her.
On the otherhand, I know one of my Bridesmaid or Best Man is currently unemployed and just moved. I’m very close to her, so I actually offered to help her pay for travel, dress, etc, and am not expecting a present, even if her well employed boyfriend comes.
I found out that my Fiance has gone to several family weddings without a present, not even a card. So I honestly don’t expect anything from his Groomsmen, his family, or friends. A couple of them are even brining uninvited "dates." So I think his family perceives wedding ettiquette very differently from my family.