Tuesday, April 12, 2011

bridesmaids and prezzies.

I was recently asked if I would write a post on the subject of gift buying as a bridesmaid.  I agree with this friend-o-mine that it can be a touchy subject and leaves bridesmaids with the daunting question of...

I have to buy HOW many presents??

For those of you that have been a bridesmaid before, you know it's a super important role that includes quite a few "duties", let's call them.  But they are FUN things (well, mostly fun things) that strictly revolve around making this great friend of yours the happiest person alive.  This is HER time, so really, if the bride wants it, the bride should have it. Among other things, that list of duties includes attending quite a few pre-wedding events.  This friend-o-mine that asked me to write this post was faced with all of the following:
1.) Throwing a bridal shower
2.) Attending an additional bridal shower planned by someone else
3.) Helping plan and, of course attend, the bachelorette party (which is also a lingerie shower, 2-in-1)
4.) The wedding itself

Along with all of these must-do and without a doubt exciting events comes the obligation to buy presents for all of them.  But do you have to?  I mean, of course you want your friend to be spoiled beyond spoiled, but let's be reasonable, you have to draw the line somewhere, right?  So here's my take on the above events:

1.) Since you are spending money throwing the shower (invitations, decorations, food, possibly a venue, time planning and preparing, time is money friends), you do not need to buy a gift for the shower you are throwing.  A simple card will suffice saying something along the lines of "I hope this shower was everything you'd imagined - I wanted it to be just perfect for you!  I love seeing all of your close friends and family gathered together to celebrate you.  I'm so lucky and grateful to be a part of your big day.  I love you!"  

If you're really feeling that tug to buy something, consider spending a smaller amount ($10-$15) and going in with someone else to stretch your buck a little further.

2.) You should come to this shower bearing a gift.  I would spend around $20 considering the other gifts you will purchase and money you will spend being a part of the wedidng.

3.) You should come to the bachelorette party prepared to chip in for the bride's costs (dinner, drinks, etc).  I would also bring a gift for the lingerie shower, but again, something small around $20. 

4.) For the wedding itself, especially if you are purchasing your own bridesmaid dress, shoes, and paying to have your hair and/or makeup done, you do not need to purchase a wedding gift. 

I have been a bridesmaid 5 times, and I have followed these guidelines each time.  For 4 out of the 5 weddings, I had to purchase plane tickets to get there.  I was absolutely more than willing to do whatever I needed to in order to be there for my friends and sister, and stand in that coveted spot that represents their closest pals - it is such a great honor.  But with that being said, because they are such great friends, I knew they would get it. 

You get it, right?

Anyhoo, I hope this helps.  And because I dislike posts sans pictures, here are a couple of gift wrapping inspirations for you.



  1. I read this last night from the comfort of my bed from my iPhone, but it was too hard to comment and I just had to tell you how great this post was. 2 years ago, I threw 2 separate bridal showers for the same bride (one for her family and one for his), traveled to Vegas for a bachelorette party, and then the wedding. I whole heartedly agree with what you are saying here. I got her some reusable grocery bags for one shower, and for her wedding present and the other shower gift I went in with other bridesmaids. It was nice that we could get her something nice, but only spend about 20 bucks each!

  2. I knew this would be a good one:) Thanks! I'm off to shop this afternoon. I'll be honest, I LOVE that she is registered at Pottery Barn. Love. It. Even if I don't find something on the cheap, I still love it.

  3. Ali - you are Ann Landers and Emily Post all in one and I get to have you as my daughter-in-law! How lucky is that? Great advice indeed.

  4. Apparently Anonymous isn't so anonymous...:>)