Perhaps your childhood friend is getting married. Perhaps you’re hosting a bridal shower for your niece. Maybe you’re looking for the perfect bridal shower gift from mom to daughter. Whatever your situation or relationship to the bride-to-be (or perhaps groom), you may have some questions about bridal shower gifts and the etiquette around them. That’s okay!
It can be confusing or even frustrating trying to figure out just what is a bridal shower gift, but don’t let that ruin the party for you. This article is here to help you navigate your way to the best gift you can give, so you can enjoy celebrating your loved ones. There are quite a few factors to consider and we will break them down for you.
Bridal showers are typically about helping the couple get their life together started (as are wedding gifts). Keeping this in mind will help you choose the right gift. A good starting point might be to think about what you wanted or would want as you start your own home. Did you completely forget to buy a colander and bottle opener? Were all your towels old and mismatched? Did someone try to give you an old lamp when all you really needed was cash? Thinking about the little touches can make all the difference.
If you take nothing else away from this article, remember to check the registry. This will typically be on the invitation or if the couple set up a website. The registry is an easy way to get a home run. When you buy from the registry, you know you are getting something that the couple definitely wants or needs. A registry might also be set up to show you if someone has already purchased something for the couple, so you can avoid gifting the same thing. It’s a win for everyone!
Bridal Shower Gift v. Wedding Gift
It is worth noting that if you are invited to both the shower and the wedding (and perhaps the bachelorette party), it is traditional to bring a gift to each event. A good way to avoid spending more than you’re comfortable with is to set an overall gift budget, then break up that total between the different events. If your total budget is $100 for example, you might want to spend $25 on the bridal shower and $75 on the wedding gift.
Is There a Theme?
Some showers will even have a specific theme that tells you what the couple might be hoping for or needing. The invitation might indicate a “Stock the Bar” or “Linen Party.” If this is the case, go with the theme. Wine glasses, a personalized bottle opener, or a bottle of your favorite alcohol would work. Or hand towels and blankets could be the ticket.
You may be unsure about how much to spend on your gift. There is no magic number of how much to spend but think about your relationship with the couple and your financial situation. If you decide your budget needs to be on the smaller end of things, that’s okay! Take the opportunity to get creative and add a personal touch.
Or, talk to other guests. You could get a group together and pool your money to get something on the more expensive end, like a kitchen appliance. Co-workers, cousins, childhood friends, or any other group can easily coordinate a gift.
Think about your relationship with the bride, groom, or couple. Do you have any inside jokes? Are you close? It might be nice to focus on something more personal if this is the case. Perhaps you have pictures of the couple on your phone that could be framed to make their house feel more like home. Maybe you know they would prefer some money for their honeymoon fund and a heartfelt card. Personal gifts might be an especially great option if you are on a bit of a budgetary restraint. Don’t underestimate sentimental value.
Typically, the shower gifts are opened at the shower. It may be helpful to make sure your gift, whatever it is, is something that can be opened in front of family without either of you getting too embarrassed. Some gifts may be suited for a bachelorette party or wedding gift that can be opened in a more private setting.
Ultimately, a bridal shower gift is about the bride or couple. Shopping from their registry can help you find exactly what they want, but you don’t need to stress out about how much to spend or come up with a spectacularly unique idea all on your own. A gift that shows you’re thinking about them and celebrating them is all you really need.
Written by Grace Sura