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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 24th Nov 17, 12:35 PM
    • 106Posts
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    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I buy my friend a wedding gift?
    • #1
    • 24th Nov 17, 12:35 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I buy my friend a wedding gift? 24th Nov 17 at 12:35 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I'm a bridesmaid for one of my best friends this year. All the bridesmaids collectively agreed a budget for the hen party to keep things fair. For various reasons we have gone way over budget, but the bride also asked us to pay for our own dress alterations (£75+), shoes (£30+) and hair styling (£50+). Can I get away with not buying a wedding gift?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 2
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 29th Nov 17, 11:52 AM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 1,825 Thanks
    rach_k
    The question you should ask yourself is do you want to give a gift? A gift given because you feel you have to is not something I would want to receive. Forget about what you should do and do what you feel, money permitting! If that means giving nothing, so be it - the bride should understand (and if she doesn't, she deserves to feel sad because nobody should ever expect a gift!). If you want to but can't afford much, write a nice card and do something like a photo as already suggested.
    • Anaya96
    • By Anaya96 29th Nov 17, 12:09 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Anaya96
    I was in a similar situation just over 10 years ago. I had very little income and an overdraft and I was a bridesmaid to my best friend. My friend paid for my bridesmaid dress and alterations, make-up and hair. However, I bought the shoes (she gave me free reign to choose whatever I wanted, so I picked something I could wear again) and those, along with the multiple trips up and down the country for dress fittings and hotel accommodation etc, were outgoings that I really could have done without at the time. However, I didnít think twice about buying her a gift, though went for one of the cheaper options from her wedding list.

    I think itís unreasonable of your friend to ask for money towards the dress alterations and the hair Ė if she wants you to be presented in a particular way, she should foot the bill. However, youíve probably missed your opportunity to raise this with her, so put this down as an error on your part, move on and make or buy her a small gift.

    We didnít ask for any gifts for our own wedding, though eventually put together a small list of items we really needed after many of our guests asked us what weíd like and only gave the details to those who asked for them. We expected nothing but I still remember what items individuals gave us (from our list or otherwise), and also which individuals gave us nothing at all!

    One of my favourite gifts that was given to us was a pair of Emma Bridgewater mugs with Mr on one and Mrs on the other. My husband and I still use them for our morning tea ten years later. I have given a similar gift (but a cheaper make found online) to others.
    • GLM71093
    • By GLM71093 29th Nov 17, 12:27 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    GLM71093
    In the summer i was a bridesmaid for my SIL (we are very close friends too). My boyfriend was also an Usher. I had two hen parties, one being abroad, my OH also had two stag parties, again one abroad. We had to pay for two nights accommodation for the wedding and being in the countryside we had to stay in one of two places, both very expensive. However the bride and groom said to us they didn't want a present as they knew how much we had spent.
    We did however get them a frame made (only cost £15), but it had Mr & Mrs ***** and then three hearts in the middle, and on the hearts were the lyrics to their first dance. It was just a small gift but I have been told several times by them how much they love it as its so personal. Maybe look into something small like that or even make something which I'm sure would be loved by the bride.
    • stmartinsdiver
    • By stmartinsdiver 29th Nov 17, 1:57 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    stmartinsdiver
    I am in total agreement with Pollycat - and the thought strikes me that this is just 'one' of your best friends'!
    • pramsay13
    • By pramsay13 29th Nov 17, 2:14 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 718 Thanks
    pramsay13
    You can see here that there is no right or wrong answer and it depends on people's personalities whether not getting a present will bother them, so you have to make a judgement call based on your relationship with the couple.
    For our wedding we made up a list as people were asking, but our wedding was around an hour away from where we live so we deliberately said on the invite we do not expect a gift and your presence at the wedding is enough for us, but if you would really like to give a present here is the list...
    Some gave us gifts from the list, some gave us random things of their own choosing, some gave us money and some gave us nothing.
    We wrote a thank you card to those that had given us something but didn't take note of who gave and who didn't.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 29th Nov 17, 2:14 PM
    • 2,857 Posts
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    cjdavies
    A gift is optional, it's not compulsory or to be expected.
    Last edited by cjdavies; 29-11-2017 at 8:12 PM.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 29th Nov 17, 3:03 PM
    • 3,710 Posts
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    Yes, I think a gift is appropriate, as you're a close enough friend to be a bridesmaid, however it doesn't have to be stupidly expensive or off the official list (I can't bear gift lists, but that's another thread).

