gift for a stranger

I’m going to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. The bride’s mom is making all the bridesmaid’s dresses. I think I’m the only bridesmaid who isn’t family. Having just married last October, I know that cheap bridesmaid’s dresses can cost $100 plus alterations. I feel like I should do something for the bride’s mom, but I’m not sure what. From my one visit to her house (for a fitting) I know that she has two big dogs and is into decorating/renovating her house. The bride has allergies, so I’m wary of getting anything too… fragrant. Any ideas on appropriate ettiquette or gifts would be helpful. I was thinking a gift would be appropriate, but maybe I should pay her? As a last resort I could go shopping with the bride, but I’m afraid I would be pressured to spend more money than should. (I’m a college student-- this will be going on a credit card.)

only offer to pay for the dress if you really can afford it.

I mean, it would be nice if you said,“are you sure I can’t pay for it? maybe pay for the material?”

but what if she takes you up on it?

A gift is a good idea.

The gift of food is always nice, as it is something everyone has in common.
maybe a basket of homemade muffins?

If she likes decorating, perhaps a plant?

or

Seeing as she is the bride’s mom, maybe a nicely embroidered handkerchief? I have seen some nice ones that can be personalized with a date. Its not an expensive gift, but it’s nice in that it’s a sweet gift as moms cry at weddings.

when a friend’s mom put me up for the summer once, i made her a cosmetics bag. it was pretty, cheap, useful, and easy to make.

then again, during a fight with her daughter that summer she called me ungrateful (in french, no less!) so what do i know?

Chocolate always seems to be popular. :slight_smile:

Food gifts are a great idea. A variation on Bad News Baboon muffin basket idea is a basket with food from your local area. eg little pot of honey, tea/coffee, local cheese’s etc you get the idea.

Another vote for food, or something consumable. That way it’s not some item that they may not like, or feel that they have to drag out when you come over. Give a plant only if you know she has a green thumb; I got three plants for my birthday one year, and they were lovely, but I felt bad knowing that they would die a lingering death under my “care.”

A food basket is my standard gift for people I don’t know well. We have a great gourmet deli/farm market in my town, and I do what leechbabe suggests: pasta/sauce, cookies, mustard, jelly, whatever, all decorated up nice. Always a hit.

I wouldn’t offer to pay, as that is likely part of the mom’s gift to the bride, but the gift is a lovely idea. Nice of you to think of it.

If she has those two giant dogs to take care of, maybe a gift for them would be nice. I think a basket from Three Dog Bakery or something is usually nice if you don’t know what to get a dog owner; you don’t have to worry about getting something she’ll like (and the dogs are bound to like whatever it is)and she’ll think it’s sweet that you thought of her and her “babies.”

(This type of gift has worked when shopping for acquaintances of mine. Your milage, of course, may vary.)