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Wedding and Shower Gifts and Being called Fat when Pregnant

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I read your column about wedding gifts getting expensive.  I am in a good friend’s wedding, and I have spent a lot of money on the dress, accessories, and I have to pay to travel to get to the wedding itself.  I am also flying in for a shower for the bride.  My question is if you go to a shower and the wedding, do you need to purchase two different gifts? I feel like I have done enough already. 



Dear Anonymous,

Etiquette says that you should purchase two separate gifts.  I understand that you have gone to a lot of expense for the wedding so far, so consider something such as going in with other people in the wedding party for the wedding gift, or for the shower gift, or even both.   I am sure other people in the wedding party are feeling overloaded with expenses as well.  This way you are giving something for each, but are not spending very much.    


Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

My husband and I are pregnant with our first child.  I am determined to eat well and continue my exercise routine because I don’t think being pregnant is an excuse to sit around and eat and gain unnecessary weight.


My whole family, including my mother-in-law knows my big hang-up about being careful to not gain “fat.”  I have told me whole family that I want to look like one of those pregnant women who look like they are all baby.  So far I feel like I have achieved that.  With that being said, I saw my mother-in-law the other day and she had the nerve to pat my tummy with a smile and said “you are getting so fat.”  I wanted to take her down right then and there.  Do you have any advice of how to handle this situation?  My husband said that I should let it go, but that is not going to happen.

Angry Pregnant Chick


Dear Angry Pregnant Chick,

Congratulations of your pregnancy.  I would nicely talk to my mother-in-law about it next time you see her.  Take her aside and say something like, “Mom, you said I was fat the other day.  That really hurt my feelings.  I am working to hard to eat well and exercise, because I want this baby to be healthy, and I want to stay healthy.  I feel like I have done a good job so far, and do not consider myself fat.”  See what her response to that is, and then go from there.  She will probably explain that she did not mean that you are getting fat literally, but just are looking pregnant.  If she tells your husband that she was offended by the confrontation, tell him to tell her that you are pregnant and the word “fat” is considered offensive to people.

Wedding Etiquette

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I am in a wedding out of town, and it seems to be getting very expensive.  I have paid for a $600.00 bridesmaid dress, shoes, accessories, a plane ticket, and I will have to pay 2 nights for a hotel room.  Do you think this is a lot for a bride to ask her 24 year old friends to pay for?  My mom told me that etiquette says that the bride’s family should be paying for all of these expenses, but that is not happening in this situation.  What is the etiquette on this please?

Going Broke Bridesmaid


Dear Going Broke,

Traditionally the bride’s family did pay for dresses, accessories, etc…  That changed by the early 1980s, and it is now assumed that the bridesmaids will pay for their own everything.  I do think it is a lot to ask anyone (especially 24 year olds!) to spend $600.00 on a bridesmaid dress, plus traveling expenses.  The cost of the dress alone is a lot for anyone to afford.  Also from experience I can tell you that no matter what the bride says, you will not wear the $600.00 bridesmaid dress again!


Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I am attending a friend’s wedding next month, and I have discovered that the bride and groom have only registered at very high-end stores.  I am invited to a shower, and then I will obviously purchase a wedding gift.  Do you think people should be more considerate and register at several places, with at least one place with affordable items, or do you feel like this is their wedding, and they can do what they want? 



Dear Anonymous,

I think registering at “more affordable” places, as well as higher end stores is showing consideration to your wedding guests.  If the bride and groom are young, they probably have younger friends who cannot afford to spend a lot, but still want to give them a nice gift.  In these troubled economic times, I especially would expect people to be consciences about all of their guests being able to afford a gift.


Friend Financial Issues and Mother-in-law

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

My mother-in-law is very nice in the fact that she loves to give me little trinkets all of the time.  The problem is that I do not like them, and prefer to have a clutter free home. 

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