• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Etiquette

Gift for bridal shower if I'm not going?

CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
I'm a BM for my friends upcoming wedding in May.  She's having a shower in April, in which I was invited to but declined.  She lives update NY and I live in IL, so she's understanding of me not going.  

Do I still have to mail her a gift?  Her MIL made a comment like "all your BM's should chip in on that one gift on your registry"....and I don't know if it's still customary to send a gift I'm not going?  Of course I was planning on slipping some cash in a card on the wedding day but I'm not sure if it's in poor taste to not send a gift?

Re: Gift for bridal shower if I'm not going?

  • When I've been a BM we have chipped in on one big gift.

    If you're close enough to be a BM then I think you should give a gift.    
    SP29eileenrob
  • Ditto PP- I send a gift based on closeness to the bride.  A friend from grad school I haven't seen in a few years? No gift.  A friend close enough to me to ask me to be a BM? Definitely sending a gift.

    I'm personally not big on group gifts, I've never gone in on one except for with my sisters a few times, but I have heard of BMs (or any group of friends) going in on something big.  Instead of me giving my cousin the bride the $50 gift, my sisters and I will give her a $150-200 gift.
  • Good friend or family I always send a gift if I can't attend. Someone I know peripherally, like a spouse of FI's friend...I would question why I was invited to the shower (lol) and not send something.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I actually disagree with sending a gift. If you want to and have the means to, sure why not? But you're already intending to give her cash in a card on her wedding day then that should suffice. 
    I would only call it "customary" to send one or "in poor taste" not to because the Wedding Industry dictates that showers are their own event for which a gift must be given. I wholly disagree; the occasion is getting married. She's getting married, you'll be there in the wedding, so you can give your one cash gift then. 
    As a friend good enough to be a bridesmaid, maybe send her a shower-themed card with a sentimental note to let her know you're thinking of her. Send her something off the registry you know she really wants or something frivolous you know she wants but wouldn't ask for. But do you have to, no, I don't think so.
    ________________________________


  • While it isn't strictly necessary to send a gift if you aren't attending the shower, since this is a close friend and you are in the wedding party, I think it would be nice to send one. 
    image
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    The short answer is no a gift isn't required if you're not attending the shower.
    As a bm, though, I'd send a gift from the registry that's within my budget or chip in for a group gift.

    My social group is like banana's. If I'm close enough to receive a shower invitation, I'll make every effort to attend. If I can't, I'll send a gift via the registry. We usually bring a cash gift to the wedding.
                
    SP29
  • I will also add...if someone has multiple showers, I will only send one gift (and probably only attend one shower). I was a BM in a wedding once that had THREE showers (bride's family, groom's family, and some other group I forget). I only went to one and did not send a shower to the other two. And yes, she expected the WP to attend all three of them.
    SP29
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    banana468 said:
    I actually disagree with sending a gift. If you want to and have the means to, sure why not? But you're already intending to give her cash in a card on her wedding day then that should suffice. 
    I would only call it "customary" to send one or "in poor taste" not to because the Wedding Industry dictates that showers are their own event for which a gift must be given. I wholly disagree; the occasion is getting married. She's getting married, you'll be there in the wedding, so you can give your one cash gift then. 
    As a friend good enough to be a bridesmaid, maybe send her a shower-themed card with a sentimental note to let her know you're thinking of her. Send her something off the registry you know she really wants or something frivolous you know she wants but wouldn't ask for. But do you have to, no, I don't think so.
    You can disagree but for many social circles, the custom is to give a shower AND a wedding gift.   

    FWIW, I think if you know that you'll be involved / invited to a shower you budget accordingly.   We have a "wedding gift budget" and some of it is for the shower gift and some is for the wedding gift.   If I was close enough to someone to be invited to her shower but I couldn't attend then I sent a gift.  Every time. 
    I agree that there is one gift budget that gets split between shower and wedding if you're expecting to attend the shower. Say OP spends $75 on a shower gift, if she's going, and gives $125 at the wedding, her gift budget is $200. But if she's not going, and she'd have to pay shipping on a registry gift, well- I'd skip shipping the gift and give $200 in the card at the wedding. I just don't think that the existence of a shower mandates boxed gifts from every invited guest even if they can't be in attendance. 
    ________________________________


    JediElizabeth
  • In my experience, I can't imagine a BM ever not giving a shower gift. Whether you can go or not, or whether individual or together. 

