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Wediquette Wednesday: Do I have to buy a gift for an expensive destination wedding if I’m a bridesmaid?


Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: I’m in my friend’s wedding, which is in Costa Rica. I’ve already spent thousands on the dress, shoes, plane ticket and accommodations, plus a destination bachelorette party and gifts for several showers. I have no regrets about the expenditures however, and am looking forward to the experience and to celebrating her special day. I just want to be on point with the etiquette. Do I have to buy a gift for an expensive destination wedding if I’m a bridesmaid?

Answer: The short answer is yes. That said, most couples understand when it comes to a destination wedding that the gifts — particularly from members of the wedding party who have presumably already spent a large chunk of change‚ will likely be a bit more modest. Unless the couple has requested no gifts or “your presence is our present,” as many like to say, a small gift that fits within your budget is acceptable. Be sure to ship gifts directly to the bride or groom, rather than taking it to the wedding, so they don’t have to haul it back home or pay to ship it. There is another philosophy among wedding etiquette writers that suggests foregoing a gift in favor of a heartfelt card. I’m a bit on the fence, but am in favor if you are close to the bride and groom and know they will understand a card in lieu of a gift. In this case, use your judgment, but I tend to err on the side of gifting.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.


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