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Dear Nicki Ann…

I have been getting so many questions now that wedding season has crept up on us. Lots and lots of brides have been asking questions about planning – not just our Mansion brides, but friends of mine across the country. I figured if they are asking these questions, you might be as well. With that, I am introducing my “Dear Nicki Ann” posts. I’ll be sharing the questions and my answers for your reading pleasure. Trust that by the time I am done, you should not become the dreaded bridezilla. And yes, I totally stole the Dear Abby headline.

Dear Nicki Ann, 

I am almost to my wedding day and have yet to buy my bridesmaids gifts. Since we are paying for the wedding ourselves, I don’t have a ton of money to spend on each bridesmaid. A friend of mine spent $100 on each bridesmaid, but her parents paid for the wedding. I want to show them how much they mean to me with a nice gift, but with 6 of them in the wedding, it makes it hard to find something that is nice and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. How much should I spend on each bridesmaid? What can I get them?


Caring, but broke bride


Dear Caring, but broke bride,

I totally feel you! I had 6 bridesmaids myself and we didn’t have a ton of money left after the wedding planning was done. I’ve received some gorgeous gifts as a bridesmaid. From one bride, I received a pair of Swarovski Crystal earrings. From another, a sapphire and diamond necklace. Both were stunning gifts and I can only imagine how much they cost. While I really wanted to give each of my bridesmaids something on that same level, I just couldn’t afford it.

As you probably know from reading my blog, I am all about practicality. I don’t see a point in doing something that does’t carry it’s value past your wedding day. You can most certainly find some really gorgeous gifts for less than $100. Since you are almost done with your wedding planning, I am guessing you’ve heard of Etsy. Take a moment to check out the handmade jewelry, like this adorable necklace or this funky bracelet. If that still isn’t in your budget, it looks like DIY may be the way to go. Check out Honestly WTF’s DIY site for projects like this Macrame Bracelet or other fun projects. Maybe you’ll just have to make one for yourself too! Wrap the gift in a pretty little bag or box and include a heartfelt letter. Tell your bridesmaids how much they mean to you. It is as simple as that.

Something small and meaningful is better than spending hundreds of dollars on a gift that they will never wear/use again or might possibly throw out a year down the road. It isn’t about who spends the most on gifts. It is about being there for each other on one of the biggest days of your lives. So how much should you spend? I don’t know. How ever much you can comfortably afford. That is not something I or anyone else can determine. All I can say is do not go into debt just to prove that you love your bridesmaids. Show them with something simple and tell them that you can’t imagine them not being there for you on your big day.

That should be thanks enough. If it isn’t, then I think we have another problem.


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