    Plenty of online sites do small, personalised gifts into which you can add the individual touches that make you a close friend (ie embarrassing old photos, your memories of when they first met, or when she told you she was getting married). Or you could make a small donation to a charity that is of personal interest to both.

    Don't get involved in any group gifts with the other bridesmaids, or extras. It is not unreasonable to be firm about your financial limit.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • pelirocco
    • By pelirocco 29th Nov 17, 3:27 PM
    • 7,591 Posts
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    pelirocco
    Since when did it became the right to expect a gift ?I certertainly didnt ,take note of who spent what , or even if anyone hadnt bought us a gift when we got married .
    I always thought a wedding was about you sharing a special day with people who cared about you
    Vuja De - the feeling you'll be here later
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 29th Nov 17, 4:15 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    Cimscate
    Well, presumably the dress and shoes will be yours to do what you like with afterwards whether you wear them or sell on Ebay is up to you. If you all agreed on a budget for the hen party presumably you agreed to go over it as well, if not still your choice to stay in or drop out on expense grounds. Hair maybe the bride should pay for but not worth falling out about. So all in all it's your best friend, buy her a gift and hope she does the same for you when the time comes.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 29th Nov 17, 4:22 PM
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    Pollycat
    Well, presumably the dress and shoes will be yours to do what you like with afterwards whether you wear them or sell on Ebay is up to you. If you all agreed on a budget for the hen party presumably you agreed to go over it as well, if not still your choice to stay in or drop out on expense grounds. Hair maybe the bride should pay for but not worth falling out about. So all in all it's your best friend, buy her a gift and hope she does the same for you when the time comes.
    Originally posted by Cimscate
    I've nor seen may bridesmaid dresses that I would ever have wanted to wear after the ceremony.
    • meknowalot-51
    • By meknowalot-51 29th Nov 17, 4:31 PM
    • 166 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    meknowalot-51
    No one has said how much is to be spent on the gift,have they?Your friend,bride,is i'm sure fully aware of your financial situation,i bet you've spoken to her many times over the years about weekly income.She'll know what you can afford and after what you've all spent so far may not even be expecting anything.Here's an idea,get some old photo's together of you all and mix em up,put them in a frame,result is one inexpencive memorable gift.Remember,she chose you to help and be there on her special day,presents are not whats important.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 29th Nov 17, 6:11 PM
    • 18,587 Posts
    • 47,845 Thanks
    Pollycat
    No one has said how much is to be spent on the gift,have they?Your friend,bride,is i'm sure fully aware of your financial situation,i bet you've spoken to her many times over the years about weekly income.She'll know what you can afford and after what you've all spent so far may not even be expecting anything.Here's an idea,get some old photo's together of you all and mix em up,put them in a frame,result is one inexpencive memorable gift.Remember,she chose you to help and be there on her special day,presents are not whats important.
    Originally posted by meknowalot-51
    I'm not so sure about that.
    Anyone who expects the bridesmaids to:


    I'm a bridesmaid for one of my best friends this year. All the bridesmaids collectively agreed a budget for the hen party to keep things fair. For various reasons we have gone way over budget, but the bride also asked us to pay for our own dress alterations (£75+), shoes (£30+) and hair styling (£50+). Can I get away with not buying a wedding gift?
    Originally posted by MSE Sarah
    may expect quite a lot gift-wise.
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 29th Nov 17, 8:51 PM
    • 664 Posts
    • 554 Thanks
    happyinflorida
    Well can you afford to?

    If not, have a little discussion with your friend. She's asked you to be bridesmaid so you must be fairly close and able to talk about things.

