Gifts for Bridezilla

Updated on August 17, 2010
N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL
18 answers

My SIL not only caused trouble for me and my hubby at our wedding (and refused to stand up in it) but is now getting married herself.

My Stepdaughter will be in the wedding, already she has demanded we buy her a $150 flower girl dress and would not budge on any of the other lovely dresses I found in the $30-50 range. We are getting help to pay for the dress as we cannot afford it (not to mention that's ridiculous).

My husband agreed to be in the wedding (trying to be the bigger man) and will be paying for a $100 tux rental.

She has a bridal shower coming up which I am unable to attend (darn!) Since she is also pregnant, I have a baby shower for her to look forward to.

Bridezilla has also suddenly taken an interest in my husband's ex (the mother of his daughter). After never taking an interest in her during the 2 years he was married to her or the seven years after he divorced her she now suddenly wants to be friends with her. I get along fine with my husband's ex, but we are not "friends." She is invited to the shower. Her daughter, my stepdaugher, will also be attending.

SD lives mostly at our house and will be dropped off at the shower by me and then I have to leave because of a prior family commitment of my own (a real one, not one made up for the sake of convenience). Her mother will meet her there and then take her home.

I BELIEVE the invite to the shower came addressed to the mom and daughter (as it should be). Yet everyone knows SD lives at our house.

My questions are:

Who should buy the gift for SD to give to the bride? It's my Husband's sister, so it's HIS family. SD lives at OUR house mostly. But she is attending the shower with her mother. and the invite went to her house.

Do I have to buy a gift, even though I'm not attending the shower? Of course it's the right thing to do, but with all the wedding expenses I don't know that we can afford it. His sister is not one that appreciates handmade gifts. She gave us NOTHING for our wedding, well, except for grief. Her registry is full of expensive things so I'd have to buy off-registry.

My idea is to have SD MAKE a gift for the bride. I think a gift made for her by a young kid would be appreciated, maybe a nice picture frame.

I am planning on making her a gift for the baby shower I know is coming whether she likes that or not. It's easier to make cute baby gifts than it is to make something wedding-y.

I know she is a money-grubber and is really expecting people to go all-out for her. I can't bring myself to do that, and neither can hubby. Still, we want to be the bigger people in this situation.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the advice! Part of what bugs me is recently she didn't get my hubby or me anything for our birthdays (which are near one another) and she said it was because she had to save for her wedding. Okay, fair enough, we are adults and don't need birthday gifts anymore so no big deal. But then she got mad when we didn't get her fiance anything for his birthday or anything for her birthday (except cards). She lives at HOME with her fiance with no plans on leaving after the wedding. We live on our own.

She is also throwing a fit because the in-laws got us a short honeymoon for our wedding. They didn't pay anything for our wedding, and I thought that was very generous. They are not getting her a honeymoon because they are paying for the whole lavish wedding plus she lives there rent-free and will continue to do so until who knows when.

Bad feelings all over the place.

I found a nice picture of the two of them from when they got engaged that I took with my camera. I am going to get a nice picture frame for them and that will be the shower gift. I figure that's sentimental, and for family sentimentality is appropriate over cost.

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answers from Dallas on

Sounds like you don't like this person, and this person doesn't like you. I don't understand the need for people to pretend to like one another. If she didn't give you a gift (unless she was a highschool or college student at the time, in which case, she was obligated to) then you don't owe her one. However, if you truly want to give her a gift, the personalization gifts suggested above are good options.
I understand about wedding expenses! Weddings bring out the worst in people. My niece recently got married, and she wanted my girls to wear $150+ dresses, and my bridesmaid dress was $200. I eventually talked her into letting me buy their dresses (I spent $50)-- but not without some drama. However, I love my niece, and although I didn't agree with her elaborate and costly wedding, or her high priced registry, I did get her some meaningful gifts that were lest costly (like 3 angel pins that she put in her bouquet to represent the 3 grandparents that she lost). I also volunteered to buy her garter (she wanted hot pink).
Kids do not have to get grown ups a gift-- if you give a gift, just include her name on it.
As for baby shower-- how could you not give a baby gift? It is about the baby, not the parents. You can buy a cute baby outfit at TJ Maxx for $7.
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

A photo is perfect for her from the SD. Enough money is spent already. My husband was in a wedding a few years ago and the tux was over 100$!! The bachelor party was more money. My husband got mad at me because I put 25 $ in the wedding card. I was like how much does he need!! We do not have all this extra money to put out. So I did not care. PLUS now he is getting a divorce after having two blissful years of hell. Wasted money.

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answers from Austin on

No, Picture Frames! No Photo Albums. I do special events and weddings and they receive way top many. One of my brides received so many frames as gifts, it became a joke..

How about a custom door mat.. This one is less than $20.

Also personalized mailing labels.. All types of custom made, coasters, napkins.. They are inexpensive and not something most people purchase for themselves.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Since she is family, you and your husband should buy her a bridal shower and wedding gift. It can be from you, your husband and your step daughter. A gift card for the store where she has her registery would be fine, that way her and her new husband can use it toward the purchase of something off of their registry. I don't think it should matter that that she didn't buy you a wedding gift, just take the high road anyway. Why does it have to be a tit-for-tat? I'm sensing that you have a lot of hostility towards your sister-in-law and it's not all because of the wedding. I hope that you can find some way to make some peace with your feelings about her sometime soon. She's family, she's not going away anytime soon and it is not good for you to carry so much anger inside of you.