    However, if it's a wedding where you're ending up spending a fortune to be a BM I'd only give a minimal wedding gift instead of the "usual amount" you'd spend. Unlike shower gifts, wedding gifts are private, so only the couple will know what you gave. If the bride was really respectful during the planning I'd give the full amount I usually give for close friends or family, but if she picked expensive dresses and expected lots of money spent on shoes and hair and makeup, etc., I'd give a lot less. 
  • Good friend or family I always send a gift if I can't attend. Someone I know peripherally, like a spouse of FI's friend...I would question why I was invited to the shower (lol) and not send something.

    This is exactly how I feel about it.  I am either going to be close enough to the person to be invited and thus give/send a gift, or I am not going to be close at all and will forgo the gift entirely.  Also, the gift doesn't have to be huge or expensive.  I think sometimes people get a little spend happy with weddings. 

    eileenrobSP29PrettyGirlLost
  • I was in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids attended, but gave nothing. Not even a card. She was pretty upset. Not because she didn't get a gift, but that not even just a signed card.
    If it were me, I would send a gift. For a friend who's shower I couldn't go to, I didn't, because her shower was two weeks before the wedding, and so I just upped the amount of money I gave as her wedding gift. For all family members of mine and showers on FI's side I'm invited to, if I can't go, I send a gift. But as PP's say, I don't think you -have- to. I would at the very least, especially since you are part of the WP, I would send a nice card with handwritten note. Most people would appreciate that I think.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I was in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids attended, but gave nothing. Not even a card. She was pretty upset. Not because she didn't get a gift, but that not even just a signed card.
    If it were me, I would send a gift. For a friend who's shower I couldn't go to, I didn't, because her shower was two weeks before the wedding, and so I just upped the amount of money I gave as her wedding gift. For all family members of mine and showers on FI's side I'm invited to, if I can't go, I send a gift. But as PP's say, I don't think you -have- to. I would at the very least, especially since you are part of the WP, I would send a nice card with handwritten note. Most people would appreciate that I think.
    I don't know. I get the bride's perspective, but the BM is not a mind reader. Maybe from her point of view, offering a card at the shower would draw attention to the fact that all she got or was able to afford was a card. She made a point of being there, and considering all the "your presence is present enough" poems that are out there, I could see where she would think that was more important than having a token thing for the shower. If you don't bring a present at all to a shower, that shouldn't be super obvious unless someone is rude about it.

    If your love language is not gifts, you're not likely to understand why this would be a big deal to someone. Conversely, someone who loves receiving and loves giving gifts should not assume that a lack of gift means lack of care or concern.

    Anniversary

    MairePoppycharlotte989875
  • I was in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids attended, but gave nothing. Not even a card. She was pretty upset. Not because she didn't get a gift, but that not even just a signed card.
    If it were me, I would send a gift. For a friend who's shower I couldn't go to, I didn't, because her shower was two weeks before the wedding, and so I just upped the amount of money I gave as her wedding gift. For all family members of mine and showers on FI's side I'm invited to, if I can't go, I send a gift. But as PP's say, I don't think you -have- to. I would at the very least, especially since you are part of the WP, I would send a nice card with handwritten note. Most people would appreciate that I think.
    I don't know. I get the bride's perspective, but the BM is not a mind reader. Maybe from her point of view, offering a card at the shower would draw attention to the fact that all she got or was able to afford was a card. She made a point of being there, and considering all the "your presence is present enough" poems that are out there, I could see where she would think that was more important than having a token thing for the shower. If you don't bring a present at all to a shower, that shouldn't be super obvious unless someone is rude about it.

    If your love language is not gifts, you're not likely to understand why this would be a big deal to someone. Conversely, someone who loves receiving and loves giving gifts should not assume that a lack of gift means lack of care or concern.

    That is a good point I never thought of. (This girl also didn't even give a card for the wedding). But if you're a BM, hopefully you know the bride well enough to "know your crowd" so to speak. But I know that doesn't always happen.
    PS- holy crap my grammar was bad. See, this is why you don't forum from your cubicle.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited March 2017
    I was in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids attended, but gave nothing. Not even a card. She was pretty upset. Not because she didn't get a gift, but that not even just a signed card.
    If it were me, I would send a gift. For a friend who's shower I couldn't go to, I didn't, because her shower was two weeks before the wedding, and so I just upped the amount of money I gave as her wedding gift. For all family members of mine and showers on FI's side I'm invited to, if I can't go, I send a gift. But as PP's say, I don't think you -have- to. I would at the very least, especially since you are part of the WP, I would send a nice card with handwritten note. Most people would appreciate that I think.
    I don't know. I get the bride's perspective, but the BM is not a mind reader. Maybe from her point of view, offering a card at the shower would draw attention to the fact that all she got or was able to afford was a card. She made a point of being there, and considering all the "your presence is present enough" poems that are out there, I could see where she would think that was more important than having a token thing for the shower. If you don't bring a present at all to a shower, that shouldn't be super obvious unless someone is rude about it.

