Being a bridesmaid is a truly BRILLIANT experience. It is a total honor to be asked, and there are so many great parts of it, but some aspects can be a little trickier. If you are a bridesmaid and wondering whether you should buy a wedding gift or not for the couple, the simple answer is, it totally depends on you.
The truth is that being even an average bridesmaid can be expensive. There’s the engagement gift at the start, the champagne, the bachelorette party, and then the wedding itself. In some instances, this will have been well-budgeted for, but we’ve heard of bridesmaids who have spent thousands of dollars being a bridesmaid. Of course, for some, this won’t be a huge issue, but for others, it really will!
Therefore, there are no set rules on whether a bridesmaid should buy a wedding gift but here are some things you may want to think about if you are trying to decide.
How much have you spent so far?
We know you love your friend. And we know that you will be by their side throughout their wedding journey, from doing shots at their bachelorette party to wedding dress shopping to last night jitters and getting ready together in the morning. And you cannot put a price on that.
However, sometimes you might need to. It’s worth taking a moment just to think about how much you have spent on your bride on this journey so far. If you got an engagement party gift and paid for the bachelorette party, then it’s likely your bank balance has already noticed.
Then there is the small matter of your bridesmaid dress and shoes. It’s pretty standard for the couple to pay for the dresses for the bridesmaids, which is always helpful. Perhaps you already have some fabulous shoes that could work with the outfit.
But if that is not the case, and you are buying the dress and shoes, this can be a significant wedding expense, and we think it’s totally acceptable to forego purchasing a wedding gift for them.
Then there is the wedding day itself. Again, it can prove expensive once you’ve booked a hotel room, paid travel costs if it’s a destination wedding, and potentially paid for your hair and makeup on the day.
Your bride should hopefully appreciate all this expense. She may even specifically say that she doesn’t want you to get her a gift. (In which case, woop woop, decision made!)
If money really is a huge issue, think about ways to cut some of these expenses – surely there’s a friend or a wedding guest that is really good at hair or makeup that you could call on?
What are the other bridesmaids saying?
If you are still unsure whether to buy them a wedding gift, try speaking to the other bridesmaids. They have probably spent a similar amount so far and may feel the same as you.
Perhaps you could all club together and get your bride and her groom a larger gift from you all?
If you did have a good idea for a bigger wedding gift, you could also potentially approach the groom’s party and see if they want to pitch in on a joint gift, too. Chances are they would be grateful for someone else taking this on!
But I want her to know how much I love her!
Of course, you want to buy your bride a wedding gift. You want to demonstrate how much you love her at this special time in her life.
And if spending money on wedding gifts is no issue, then definitely do it! You can hit up their wedding gift list and pick a flashy registry gift from there, or go off-list and get something else you know she’d love.
However, not all bridesmaids will have the funds to do this, so there are other ways to demonstrate your love for your friend. Organizing a beautiful bachelorette party or bridal shower will show this.
Remember, presents don’t have to cost the earth!
Giving a wedding gift does NOT have to be about money. There are lots of thoughtful presents you can give them which do not cost the earth.
You could write her a card written from the heart and give it to her the night before the wedding. You could create a perfectly crafted playlist of her favorite songs and buy her favorite breakfast for the wedding morning as you get ready.
You can let her know that you’ve sorted her ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ if you are the traditional sort. Again, you can do this on a budget – these blue garters are just $10!
I always like using photos for creative gift ideas. If you can get your hands on the official wedding photos, then you could have some fun. But also, make sure you get some good bridesmaid’s shots on your phones on the big day. Getting a personalized gift like a keyring of the happy couple and their wedding party is a cute gift idea, or creating photo drink coasters means you could choose a few of the best shots from the day.
You could always go the personal route and create an experience for just the two of you – a lovely brunch or dinner a month after the wedding will give you an excellent opportunity to catch up, and you get a treat, too!
Good luck – and don’t forget to enjoy the bridesmaid experience!