Do Bridesmaids Give Wedding Gifts?

Wedding expenses can add up, so here's what you need to know.
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated May 06, 2022

So you've accepted a bridesmaid proposal and are starting the process of making a bridesmaid budget. You've done lots of research on what expenses bridesmaids are traditionally expected to pay for, but still haven't found a concrete answer to your question, "Do bridesmaids give wedding gifts?" You know you have to buy your bridesmaid dress and accessories, in addition to (potentially) paying for your hair and makeup for the wedding day, but the costs don't end there. Basically, you'll have to be a budgeting pro while also adhering to bridesmaid gift-to-bride etiquette along the way. If you're not sure if you need to spend another $100 on pillowcases or a set of cheese knives for the newlyweds' kitchen, read this first.

Do Bridesmaids Give Wedding Gifts?

Even though you're already spending a lot of your money and time as a bridesmaid, wedding etiquette indicates that you're still expected to give a wedding gift to the couple. Bridesmaids are supposed to get the bride a gift for some prewedding events as well. We explain the events where gifts are necessary, so you can set a gift budget that works for you.

Do bridesmaids give a gift at the bridal shower?

Modern etiquette for who hosts and pays for the wedding shower determines if you have to give a gift at the party. Typically, one of the bridesmaids—most often, the maid or matron of honor—hosts the bridal shower and is expected to pay for the majority, if not all, of the costs. If you're not hosting and would like to help pay for additional bridal shower costs, like food or decor, ask the host how you can chip in (they will definitely appreciate it).

According to traditional wedding etiquette, bridesmaids should give a bridal shower gift since one of the purposes of the event is for the couple to receive items from their registry. But if you hosted or contributed a lot of money to the shower, you're not required to spend money on an extravagant gift. Instead, buy a gift that fits your budget or consider putting in money for a group gift with the other bridesmaids.

Are bridesmaids expected to give gifts at other prewedding events?

  • The engagement party: This is the couple's first wedding-related event to celebrate their engagement, so a gift is a great way to say congratulations. Around the time of the engagement party, the couple will be in the beginning stages of their wedding planning process, so most likely, they haven't created a wedding registry yet. But don't worry. You can never go wrong with a nice bottle of champagne, but if the gift is for your newly engaged best friend, consider a personalized coffee mug or engagement photo frame.

  • The bach party: This is one of the expenses bridesmaids are traditionally expected to pay for and plan. Some bridesmaids can afford to pay for their own trip costs, including travel, accommodations and meal expenses, on top of party decor and footing the bill for the bride. Other bridesmaids might only be able to afford their share, which is completely fine. Before making any final decisions about bachelorette destinations and activities, we suggest all the bridesmaids get together to speak about what works best for everyone financially. Also, since you are helping to pay for and plan the bach party, you don't need to buy a separate gift—the act of throwing the party is considered the gift. If you do want to surprise the bride, consider pitching in with the rest of the bridesmaids to get her a funny T-shirt or other bachelorette keepsake.

  • The rehearsal dinner: Simply put, no. You don't have to give the couple a gift at the rehearsal dinner. Hopefully, you will have already purchased a wedding gift for the couple by that time, but we know your schedule can get hectic as a wedding party member. We've created a list of some trusted last-minute wedding gift ideas, like donating to the couple's cash fund or buying them an air fryer, to help you out.

Bridesmaid Wedding Gift Amount FAQs

How much should the maid of honor spend on a wedding gift?

As the maid of honor, you have a lot of duties and responsibilities, like giving emotional support to the bride (and the bridesmaids), going to fittings and coordinating the bridal shower—just to name a few. Despite all of those responsibilities, you'll also have to schedule some time to find a thoughtful wedding gift for the couple, ideally something purchased from their registry. If you can swing it, it's considerate to spend a little more on the said gift (compared to the other bridesmaids) since you're most likely the closest to the bride.

Want to know exactly how much to spend on a wedding gift so you can set your budget? According to our company data, guests who are closer to the couple spend an average of $130 on a wedding gift.

How much money should a bridesmaid spend on a wedding gift?

So we've answered the question do bridesmaids give wedding gifts and now you want to know how much to spend on them. To show appreciation for your role and to say congratulations to the couple, we suggest you spend between $100 and $120 (or more), depending on your budget and whether or not you're splitting the cost with a plus-one. Think about what you can afford, how much you want to spend on gifts for the prewedding events and nonmonetary ways you plan to contribute to help you decide how much to spend.

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