Can anyone help me feel better about how much I am spending on my friend's wedding? As a bridesmaid? And maybe not getting her a shower gift?

I am not looking for shaming for complaining about money when this is about ~!*friendship*!~ (which I kind of got when I complained about the ugly dress). So, um, please don't do that. I'm not backing out, this is a very good friend of mine, I am not a bad friend or selfish. I should have said no for financial reasons, but I didn't, and I feel sick about the money I'm spending, gah.

Dress: $270 before alterations (no idea what alterations cost, they're going to be major, dress is two sizes too big)

Bachelorette party: $70 for kayaking, $70 spa trip, $25 for lunch, some unknown amount for dinner and then drinks and then dancing at three separate locations, all "upscale" because we want to play dress up, apparently. And this is in a major city where upscale is going to be the kind of place where cocktails are $15-$20 and these places are not close together, so we will be cabbing. $180 for travel (for me). This day is going to cost me probably $500.

Wedding hair and makeup: $200. This is the part I feel the worst about. She just told us, and it's one person, with three hours and five people (including the bride) charging $100 for hair and $80 for makeup. She will probably spend half an hour with me, I have easy hair. I think I'll only be able to tip her $20. And already feeling bad about that. And also nauseous. This better be some damned magical unicorn updo if it costs $100.

Manicures and pedicures: Unknown. She hasn't dropped the price on us for that, but it's mandatory, because we have to match. I am guessing $80 minimum, but knowing the kinds of places she apparently chooses (see hair/makeup above) I am worried it will be more.

Advertisement

Shoes: $160. We don't get to choose them.

The regular stuff: I won't complain about transportation and accommodations, because I would pay for those if I was a guest as well, but that will cost me $180 for travel and $120 for the night. I will probably have to get two nights, since the day starts at 8am, but I'm holding out that the bride will offer to let me stay at her place like I usually do.

So, this wedding is already costing/going to cost me: $1210, before a wedding gift and unforeseen costs. To understand what that money is worth for me, I make about $900 per month right now, and my share of rent is $800 before bills (and tuition which I am always paying off).

Advertisement

All of this considered...

1) Can I not get her a shower gift? I'm not attending because I'm already traveling there for the bachelorette and the wedding, so she's giving me a pass. Does this also give me a pass on the gift? Her mom is hosting it, so I don't think I will be asked to pitch in for the cost of the shower.

2) What kind of wedding gift are you supposed to get when you are a bridesmaid and this financial thing is happening? As you can maybe tell from the numbers, this is a very fancy, expensive wedding. It is also Italian. There will be five or so courses and there are a bazillion people there.

Advertisement

My friend is mostly a down-to-earth woman who realizes this is all very out of my price range and mentions that every once in a while, so part of me feels like she will understand if I am inexpensive in other areas. However, I do know she sometimes gets hurt over very minor things and I am NOT going to spend this much money on her wedding to have her mad at me for buying her a $30 wedding gift.

Advice? Thoughts? Commiseration? :(

I am going to be such a cheapass when I get married....