Though there is no set rule, it is generally expected that bridesmaids will purchase several different wedding gifts for the bride and groom. From bridal shower gifts to their own bridesmaid dresses, bridesmaids are responsible for purchasing a handful of wedding gifts. As a result, bridesmaids should make sure that they have the time and money to be a bridesmaid before committing to help a bride during her engagement and on her wedding day.
Bridal Shower Gift
Some brides have many bridal showers, while others have only one or none. Bridal showers are traditionally thrown by a close friend of the bride or even by the maid of honour. They can occur anywhere from a week to a year before the wedding. Bridesmaids are invited to attend bridal showers. Guests must bring a gift for the bride to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. Generally, gifts may be purchased off of one of the bride and groom's wedding registries. Consequently, if a bridal shower is held for the bride, it is polite for her bridesmaids to purchase wedding gifts for her to open during the shower.
Hen Party Gift
A hen party is an evening or a weekend for the bride to celebrate her last few days of being single. The bridal party, including bridesmaids, often participates in hen party activities. While the party is usually planned by the maid of honour, the maid of honour may request that bridesmaids contribute financially to the preparations and/or purchase a gift for the bride. For example, some bridal parties enjoy going away for the weekend to a city that is known for celebrations, such as New Orleans or Las Vegas. As a result, bridesmaids may be expected to purchase their own flight to that city, contribute to hotel accommodations and purchase a small wedding gift for the bride to open during her hen party.
Traditionally, the bride chooses the bridesmaid dresses and the bridesmaids pay for the dresses. In addition to the cost of the dress, the bridesmaid must foot the bill for any tailoring of the dress and any accessories. Accessories might include shoes that the bride has selected for her bridesmaids to wear or any jewellery. Though bridesmaid wedding attire is not a gift for the bride and groom to physically keep, it is a wedding gift that they will appreciate as they look through their wedding pictures.
Wedding Day Gift
It is appropriate for a bridesmaid to give the bride and groom a gift on their wedding day. The extravagance of the gift should be decided by the bridesmaid. If she has already spent a significant amount of money purchasing shower and hen party gifts and her wedding attire, the bride and groom likely will not expect an elaborate gift from her on their wedding day. However, it is important for the bridesmaid to give something to the newly married couple on the day of their wedding.