    If your love language is not gifts, you're not likely to understand why this would be a big deal to someone. Conversely, someone who loves receiving and loves giving gifts should not assume that a lack of gift means lack of care or concern.

    That is a good point I never thought of. (This girl also didn't even give a card for the wedding). But if you're a BM, hopefully you know the bride well enough to "know your crowd" so to speak. But I know that doesn't always happen.
    PS- holy crap my grammar was bad. See, this is why you don't forum from your cubicle.
    How do you know the bm didn't give a card for either the shower or wedding? If the bride is the one who let on that a guest didn't give her anything, the bride is rude. And how the hell did she keep track while she was opening stuff, to know that a gift was 'missing?' And how is she so sure that the friend didn't order a gift to be delivered after the wedding?
                
  • SubwaylovesSubwayloves member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2017
    I was in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids attended, but gave nothing. Not even a card. She was pretty upset. Not because she didn't get a gift, but that not even just a signed card.
    If it were me, I would send a gift. For a friend who's shower I couldn't go to, I didn't, because her shower was two weeks before the wedding, and so I just upped the amount of money I gave as her wedding gift. For all family members of mine and showers on FI's side I'm invited to, if I can't go, I send a gift. But as PP's say, I don't think you -have- to. I would at the very least, especially since you are part of the WP, I would send a nice card with handwritten note. Most people would appreciate that I think.
    I don't know. I get the bride's perspective, but the BM is not a mind reader. Maybe from her point of view, offering a card at the shower would draw attention to the fact that all she got or was able to afford was a card. She made a point of being there, and considering all the "your presence is present enough" poems that are out there, I could see where she would think that was more important than having a token thing for the shower. If you don't bring a present at all to a shower, that shouldn't be super obvious unless someone is rude about it.

    If your love language is not gifts, you're not likely to understand why this would be a big deal to someone. Conversely, someone who loves receiving and loves giving gifts should not assume that a lack of gift means lack of care or concern.

    That is a good point I never thought of. (This girl also didn't even give a card for the wedding). But if you're a BM, hopefully you know the bride well enough to "know your crowd" so to speak. But I know that doesn't always happen.
    PS- holy crap my grammar was bad. See, this is why you don't forum from your cubicle.
    How do you know the bm didn't give a card for either the shower or wedding? If the bride is the one who let on that a guest didn't give her anything, the bride is rude. And how the hell did she keep track while she was opening stuff, to know that a gift was 'missing?' And how is she so sure that the friend didn't order a gift to be delivered after the wedding?
    I had a bridesmaid who did not give me a gift or card for the wedding or the shower. I guess I found it a little weird, but I know her budget is kind of tight, and she did help to host the shower (brought food, pitched in for favors, etc.), so I definitely understood that she had already spent a decent amount on my wedding/shower, and definitely wasn't mad about it, and of course would NEVER tell anyone else whether or not she got me something. Sure a card would have been nice, but she was extremely supportive and went above and beyond with helping me and being a sounding board for me throughout the planning.

    I was much more put off by another friend, who although not a bridesmaid, is someone I've known for a long time (almost 20 years), and would consider a close friend. I went to her shower and wedding and spent well over $100 on gifts for her/her husband (and never received a thank you card for either). She came to my shower and wedding, and did not give a gift or card at either. I know gifts/cards aren't "required" but this definitely bothered me. But again, I would NEVER say anything about this to her or any of our friends!

    ETA: To OP, I would definitely send at least a card letting her know you're thinking of her and sorry you can't make the shower, and likely also at least a small gift within my budget. 
  • If you're helping to throw the shower (or are contributing financially) I think the gift thing is less clear. I'd probably get something small off the registry, but nothing too expensive if I was already contributing a significant amount to the shower. 