I hope that you can find a reasonable solution to your delimma soon.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I don't agree that you don't give her something because she didn't get you something...that is being vindictive and petty in my opinion. However, you didn't say if YOU were invited to the shower. If so, and since she is your SIL, a card and maybe a small present would be appropriate....maybe a small bath gel/lotion set because the shower gift should be for the bride. If YOU did not receive an invitation then no gift is needed. A small token gift should come from the flower girl to the bride so check w/ her mom to see if she has already taken care of it.

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answers from Reno on

Candles in the colors she's picked out for her kitchen, living room or bathroom would be inexpensive, but not homemade. A picture frame, with a note explaining that it's for a photo of the bride and her flower girl from the wedding day, would also be nice, personal and fairly inexpensive. (Just remember to take and print the photo; you can get a 4x6 print for less than a quarter.)

Don't worry about who thinks what or why - just do the best YOU can, and try not to put your stepdaughter in the middle, or expect her to take sides.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

A whole lot of thought into why and if you have to give a gift. A gift is a gift, give from the heart. If there is nothing there, than give nothing. I do however wonder if you were invited to this shower. No invite - no gift. Are you going to the wedding? If you plan to attend than one of the formalities is to give a gift as you CELEBRATE their union in life. Would your brother attend empty handed? You only need one give from the family for the wedding.

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answers from Chicago on

Give her a GC, for an amount that you can afford, from the store that she is registered at. This way you are not ignoring her wishes & if she has that many expensive items, yours won't be the only GC. She can combine them and get something that she wants from that store. If you completely ignore her wishes, it will just make you look like you're bitter. You could give her some kitchen towels to go along with the GC, if you want. You could make a homemade box/ birdcage, type item that she can use on her wedding day, for the cards that she will be receiving. Makes it look like you care. :) She can't say anything (well I guess she could) if you give her something.... and if she does say something about what she has been just makes HER look bad.

I would say that your hubby should check with his Ex to see if she is doing a gift that would be presented as if it's from her and her daughter. If that is the case, then no need for another gift, purchased by you, from your stepdaughter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

If I can't go to a shower, I don't give a shower gift. I didn't expect shower gifts from others that couldn't go. In a way, a wedding shower is kind of dumb, because everyone gives you gifts at the wedding, too. (Not that I didn't appreciate mine, but it does get expensive). Your daughter's mom is most certainly bringing a gift, but since you will be dropping her off at the party it might be awkward not having a gift in your hands. I think your daughter making a small gift is a great idea! What about framing the wedding invitation? Picture frames are fairly inexpensive, and it would be personal (without being too childlike). Don't go all out. I think you're doing plenty, and you certainly should not be blowing your budget. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

You are invited to, but not attending the shower, right? I'd say a $25 gift card is MORE than enough. Your hubby's ex can get her wahtever she wants. No O. expects a child to buy a gift! Have her make her a card.



answers from Tampa on

If she gave you nothing for you wedding then you don't have to give anything either. Your paying enough for a flower girl dress and the tux rental alone. She should just appreciate your being there. Also you mentioned she is pregnant. I would buy diapers and wipes and maybe an outfit or toy and call it quits. I like to give but we too are in a situation where we can't do it anymore. I think people need to step back and look at the big picture. I hope you can survive this ordeal. It is a happy time but this bride has more then just a wedding as a baby shower is near by. Most people will spend less on the wedding to help out with the baby shower. Congrats to her.



answers from Seattle on

My Q is this:

Since she's acting like an ungrateful toddler, and nothing you can do would make her happy, why not just do what would make YOU happy?

That way you're above reproach. If anyone tries to say anything the following list gets presented:

I though we were VERY generous, since she
- did nothing for ________
- did nothing for ________
- did nothing for ________
- AND we've already had to contribute several hundred dollars to her wedding already



answers from Chicago on

Definitely no gift for the wedding itself. I feel that if you are in a wedding and pay tons of money for a dress, hair, nails, etc.. that is your gift. As for the shower, something small. And if you want to get her a bachelorette gift that gets the point across, get her a wine glass that says Bridezilla. They have them at Home Goods. I got one recently for my SIL, even though she isn't that bad. We all got a good laugh out of it, but she knew at times she was a pain in her wedding demands. (But aren't all brides if you think about it).... but not to the extreme you are writing.



answers from Charlotte on




answers from San Antonio on

I think that a gift should be given by her brother and by her ex sister in law who is attending, but that's that woman's business. Children are not expected to give gifts. If your brother drops the ball and doesn't get her anything, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. Talk to him about it and tell him if he wants to, he can shop for it. If SD makes a gift, all the sweeter, but I'd leave that up to her.

I wouldn't care if she is a money-grubber. I would just not participate. I give thoughtful gifts and I refuse to feel extorted by the people I'm gifting to. If the thoughtful feelings aren't there but I'm obligated to get something, then I'll just buy something generic that isn't on the registry. Or something cheap that is.

I love that you're going to make something for the baby.



answers from Tampa on

A simple crystal type photo frame is more than acceptable for this type of thing and sign it from your daughter. Most stores have them for under $20 if you can find a nice 8.x11 frame for them. If not in crystal, a nice silver frame is sufficient.



answers from Anchorage on

I would consider the tux rental and flower girl dress as her wedding and shower gifts.



answers from San Francisco on

Your husband's sister needs to grow up. The best gift her parents could give her is first and last months rent on a two b/r apartment and a loving nudge out of the family next. If there are lots of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins etc., they might all want to chip in. (I'm serious)

I take it your husban's parents do not live at South Fork or have a 20 room home? hehehe.


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