Wedding Etiquette Forum

Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input

Hi there,

Faced with a huge dilemma...

A friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, I agreed. The wedding is now over and I am still debating whether or not to buy her a gift....

Facts:
- The wedding cost over $90,000 (and this is the first one, there is a second one that will be happening shortly in the bride's home country)
- There were 10 bridesmaids - each of us had to pay for our own bridesmaid dresses which we had no input on...they cost is $500 each (including hemming)
- Bridesmaids had to pay $60 on the day of the bridal shower plus the cost of the bridal gift
- Bridesmaids had to pay for their own hair ($50), and their own mani/pedis ($40) and take care of their own makeup on the day of the wedding
- Some bridesmaids had to spend $600 on the plane ticket to fly there to be at the wedding
- None of the bridesmaids received any gift
- The bride's dress alone cost $12,000, not including her $1000 earrings and her $800 Louboutins and her $600 party dress

My dilemma.....this wedding has rendered a few of us broke as heck to say the least. One girl ended spent $1600 in total, another $1300. Nobody dared to speak up and say anything. 

I know it's the thought that counts and I'm a little bitter about having to spend any more money on a gift when I'm personally in debt (I owe about $6000 on my line of credit right now).

Can any one give some advice? Share an opinion? A few of us really have no idea what to do. 

Please and thank you
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Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input

  • Bridesmaids had to pay $60 on the day of the bridal shower plus the cost of the bridal gift

    looks like you already contributed to a gift.  id say no gift, but a card.
  • That is ridiculous.  There is no way I would have been a BM in that wedding.  I would have bowed out at the $500 dress.

    And no, I wouldn't give a gift.  A card would be more than sufficient and more than that bride deserves.
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  • Agreed, you should still send a card. 
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  • If you can't afford to get her a gift, or just plain don't want to, then don't. I wouldn't say anything to her about it though. What do you expect the result of that conversation to be? That she's gonna reimburse you or something?
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  • First, you don't HAVE to get anyone a gift. At least a card would be nice, though.

    You put a LOT of money into this wedding and I totally understand that. I suppose you could consider your presence and partcipation your "gift," even though you did it willingly.

    However, what I don't get is how you're going on about how much the wedding cost, how much the dress cost, etc. Because she spent money, she doesn't deserve a gift? Or is it because she HAS money, you don't feel like you should give her a gift?

    And why would you even bring this up to the bride? "We don't want to give you a gift because you already have a lot and you made us spend a ton of money even though we're adults with free will and could have politely and respectfully backed out at a reasonable time. I don't know why we're telling you this, probably because we're dickheads. And imagine! You asked me to be in your wedding because you thought I was your FRIEND!"
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  • I don't understand why you all went along with this whole mess. It sounds like you were dolls to be dressed up and stand and not actually close people to the bride. And it sort of sounds like you were all afraid of her.

    I would not get a gift. They are never required at wedding. I would probably send a congratulations card to the happy and call it a day.
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  • edited August 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:1065af11-848c-4030-a282-133466ab454d">Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE](I owe about $6000 on my line of credit right now). Posted by lmilani[/QUOTE]

    Uh...WAT? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard on here. Ever.

    Edit: Going in to debt over being a BM, not that debt itself is stupid.
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  • maybe I'm a $itchy BM, but if I have to buy a plane ticket, I don't get the couple a gift (maybe a nice card) - if I don't have to fly, I'll either get them something small, or go in on one thing with other bridesmaids.