    If I wasnt contributing I'd definitely send a gift. 
    lnixon8
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would never go to a shower and not bring a gift. A shower is by definition a gift giving event. I agree is money is an issue and you are hosting or co-hosting, then a small gift is appropriate. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • mandypants90mandypants90 member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2017
    I was in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids attended, but gave nothing. Not even a card. She was pretty upset. Not because she didn't get a gift, but that not even just a signed card.
    If it were me, I would send a gift. For a friend who's shower I couldn't go to, I didn't, because her shower was two weeks before the wedding, and so I just upped the amount of money I gave as her wedding gift. For all family members of mine and showers on FI's side I'm invited to, if I can't go, I send a gift. But as PP's say, I don't think you -have- to. I would at the very least, especially since you are part of the WP, I would send a nice card with handwritten note. Most people would appreciate that I think.
    I don't know. I get the bride's perspective, but the BM is not a mind reader. Maybe from her point of view, offering a card at the shower would draw attention to the fact that all she got or was able to afford was a card. She made a point of being there, and considering all the "your presence is present enough" poems that are out there, I could see where she would think that was more important than having a token thing for the shower. If you don't bring a present at all to a shower, that shouldn't be super obvious unless someone is rude about it.

    If your love language is not gifts, you're not likely to understand why this would be a big deal to someone. Conversely, someone who loves receiving and loves giving gifts should not assume that a lack of gift means lack of care or concern.

    That is a good point I never thought of. (This girl also didn't even give a card for the wedding). But if you're a BM, hopefully you know the bride well enough to "know your crowd" so to speak. But I know that doesn't always happen.
    PS- holy crap my grammar was bad. See, this is why you don't forum from your cubicle.
    How do you know the bm didn't give a card for either the shower or wedding? If the bride is the one who let on that a guest didn't give her anything, the bride is rude. And how the hell did she keep track while she was opening stuff, to know that a gift was 'missing?' And how is she so sure that the friend didn't order a gift to be delivered after the wedding?
    Her wedding was two years ago. And no gift was ever sent. I was her maid of honor and wrote out for her at her shower who gave what so she could send thank you cards. As I said, she never expected a gift, but I understand where a card would have been nice to have, especially from a bridesmaid, and she didn't throw a fit at all. I find this a tish assuming, jmo. 

    edit for clarity: I was the only one she ever told, bride was one of this girl's BM's as well, so I assume they're pretty close. All she mentioned was that she was disappointed, especially because this BM asked the bride (at the shower) if she would regift her some of the things that she received that weren't on her registry. Which I suppose is a whole other story.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    MandyMost said:
    In my experience, I can't imagine a BM ever not giving a shower gift. Whether you can go or not, or whether individual or together. 

    However, if it's a wedding where you're ending up spending a fortune to be a BM I'd only give a minimal wedding gift instead of the "usual amount" you'd spend. Unlike shower gifts, wedding gifts are private, so only the couple will know what you gave. If the bride was really respectful during the planning I'd give the full amount I usually give for close friends or family, but if she picked expensive dresses and expected lots of money spent on shoes and hair and makeup, etc., I'd give a lot less. 
    I can. . . when they already have spent quite a lot of money throwing the shower for the bride, which is a gift in and of itself.

    Some of my BMs didn't give me a shower gift and some didn't give a wedding gift either.

    I typically don't send a shower gift I can't attend the shower, but if I was a BM I would.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    charlotte989875eileenrob
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    How do you know the bm didn't give a card for either the shower or wedding? If the bride is the one who let on that a guest didn't give her anything, the bride is rude. And how the hell did she keep track while she was opening stuff, to know that a gift was 'missing?' And how is she so sure that the friend didn't order a gift to be delivered after the wedding?
    Easy- because someone, typically a BM, was recording who gave what so that the bride could send out Thank You notes.  That's exactly how I know who gave what (or didn't) at my own shower.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    mandypants90
  • I would absolutely send a shower gift and then give cash at the wedding.  No question.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    MandyMost said:
    In my experience, I can't imagine a BM ever not giving a shower gift. Whether you can go or not, or whether individual or together. 

    However, if it's a wedding where you're ending up spending a fortune to be a BM I'd only give a minimal wedding gift instead of the "usual amount" you'd spend. Unlike shower gifts, wedding gifts are private, so only the couple will know what you gave. If the bride was really respectful during the planning I'd give the full amount I usually give for close friends or family, but if she picked expensive dresses and expected lots of money spent on shoes and hair and makeup, etc., I'd give a lot less. 
    That's my case.  I'm spending A LOT to go to this destination since it's not a popular place and flights are more expensive than a HUB or bigger airport.  I have rooms/car rental/dress etc. etc.  

    And a trip to Ireland a week after it.  

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    ETA: To OP, I would definitely send at least a card letting her know you're thinking of her and sorry you can't make the shower, and likely also at least a small gift within my budget. 
    This is my plan.  To split the wedding budget into a shower gift (thank goodness I have prime for free shipping) and wedding gift now.  I just haven't been to a shower in ages.  probably over 15 years, and probably that time frame for being in a party too

    OurWildKingdom
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards