Are bridesmaids expected to give a wedding gift?

I am seeing contrasting opinions on various etiquette sites.

in my opinion, bridesmaids are already shelling out lots of money on a dress, shoes, and other items relating to the wedding and, often, showers, Bachelorette parties, engagement parties, etc. So, I think that ought to exempt them from any social expectation to also give a gift.

  • Bridesmaids should give a gift
    60% (24)54% (13)58% (37)Vote
  • Bridesmaids should not give a gift
    10% (4)4% (1)8% (5)Vote
  • It doesn't matter either way
    30% (12)42% (10)34% (22)Vote
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Updates:
18d ...
18d Here is my situation:

I have accepted the honour of being a bridesmaid for my brothers fiancee. I have only met her once before when I visited this summer. I live on the other side of the country, meaning my boyfriend and I will be traveling for the wedding. Plane tickets will run us anywhere from $1200-1500 CAD for the two of us round trip. My dress, with alterations, will end up totaling about $300, plus shoes and other related costs. So altogether it's going to run me upwards of $1800 CAD.

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What Guys Said 9

  • in my recent experience (about 15 weddings in the last 10 years) no the bridal party is not expected to get a gift... that said there is nothing to say they can't. but as you said, the expectation is that (again in my experience) your gift is your time, effort, and money you invest in the special day.

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  • You know, maybe this is a reflection of my bourgeois self, but I feel that when you get to our age, gifts at weddings should not be required. This should be especially true for bridesmaids who had to buy their own dress and other things. At 30+, we're not kids anymore and we're not having a wedding to get our lives started. Instead we're throwing a party with the guests' attendance being more than enough of a gift.

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    • 18d

      Totally feel you on that.

      I do think that the whole gift tradition is outdated at this point. Most people getting married these days aren't moving straight out of mom and dad's and into their new home with their new spouse. It used to make lots of sense to give a young couple gifts to help them furnish and decorate their new home. But these days, most couples have been living independently for quite a while and have acquired most of their household items. It's nice to recieve a few splurge items like a fancy ass blender you wouldn't buy for yourself, but it's not necessary and shouldn't be expected.

    • 18d

      Your update is exactly what I'm talking about. You've given enough. At my wedding, we specifically put on the invitation that no gifts were required and I think it's the way to go. We still got some gifts anyway (mostly cash in red envelopes), but none of it was expected or required. I felt especially strongly about this towards out-of-town guests who were making the long trip (some making the flight from Dublin, Ireland to Seattle, WA).

    • 18d

      It's not gonna break the bank to buy a gift, but we do have our other priorities and given my brother and his wife to be are both in their mid thirties, she has been married before and she already owns her house, they don't need a bunch of kitchenware and linens and other traditional wedding gifts.

      My boyfriend and I recently bought a house together, so we are still in the process of outfitting our own home. By the time we tie the knot officially we won't be in a position where we need gifts for our home either and will likely go the "your presence of gift enough" route.

  • Are the other bridesmaids going to give gifts? It would be pretty awkward if they do and you are the only one who doesn't.

    Can you coordinate with them?

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  • Its polite to give a gift in my opinion even a simple one u can buy one with even 20 D or less even a picture frame anything

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  • I don't think you need to get a gift. You're already giving enough.

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  • You don't need t give any gifts. On the top they are expected to pay for your dress and travel expenses.

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  • the bride's family pay for everything it's a un writing rule that's been around since time began of time.

    yes you give them both a wedding gift but the bride meant to give you a gift to say thanks for being my bridesmaid

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    • 18d

      A lot of these traditions are shifting tho. Like the brides parent paying for the wedding. Some families still do that but most people I know paid for their own weddings, with perhaps some contributions from parents on either side.

      I don't anticipate my parents paying for our wedding. I think they may pitch in a bit but not pay for the whole thing.

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    • 18d

      @Darkfairie17 I'm from Canada too and yeah most of my friends and family paid for their own, with parents chipping in a bit here and there.

    • 18d

      @Darkfairie17 I'm from Cornwall UK

  • I think they are expected to give gifts to the bride. But if you already spent a lot of money on them already I guess you can avoid buying any additional special presents for them.

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  • obviously if she can afford it if not it ain't a big deal and a gift doesn't have to be something so expensive you can just give something simple hand made and as what girls would say "cute" something for them to remember you with and that's it

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What Girls Said 10

  • I've been a bridesmaid for my close friend, and this is what I suggest:

    Give her something that is meaningful for her and you. Its only customary and respectful to give a gift for them to start their new lives with. It doesn't have to be expensive. A $20-$50 gift would be okay. Over $100, and its pushing it and says more about you and the one receiving the gift. For myself, I didn't have the finances to get my friend anything. She knows this, as we've been like sisters for years. And because I have been with her through many trails and tribulations, she got me a gift instead. I say to just get anything that's valuable, like a scrap book or something to put pictures in. You can't afford it. Don't over spend. Its a lot of money, especially with the alterations added on to it.

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  • I usually give them a cheaper gift for their home or something to share - it costs so much money to be in a bridal party that really I'd prefer to give nothing but a card but I feel weird about it. The last wedding I was in cost $3200 (most was on the bachelorette party) and it was held in the town where I live - a gift on top of that is just too much

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    • 18d

      Holy smokes that's a lot to spend! I would be sincerely grateful if someone spent anything to be in my wedding. I know that's asking a lot and I would not expect a gift!

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    • 18d

      To be fair a lot of the cost is generally distributed between the other bridesmaids but they weren't in a position to contribute

    • 18d

      That's crazy. If I found out one of my bridesmaids even thought about spending that much I would shut that shit right the hell down!

  • i've been a bridesmaid many times and, in all but one case, i did give a gift (the exception being that i was out of work, so i helped with the venue setup/takedown instead).

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  • The bride is suppose to give the maids a gift. The bridesmaids are supposed to come together with the: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue

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  • A gift should not be considered a "social expectation" if it's genuine. Even if you can't afford pricey material things, you should give them something of sentimental value that they can cherish like a collage or even a hand- written note.

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    • 18d

      It's not an issue of affordability - I'm not broke and I can afford a gift. It's more about where to draw the line on how much money to spend on a wedding. I'm already shelling out $1200-1500 CAD to fly my boyfriend and myself there, and $300+ on a dress, shoes, etc. Having just bought a house with my boyfriend, we have our own priorities to spend our money on, including building up savings for our own wedding eventually.

    • 18d

      I think I will probably get them something small but I won't spend the usual $200-250 I normally would.

  • A small gift, like... monogrammed socks or a snack subscription box for 3 months.

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  • Depending on the couple, but I'd say bridesmaids should give a gift. That doesn't mean it can't be small, though.

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  • I'd assume so

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  • It is up to them whether they give a gift or not.

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  • the bride is suppose to get the presents.
    unless she's an asshole, nay, no presents for her

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