In a Wedding

Updated on August 09, 2009
B.T. asks from Saint Michael, MN
15 answers

I'm in a wedding that is costing me a lot of money dress $150.00, shoes 30.00, hair and makeup done, spray tanning, nails. The shower is also costing a bit of money I have spent about 140.00 so far. Do I still have to give gifts on top of these expenses????

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answers from La Crosse on

I think it is totally idiotic to expect a bridesmaid to pay for her own dress. If she can't afford to have a fancy wedding then maybe she shouldn't have a fancy wedding. I just had a maid-of-honor and my whole wedding/reception cost me less than $1,000 but then again it wasn't a Coronation like so many women feel it ought to be.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Wausau on

I know everyone is telling you that you are EXPECTED to give the couple a gift beyond what you're already doing to help out with the wedding; This sounds pretty messed up to me.

It might be correct 'etiquette' to give them a gift but you've already put a significant amount of money into this. I would suggest that you talk to the couple about it if giving them something expensive is going to be a serious drain on your wallet.

In addition to that, I'm glad I found out what 'etiquette' says my bridal party needs to do - that way I can tell my bridal party to completely disregard it in this case. (I believe its selfish for the bride and groom to expect a gift after you've stood up in the wedding since you're paying for your own clothes/hair/what-not)

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answers from Rapid City on

This paying for the wedding clothes is a new thing and I think it is so tacky to say the least! It use to be that the brides parents pay for the cost of the wedding, reception, the brides dress and the dresses of her attendents and flowergirl. The grooms parents paid for the recieption, the tuxes for the groom and his groomsmen and ring bearer. The groom paid for the rings, the minister, the marriage license and the brides bouquet. Now days they want weddings which costs more then a new car and want everyone to pay for it. I think that is so tacky. Not only did we pay for the bridesmaid dresses but got little gifts of jewlery to wear with them as a thank you for standing up for us.

That said, now I will say this. It is costing you a lot for the honor of being a bridesmaid and that doesn't seem fair. Skip the tanning, do your own make up and nails and make the shower simple with games and a cake and mints and nuts. Then buy something small and simple like nice kitchen towels and utensils for a shower gift and a $50 gift card or something from the register if they are registered at a store for the wedding. Can't do much about the cost of the dress, but you don't have to put out so much for the extras so save money where you can. To go without a gift would be as tacky as them to assume you can afford so much expense to be in their wedding.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

Yep. If you are one for proper etiquette then you should get a gift for both the shower and the wedding (shower for her, wedding for both). However, one would hope that the bride a groom would be gracious enough to accept any and all gifts or lack thereof (but we all know people who are sooooo not like that!). After all, a marriage isn't about gifts. Or shouldn't be. The fact that you spent money on the shower doesn't count towards a gift because you are "choosing" to host or participate in it.

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answers from Dubuque on

I would give a wedding gift. You can save by skipping the spray tan altoghether or do it yourself with self-tanning lotion. Hair and nails can be done possibly by friends or daughters of friends. When my daughter was in high school she had a friend who did up-do's for all the girls at prom/homecoming time super cheap. Also beauty schools are more reasonable than salons. Also most of the bridal party is probably in the same situation since being in weddings can be a hurt to the wallet. I have been to a weddings where the whole wedding party pitched in $$ to get visa gift cards that the couple can use on their honeymoon. You each can give a little that ads up to a lot.

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answers from Minneapolis on

RE: the gifts. As noted below there are alternatives to some of your expenses, but being in a wedding will always be expensive. I too suggest going in on something with others. I know my friends and I have gotten other friends great gifts by going in on items together.

One comment I have is in regards to the shower. If you are the one actually putting on the shower it is not expected that you also give a shower gift. The expense of the shower is your gift to them. This does not however get you out of having to purchase a wedding gift.

I'm not sure your relationship with these people, I presume you are quite close with them as you are in the wedding, but note that the weddiing gift doesn't have to be expensive. If you are close to them, anything from the heart that ties you to them would be appreciated more than a set of candlesticks off their registry.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Yep, you still need to give a gift. I got something really nice and memorable from one of my bridesmaids that I never forgot, and I'm sure it didn't cost her much. She got us a little basket and made it into a picnic basket by adding a couple of plastic plates and cups and then she added a nice collage of pictures of us and our group of friends when we were little. I don't think it cost her much but I will always remember it because I had so much fun looking at the pictures.