    If you're struggling financially and finding it all a bit difficult you could just say, with having to pay for the bridesmaid dress alterations and everything else I am getting worried about the cost of everything altogether for me and I'm struggling with regards to a wedding present for you both.

    See what your friend suggests, does she say "oh only get us a little one" - if this is the case, then just buy a small present, like a bottle of something they like with a nice card from a cheap shop!

    If she says, oh of course I didn't expect you to buy us a present as well as everything else you've paid for, then all well and good, but best to have a word first as you don't want to upset your friend in any way.

    Good luck
    • crmism
    • By crmism 29th Nov 17, 9:42 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    crmism
    Wedding
    Is it just me, or are the incidental costs of weddings getting really out of hand?

    It was customary at one time for the bride's father to cover the entire expense of his daughter's wedding, but everybody then was reasonable, including the bridesmaids, and it was generally affordable. Now, everyone goes overboard to try and upstage the weddings of their friends, but the occasion still lasts for a few hours of one day. A lot of weddings last only a little longer.

    I think you are being realistic. What you are being asked to pay for your outfit and appearance is quite enough, so do as you suggest and forget the present.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 29th Nov 17, 11:00 PM
    • 18,587 Posts
    • 47,845 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Is it just me, or are the incidental costs of weddings getting really out of hand?
    Originally posted by crmism
    No.
    It's not just you.
    • kazmeister
    • By kazmeister 30th Nov 17, 12:15 AM
    • 3,158 Posts
    • 52,839 Thanks
    kazmeister
    Save yourself £50 by doing your own hair (rip off anyway) and buy a present with that!
    Lost my wings, need to learn to fly again
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 30th Nov 17, 7:51 AM
    • 18,587 Posts
    • 47,845 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Save yourself £50 by doing your own hair (rip off anyway) and buy a present with that!
    Originally posted by kazmeister
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if the bride wants the bridesmaids to have the same hairstyle.
    • rinabean
    • By rinabean 30th Nov 17, 5:33 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 1,039 Thanks
    rinabean
    I don't understand why people are saying give a "token" gift like a handmade gift. A handmade gift is worth far more than something bought. Labour is expensive in this country, goods are cheap. Handmade is for the people you love most, not the people you're cross at and don't want to get anything for!

    I don't think you can get her nothing because it would be rude. But if you tell her you don't want to pay for all this stuff that's her decision (particular dresses, hairstyles), then it's okay. Either she'll pay for it and then you can buy her a gift, or she won't, and then you don't have any reason to spend even more of your money on her wedding. Depending on how she reacts, you might not want to go any more at all. But to not give a gift without saying anything would be a slight and she probably wouldn't even realise it was because of her own behaviour, so you would be the rude one.
    • Cheesypopfan
    • By Cheesypopfan 2nd Dec 17, 7:50 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Cheesypopfan
    How come the Hen went over budget? Whose fault was this? Buy your own shoes but make sure you will wear them again. Hair get it done yourself in the style tlyour friend would like - afterall no 2 hairdressers are the same. Alterations - maybe seek someone who can do it cheaper if any are needed. As for a gift, check out the woodland trust £15 dedicate a tree in many forests around the UK. They can go for a romatic country walk knowing their gift is in the forest! Nothing more stressful these days than expensive elaborate hen parties and weddings!. Enjoy the day keep your friendship!
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 2nd Dec 17, 9:44 AM
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    cjdavies

    I don't think you can get her nothing because it would be rude. But if you tell her you don't want to pay for all this stuff that's her decision (particular dresses, hairstyles), then it's okay. Either she'll pay for it and then you can buy her a gift, or she won't, and then you don't have any reason to spend even more of your money on her wedding. Depending on how she reacts, you might not want to go any more at all. But to not give a gift without saying anything would be a slight and she probably wouldn't even realise it was because of her own behaviour, so you would be the rude one.
    Originally posted by rinabean
    This what I dislike about weddings, people expecting a gift, it's very cheeky.
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