I'm a bridesmaid this Summer in the wedding of one of my closest friends. She comes from a a very traditional Southern family, and she is having a ton of parties to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. Since I'm in her wedding party, I'm invited to all of them. I'd love to attend them all if I can, but buying a gift for all these parties is really going to break my bank. Is it tacky as a bridesmaid not to bring a present to every occasion? — Broke Brook
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Dear Broke Brook,
I've said it once and I'll say it again — being in a wedding is expensive, and there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to bridesmaid etiquette. When a bride asks you to be a part of her special day, she's asking you to do her a big favor, so my advice to you is to attend what you can, but try not to feel obligated to make an appearance at every party, let alone bring a gift to each one. When you factor in travel costs, dress costs, hair and makeup costs, and buying engagement party and shower gifts, it's no wonder being a bridesmaid can make your bank account feel depleted.
If you do decide to attend every event and you don't want to come empty-handed, buy something less expensive off the couple's registry, such as kitchen towels, a cookbook, or that great wooden spoon they've had their eyes on. If you don't mind coming empty-handed, I'm pretty certain your bride will just be honored to have you there. Now if this specific wedding is one of many this Spring, try to make it to at least one of her events. Since you're a part of her wedding day, chances are you're one of her closest friends so hopefully she'll be understanding about your time and budget constraints.
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