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Moms and Maids

Bridal Party Gifts

Hey everyone, I have a question about bridal party gifts. 

I was thinking of doing hand painted jewelry boxes with a necklace from Etsy inside, put them in a personalized mini-tote, and add travel sized toiletries. My bridesmaids all have to travel because I moved right after I graduated from college and my sister doesn't live near me. I texted my mom to ask her opinion but she didn't say anything for a while and then started asking me about manicures. 

My mom and my sister have a long history of talking about me behind my back, for lack of a better term. I've see e-mails since my mom is not so stealth about showing me things on her iPad (she'll be showing me something in one e-mail, move on to her next e-mail, and it's a conversation about me with my sister), and I've even been the recipient of text messages about me that were actually intended for my sister. It sucks, but that's life. So I'm thinking that when she didn't text me for a while, she was running everything by my sister, who is very materialistic and money driven, and I'm not sure she would appreciate a gift like the ones I am giving, however I feel that nothing I can afford will meet her standards. 

I'm paying for my bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup done, I feel like they should be pampered a little since they're traveling for me. My mom thinks that should be their gift/part of their gift, but having something done for the wedding is not considered a gift. She thinks that since I'm not paying for hair and makeup for my sister (she's getting an up-do and full makeup, while my bridesmaids are getting a blow-out, style, and not full makeup, just partial I guess), that I need to consider that with gifts. 

I'm a fairly drama free bride. I kind of just go with the flow, trust the advice from my vendors, and don't ask for much. Sometimes I feel like my mom has made the process more dramatic than it needs to be. I'd ask for the budget for a specific vendor so I can see what my price point should be in searches, and she refuses to give me a number, just says to let her know what I find and she'll let me know if that's ok. As you can imagine, that has lead to several arguments and stressful situations that could have easily been avoided had I just been told what the budget was.   

I guess I'm just asking if you all think the gifts I'm getting for my bridesmaids are ok, and what I should do about my sister's gift. I'm a new grad RN that just moved across the country, so I don't have a ton of money to spend. I just wanted to do something nice and heartfelt, but the impression I'm getting from my mom is "go cheap on your bridesmaids since you're doing their hair and makeup but break the bank for your sister since I'm paying for her hair and makeup." 

Thanks everyone!

Re: Bridal Party Gifts

  • While not required, I think it's really nice that you're paying for their hair/make-up. 

    Personally, I'm not a fan of what you have picked out. I already have a jewelry box, my jewelry preference is very personal, I do not need a personalized tote (I have a million), and I would bring my own toiletries if traveling for a wedding. I don't want to rain on your parade, but just some honest feedback.

    What if you got them each something individual? A cookbook for the chef, a travel mug and coffee shop gift card for the coffee girl, a yoga mat for the yogi, a scarf/earrings for the accessorizor, a clutch for the party girl, etc... 

    And if your mom and sister talk behind your back, forget running ideas past them. It sounds like it just makes you feel insecure and crappy.

  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree with PP, go for something individual to each BM. It doesn't have to be expensive, my one BM's favorite gift I got her were Geocoins. They're only 5 bucks a piece, but it's something very specific to her hobby. 

  • Ok, thanks for the input. 

    And I don't think I'll run it by my mom this time! I love my mom and she means well, but she drives me crazy sometimes!
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2014
    Forget the matching bm gifts. Shop for your MOH and BMs as though you're shopping for birthday gifts. Spend approximately the same amount of money on each of them. Assuming that you (not your mom) are paying for the gifts, you shouldn't discuss it further with your mom.

    If your sister turned down your offer of a blow out and partial makeup, that was her choice. You owe her nothing more. If she's using the same stylist, you could put down the same amount of money for her that you did for the bms and let her pay the difference. 

    Have you ever called your mom out when you've caught her gossiping about you to your sister? I think it's time to do that. As a  mom of three adults, I don't play one against the other, because I want my children to have good relationships with other. 

  • That's a great way of putting it, shop as if it's birthday gifts. I think that makes it way easier! My mom volunteered to have my sister get an up-do and full makeup. She completely doesn't support me paying for my BMs hair and makeup, but why should my sister be the only one in the bridal party with professional hair and makeup? I wanted to do something nice but still affordable, so this worked out. I think it's best to stop asking my mom's opinion for things that don't 100% require her opinion! I don't want to call her out because I don't like drama. My sister and I have a rocky relationship and I have a feeling this is why. It makes me feel like a joke! I called her out the first time I got a text that was meant for her about me, and she had nothing to say. This was a few years ago, but the e-mail I saw was just last year, so apparently nothing's changed.
  • What is partial makeup?  Does it mean that the BM's will then have to finish their makeup?  Honestly, I'd rather just do it myself in that case.  Especially, if it means I have to wash off what they did and completely redo it in order to be fully made up. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LOL, no, they don't have to finish it themselves! I just don't know how to describe it, but think of it as basic package vs. deluxe package. I honestly couldn't afford the deluxe package and hair for 6 girls, so it is a full face of makeup, basic eyes, lips, and foundation, just not quite as intricate, if that makes sense.
  • LOL, no, they don't have to finish it themselves! I just don't know how to describe it, but think of it as basic package vs. deluxe package. I honestly couldn't afford the deluxe package and hair for 6 girls, so it is a full face of makeup, basic eyes, lips, and foundation, just not quite as intricate, if that makes sense.
    That gives me a much better picture.  Will your sister be getting her hair and makeup done with everyone else?  It just might be kind of awkward if everyone sees her getting all this fancy stuff and they don't. Or they may ask their stylist to do the same thing and then are either told they aren't allowed to have that or get presented with a bill for the difference.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • No, she'll be going in earlier with my mom. I just wanted to do something nice for my friends that wasn't going to kill my budget, and I didn't think it would be fair if my sister was the only one professionally done, so I'm doing the best I can! 

    Oh, and my sister basically picked out her bridesmaid gift, I'll just get her what she wants and call it a day, I hate drama. Of course I'll end up spending more on her because my sister has very expensive taste, and I'll hear it from my mom if I don't spend more on her. My mom's funny, she says my bridesmaids will understand if my gift is just something from the heart because they know I don't have a lot to spend. Yet I better spend on my sister. I love my mom, but seriously. 
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers

    I wanted to share with you...I got my gifts from Origami Owl.  Made my girls lockets that tell their story. You fill them with charms.  I filled them with memories that we had together.  Something simple but can last a lifetime.  Here is the site I went to www.perfectlocket.origamiowl.com fast shipping and so many things to choose from.


  • I personally think your original idea is cute!  But I think it also depends kind of at what point in the "wedding life cycle" your bridesmaids are in their lives.  If this is a group of ladies who are relatively young and haven't stood up in a lot of weddings before, they might really appreciate a more "typical" bridesmaid-y gift like mini-cosmetics, totes etc.  However, if they've done this whole song and dance before chances are they've already acquired things along those lines and therefore those types of gifts would not be as needed (though I'm sure they'd still appreciate the thought!).  And of course, you can't go wrong with a heart-felt individual gift for each lady... but sometimes it's fun to all get cute matching totes and necklaces to take pics with on the big day!  Just know your group of ladies and trust your instincts about what you'd think they'd like :).
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