    I don't expect any gifts from my BMs, or even OOT guests for that matter (I guess, technically, not anyone, but BMs and OOTs especially) - I'm just happy people are coming to celebrate with us!
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  • <div>Thanks for your input....so what you you personally do?</div><div>
    </div><div>I wasn't "going on" about the costs...I wanted to lay out the facts so that everyone here can make an informed opinion. </div><div>
    </div><div>I'm just shocked that she spent so much on this wedding, yet couldn't even spring for $35 mani pedis for her bridesmaids, let alone even give each of us a card (this is just a very very small example) not event a bridesmaids gift.</div><div>
    </div><div>I'm just lost here and would appreciate an informed opinion, not a put down.</div><div>
    </div><div>Thanks!</div><div>
    </div>In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:2988cf22-840c-4618-82df-e387b989d48d">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]First, you don't HAVE to get anyone a gift. At least a card would be nice, though. You put a LOT of money into this wedding and I totally understand that. I suppose you could consider your presence and partcipation your "gift," even though you did it willingly. However, what I don't get is how you're going on about how much the wedding cost, how much the dress cost, etc. Because she spent money, she doesn't deserve a gift? Or is it because she HAS money, you don't feel like you should give her a gift? And why would you even bring this up to the bride? "We don't want to give you a gift because you already have a lot and you made us spend a ton of money even though we're adults with free will and could have politely and respectfully backed out at a reasonable time. I don't know why we're telling you this, probably because we're dickheads. And imagine! You asked me to be in your wedding because you thought I was your FRIEND!"
    Posted by temerityjane[/QUOTE]
  • See, if all of you are going THAT much in debt, why would you ever agree to be part of these shenanigans?  There is no way I'm going $1300 in debt for someone else's party.
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  • You should have addressed your concerns with the cost long before this.  But I suppose it's too late for that now.

    My choice for this survey is not listed: "Give the gift that you can afford to give."  It doesn't matter how much the wedding cost, or how much you paid to get there and be a part of it as that was your decision.  Give the gift you can afford.
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  • edited August 2010
    Detailing how much the bride spent on her wedding to add "facts" (justification) for why you shouldn't get her a gift is ridiculous, seriously. I SAID you don't have to get her a gift, and agreed that you spent a lot. However, factoring how much SHE spent into your decision is ultra-lame & petty.

    If you give her a gift, it should be because you love her and want to celebrate her marriage. Not out of a sense of fairness or being "even."

    ETA: PLUS one of your poll choices was about bringing it up with the bride! SERIOUSLY?
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:ef4eb5c9-6413-4494-819f-60d6b4e92a70">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input : Uh...WAT? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard on here. Ever. Edit: Going in to debt over being a BM, not that debt itself is stupid.
    Posted by louisvillebride21[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>LOL Ouch, that was harsh.. but yeah, I mean, hey if I wasn't owing the banks, then another $50-$100 wedding gift would be no problem and I wouldn't even be posting here on the first place.</div><div>
    </div><div>But yeah, being a BM has contributed to my debt LOL

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:dcd51550-149a-4445-8bf9-2a9d08119893">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for your input....so what you you personally do?
    Posted by lmilani[/QUOTE]

    Send a nice card. I think 5 people have already said this.
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  • redheadfsuredheadfsu member
    First Comment
    edited August 2010
    Send a very nice card with some handwritten good wishes. Personally, I would send a small personal gift. However, sounds like you have spent more than you could afford so a card is more than enough.

    I really think you should have brought this up before you spent more than you could afford. Now it is kind of late to tell the bride. You really should have spoken up. There is not much that you can do now.

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  • Why on earth did no one speak up if they were going into debt over a wedding? Paying that much is ridiculous, no way would I have continued to be a BM if I had to pay that much.

    I agree you should send a card. I don't think a gift is necessary, not because she may already have everything but because you paid out the ass for her wedding as is.
  • Was she ever up front about the costs?

    I remember asking my bridesmaids what they were comfortable spending, and tried to stay within everyone's budget.

    It just seems very insensitive to me.
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  • Ditto everything TJ said. 

    We don't need to know how much SHE spent to make an informed decision.  It is  irrelevant.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:5723cffd-ac83-486b-9fee-df3068ef0dcd">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]Detailing how much the bride spent on her wedding to add "facts" (justification) for why you shouldn't get her a gift is ridiculous, seriously. I SAID you don't have to get her a gift, and agreed that you spent a lot. However, factoring how much SHE spent into your decision is ultra-lame & petty. If you give her a gift, it should be because you love her and want to celebrate her marriage. Not out of a sense of fairness or being "even." ETA: PLUS one of your poll choices was about bringing it up with the bride! SERIOUSLY?
    Posted by temerityjane[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I didn't mean to be petty...I just wanted to share with all you lovely ladies the experience and examples of other brides, more specifically, the one I was BM to. Gotta admit, it'd make for a pretty boring and uninformative post if I didn't splurge a few details :)

