I’ve mentioned before how overwhelmingly expensive it can be for a bridesmaid (or groomsman) to attend a wedding. Here are some recession-buster tips of what you can buy without going broke. (And, yes, you are required to give a gift at each of the bridal events!)
Dear Wedding Guru: “By the time my friend’s wedding is over, I’ll be in poorhouse! What gifts can I buy her without declaring bankruptcy?”
(Our answer on next page)
The Wedding Guru says: First, decide on your budget. Realistically, what can you spend that’ll keep you financially comfortable? Once you figure that out, it’s time to get creative!
Consider “sequential” gifts: If the bride has registered for expensive dinnerware, give her one or two pieces for each pre-wedding party, and the remainder of one place setting as a wedding gift.
You can also give “accompanying” gifts: If the bride has registered for a big-bucks pasta maker, buy her a serving bowl, a set of four matching bowls, tongs, and a pasta cookbook.
Put together memory or heirloom gifts. Does your friend love your chocolate chip cookies? Write the recipe out on card and add a package of similar blank recipe cards. Wrap the ingredients in a nice gift basket. You can add a cookie cookbook, or baking utensils such as a measuring spoon or cups.
Lastly, offer yourself as a gift. Create cute, hand-made coupons that she can redeem for things like writing out table cards, addressing envelopes, or designing seating cards. You can also offer after-the-wedding items, such as an hour of grocery shopping, a week of watching their cat when they are on vacation, house-sitting, gardening (or even baking those fabulous chocolate chip cookies!).
Whether you decide to give your handy services or a bunch of smaller (read: affordable) and thoughtful gifts, the bridal couple will appreciate the time and energy you put into your gift choices!