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answers from Omaha on

Plain in simple if you attend the event you must bring a gift. I would go in with other people to get a nice shower gift as a group. It'll cost you less this way. With regard to the actual wedding gift just something from the heart will suffice. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

Dear Abby would tell you the answer is yes, typically the bridesmaids are expected to give a gift to the couple. The unwritten rule on wedding gifts is that they are suppose to be a similar amount to what the couple are spending for your dinner (and your date's dinner) at the wedding.

I've found that being a bridesmaid costs in the neighborhood of $700-$1000 when it is all said and done! After you figure in the dress, shoes, makeup, hair, nails, wedding shower gifts, bachelorette parties, traveling to these showers/parties, traveling to the wedding, hotel, meals the weekends of the wedding, drinks at the wedding, etc, etc, etc. It is an expensive "honor" your friend gives you!

Some money saving gift ideas would be to go in on a gift with another bridesmaid or another mutual friend the two of you have. If you are crafty you can always make gifts - hand tied rugs, crocheted dish rags, quilts, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Bridesmaid dress just cost a bundle and everything that you do as a bridesmaid is to be expected so if you did not want to pay that much you should have said you are flattered she asked you be a bridesmaid but can not afford it. Next do you HAVE to go somewhere to get your make-up, hair, nails, spray tan done???? You can save a bundle by not doing some of those things or doing them at home yourself.

I have a good friend getting married and a brother who is getting married with-in a month of each other, so I understand the amount that is being spent because it is double for me (seriously have spent $700 already on the two and still have the big days ahead of me so will be spending at least another $500).

As a bridemaid or any wedding guest you should get the wedding couple a gift if you are going to the wedding. As the other poster suggested go in on a gift or look at the registry and find something on sale in your budget. It would be tacky if you are going all out to look nice then you do not get them a gift.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I was up against this in my sisters wedding, I got her a bottle of champagne I think, in a nice little basket. Or it was a nice photo album- either way, it wasn't much out of my pocket on a gift. I think it's a personal choice, however, do what you feel you can do. I know my sister wanted us all to have our make up, nails and hair done,so she paid for us all to go to the salon together, that was her choice. If the bride isn't requiring it, I would do my own hair and makeup, and forget the spray tan.

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answers from St. Cloud on

For the shower, not necessarily. If you are throwing the shower that could be your gift. But it wouldn't be hard to find something on cheap to bring. Even a nice candle or something. My bridesmaids still gave me a gift even though they threw the shower.....

For the wedding, I would. It would be really embarrassing to me to show up with no gift. My husbands cousin and his girlfriend came to our wedding and gave us an empty card. We think it is rude and tacky. Hit the clearance aisles. Find a cheap basket (or use one you already have) and get some clearance "kitchen" or "bathroom" or some other theme items and through them in. Put a big bow on top. If you hit a couple stores the whole gift could cost you less than $10 to $15!!!

$150 for a dress is typical. I would just wear some shoes you already own in whatever color the bride wants. (My girls all just had to wear silver.....) Forget the tanning. I didn't even get one when I was the bride so I'm definitely NOT going to waste money on it when I'm a bridesmaid in my brothers' wedding. And do your own nails! Even if you just file and put a clear shiny coat on they would look fine. NOBODY LOOKS AT YOUR NAILS! Eyes are mostly on the BRIDE!


For my brothers' upcoming wedding here is what we are spending:

~bridesmaid dress (me): $150 + shoes (we farm and I don't ever really dress up so I don't own any dressy shoes... I'll probably check out walmarts selection.)
~tux (husband): $100 + shoes
~flower girl dress (daughter-4): $100, maybe a little more
~ring bearer tux (son-2): $50 + black dress shoes
~bridal shower (bridesmaids hosting): about $50 to $70 each bridesmaid
~bridal shower gift: $15 (super nice crockpot I got day after thanksgiving last year)
~wedding gift: $100 cash (that's what my brother gave us when we got married)



answers from Minneapolis on

yes, you still give a gift.



answers from Milwaukee on

why a spray tan? I think if the bride wants you to do that she should pay for it. The dress and shoes are your responsibility. it's proper to give a gift.



answers from Rapid City on

Hey B.,
Some of these expenses you shouldn't have to do -- why do you need a spray tanner? I can understand your hair getting done, but your make-up too? Who says you can't do your nails yourself? YES - you should still give a gift! When you accepted this position, whether it be the maid of honor or whatever position, you need to take into consideration these costs.

A gift doesn't have to be expensive - it could be a cool picture frame - or the couple's first bible ... it could also be a $25 gift card to WalMart or something like that.

Good luck,

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