    </div>
  • I can see how you'd be pissed that she couldn't even spring for mani/pedis. Did she make everyone get a certain haristyle and didn't pay? Were the mani/pedis required? Probably.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:604b7167-790b-44cf-81ad-048a4bf20c9c">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]Why on earth did no one speak up if they were going into debt over a wedding? Paying that much is ridiculous, no way would I have continued to be a BM if I had to pay that much. I agree you should send a card. I don't think a gift is necessary, not because she may already have everything but because you paid out the ass for her wedding as is.
    Posted by Seshat411[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>In retrospec, I guess nobody spoke up because all the other BMs have no problem dishing out cash for a pair of Louboutins on a whim, spending $60 to get their hair done for the dress rehearsal dinner "just for fun", and sporting $20k engagement rings. If it isn't Daddy's money, then it's "Daddy's" money. A few of us BMs weren't as balling as the rest of em. </div><div>
    </div><div>I suppose that's also why no one cared to speak up prior to.

    </div>
  • I've run out of sympathy. Get her a card & don't say a word to her about how bitter you are about her wedding.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:3704d37d-637d-47db-88f3-97a75f545ea8">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input : In retrospec, I guess nobody spoke up because all the other BMs have no problem dishing out cash for a pair of Louboutins on a whim, spending $60 to get their hair done for the dress rehearsal dinner "just for fun", and sporting $20k engagement rings. If it isn't Daddy's money, then it's "Daddy's" money. <strong>A few of us BMs weren't as balling as the rest of em.</strong>  I suppose that's also why no one cared to speak up prior to.
    Posted by lmilani[/QUOTE]

    What does this mean?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:dc9e46d9-04b0-4ba8-954b-5b507b219cfa">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]I can see how you'd be pissed that she couldn't even spring for mani/pedis. Did she make everyone get a certain haristyle and didn't pay? Were the mani/pedis required? Probably.
    Posted by georgia_bride09[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Thankfully no, but she did say everyone had to get french manicures. </div><div>
    </div><div>At the end of the day, I'm not pissed I'm just really disappointed in my friend. It's the thought that always counts right? Even if we gave us each a card, I wouldn't be posting on here.

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:9d97954d-236c-479f-888c-a8be8c39b669">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]Was she ever up front about the costs? I remember asking my bridesmaids what they were comfortable spending, and tried to stay within everyone's budget. It just seems very insensitive to me.
    Posted by shellydiane820[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>She never asked anyone if they were comfortable with spending X amount. She just said here's the dress, here's where to buy it.

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:dd3cc9b7-4fd8-4352-8fb7-c8857d23609d">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input : I didn't mean to be petty...I just wanted to share with all you lovely ladies the experience and examples of other brides, more specifically, the one I was BM to. Gotta admit, it'd make for a pretty boring and uninformative post if I didn't splurge a few details :)
    Posted by lmilani[/QUOTE]

    I don't mean to be petty, but what else can I do to come up with catty gossip? AMIRITE!
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  • I don't think the cost of the wedding matters. At all. Gifts are supposed to be to wish the couple well in their future life. So really, it doesn't even matter than she didn't give you a gift or that you all spent a ton of money. (Though that would rub me the wrong way too.)

    But if you can't afford a gift, you can't afford one. I don't think anyone here would tell you that you need to overextend your wallet for any wedding, whether or not you were in the WP.

    A card with a nice message is fine. Perhaps a small gift card or homemade item as well.

    And you should have brought your concerns up with the bride when you were in a position to change things. For example: "I don't feel comfortable spending that much on a dress. I can spend x amount." Why didn't anyone speak up? Are you not good friends with her? Is this like a mean girl clique and she's the queen bee? Don't say anything now that it's all over. Try to sell your dress if you want some money back.
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  • Another option would be to talk to the other bridesmaids, or maybe even one or two of them, about going in on a gift together.  It sounds like at least a couple of them are in your shoes.

    But as several PPs said: if you can't afford a gift, send a card.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:0398138d-4215-450a-9a35-ca13584f3018">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input : What does this mean?
    Posted by Seshat411[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>By that I mean, a few of us BMs are not as filthy rich as the other BMs

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-etiquette-bridesmaid-very-big-problemneed-input?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:531cb21b-a84b-4058-b528-ecf377913923Post:ef4eb5c9-6413-4494-819f-60d6b4e92a70">Re: Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Wedding Etiquette as a Bridesmaid - very big problem...need input : Uh...WAT? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard on here. Ever. Edit: Going in to debt over being a BM, not that debt itself is stupid.
    Posted by louisvillebride21[/QUOTE]

    Well she didn't spend THAT much to be a BM.
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