My new husband and I are attending a destination wedding for a good friend in Mexico. I have received invitations to the bachelorette party and shower. Do we buy this friend a wedding gift also or is attending her destination wedding gift enough? What is the wedding etiquette with destination weddings when the travel is over $1000?
Not to mention, I did not invite her to any of my showers?
Dear Newly Married,
Well, you aren't going to love my answer, but yes, you do need to give your friend a gift for her wedding. It is your choice to attend her wedding whether it be in Mexico or around the corner from your own home. Regarding the shower and bachelorette, again, the gracious thing to do is to also give a gift.
However, you do not need to break the bank. My advice is this. Commit to a TOTAL gift amount in your mind. Let's say $100. I know this is pillows for your new couch, but think how you would feel if guests attended your recent wedding and opted to have THEIR flight/hotel be YOUR wedding gift. Out of that $100, purchase something small for the shower (around $20-$30). Perhaps a fun cookbook or kitchen utensils from her registry. Also, purchase something small for the Bachelorette (panties aren't THAT expensive), let's say $10, and with the $70 that is left, purchase a lovely something to send as the wedding gift.
Note, if you don't attend the Bachelorette, you can get away with not giving a gift. However, even if you do not attend the shower, you will still need to send something.
It is important to remember that the couple should be given a gift as a THANK YOU for hosting you at what will surely be a beautiful evening in Mexico, and subsequently as a token to remember you by as they start their new life.
Just buy a few fewer lattes over the next couple of months and you will rack up your "gift budget" quickly.
ON THE FLIP SIDE....BRIDES! Listen up! Be sure to go easy on your guests and manage your expectations! With destination wedding travel, it may be cost-prohibitive for some guests give a large gift. Remember, the memories with your guests are the best gifts you will receive.
One more tip, do not invite any guest to more than one shower with the exception of your immediate family and bridal party. Be sure to let your bridal party/family know that you do not expect them to attend all showers and that you do not expect them to give you a shower gift, at all.