What Are Some Good Gifts for a Bridal Shower?
Bridal showers offer a way for friends and family to congratulate the bride-to-be as she prepares to start her life as a married woman. It can often be difficult to select a suitable gift, however. People attending the shower should consider the personality of the bride before choosing a gift, and might want to consider a keepsake or pampering experience. If the bride to be is clearly expecting, there's no harm in getting some maternity gifts in advance. For example, a maternity pillow can also serve as a bridal shower gift if you just get creative about it. Many brides-to-be also register at major stores, so finding a present may only be a matter of selecting something she's already picked out.
Traditionally, brides received cooking utensils and other kitchen-related items at their bridal showers. While young brides may still appreciate receiving pots, pans, casserole dishes, and dishtowels, women who have already been living on their own for several years are likely to have their own fully-stocked kitchens. In this case, specialty cookbooks, upscale kitchen appliances, or a gift certificate for private cooking lessons may be a more appropriate choice.
Lingerie is another popular shower gift, although these presents aren’t recommended for very shy or modest brides. If you plan to purchase lingerie, make sure you known the bride’s size and personal taste. If not, consider giving a gift certificate to a lingerie store and allowing her to pick out her own undergarments.
Sentimental keepsakes such as a handmade quilt, crystal vase, or an engraved photo frame are bridal shower gifts that will commemorate this special occasion while helping the couple decorate their home. If you have access to photos of the couple throughout their courtship, a handmade scrapbook is a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift idea. Then there are humorous and borderline naughty gifts, like a pregnancy pillow for when the couple starts trying. Ideally, it's best used for pregnancy related hip pain, but you can always hint that they use it for more fun stuff.
Planning a wedding can be a very stressful experience. A gift certificate for a pedicure, manicure, massage, or a day at a local spa may be a thoughtful present that will help the bride-to-be relax and unwind before her big day. Pampering gifts such as perfume, bubble bath, gourmet chocolates, or a soft new robe are also good possibilities.
If the bride and groom share a special interest such as camping or traveling, consider getting a gift that reflects this passion. Presents such as a tent or a new set of luggage will be appreciated by both spouses long after the wedding has passed. This type of gift is also an excellent choice if you are attending a co-ed shower.
Today, it is quite common for brides to have created gift registries at one or more stores. If you are having trouble selecting a bridal shower gift, consider asking one of the shower hostesses to provide the bride’s registry information. While some people find that purchasing something from this list does take away the element of surprise, it also reduces the stress associated with trying to pick the perfect present.
Every person who has received this gift has been thankful and raved that it was one of their favorites! I found someone who can laser print on an 10 x 12 frame, listing their "song", on the top part of the frame, their wedding date on the side and their names on the bottom. Children's names are included on the opposite side of the date. My daughter used hers as an autograph mat with their 2x3 photo inserted. It hangs in there living room wall, and the recipient remembers who purchased it.
I think it's really helpful if the bride just registers somewhere for her bridal shower. That way, people will know exactly what they're supposed to get for her and won't have to go through some bridal shower checklist in their head trying to figure out an appropriate gift.
@starrynight - I agree with you, but I also think getting a bride kitchen stuff for her bridal shower is silly because most people have these things by the time they get married. A lot of brides are in their late twenties or early thirties, and by this time they probably already own a blender!
I think the idea of giving the bride kitchen supplies or cooking lessons for her bridal shower is extremely outmoded. These days, women do a lot more than stay home and cook, so I don't think these things are a really appropriate gift anymore.
Plus, in some relationships, the man is the better cook. I will admit I do most of the cooking around my home, but my sister and her boyfriend are the opposite! Her boyfriend is a great cook, but my sister can't even make baked chicken without burning it. So I definitely won't be giving her kitchen supplies if she ever gets married.
@myharley - I completely agree with this. Not only is it a bit awkward to pick out lingerie for someone else, a lot of women are a bit sensitive about their size. So I can imagine a bride being upset and offended if someone purchased her some lingerie in a size bigger than what she wears!
It seems like a better idea to just get a gift certificate, like you said. That way you'll continue to get bridal shower invites in the future, and not be known as the lady who bought the bride the negligee that was two sizes too big!
Some bridal showers have themes when it comes to gifts. I already had a fully decorated house, and my husband would be moving in with me, so we made the shower have a kitchen theme, since kitchen gadgets were what I so desperately needed.
The invitations had a decorative border of spatulas, whisks, and bowls. It was plainly spelled out, both in decoration and in words, that we wanted kitchen gifts only.
I got more gadgets than I will probably ever use because of this theme, and I was so happy about it. I really looked forward to trying them out one by one.
@julies – Anything with the couple's last name or even last initial on it is a good gift. If you can't afford to have something specially engraved, then you can always find something that already has a letter on it.
My cousin gave me a decorative plate with a big “W” embossed on it at my bridal shower. The plate was a piece of pottery, and it had been glazed and painted green. The “W” was brown, and the whole thing had a rustic look to it, because some of the brown and green had mixed together in the process.
I have this plate displayed on a small wooden holder on top of my piano. It matches the color scheme of the living room, too.
My husband and I were introduced by my friend at work. So, she had a photo of us from the day we met, and she gave it to us as a wedding gift.
We all had a double date to a ball, so we were really dressed up. She had the photo enlarged and framed, and it was something that no one else could have given us. It really was the perfect bridal shower gift.
I say that if you have the resources to give something personal and unique like this, by all means, do it. It will mean much more than a crockpot or a welcome mat.
@andee – I registered at one store for my bridal shower, and I gave my guests plenty of items to choose from, because I scanned hundreds of things! So, I still had the element of surprise, because I couldn't even remember what all I had scanned.
I had my graphic designer friend make up some cheap bridal shower invitations, and I had him include on there the information about where I had registered. The crazy thing is that though some guests did use this registry, they didn't do it correctly, so I ended up getting duplicate gifts.
If you don't take the registry list with you to the cashier when you checkout and tell her that what you are buying is a wedding gift, then she won't know to mark it off the registry, and it will still show up on there when other people look at it. I ended up getting two quilts because of this, but since I knew which store they came from, I just returned one.
I don't think you can ever go wrong with an engraved item for a bridal shower. A wedding themed photo frame is common, but there are other items that can be engraved as well.
This adds a personal touch that I think is always nice. The last bridal shower I went to, I had a plaque engraved with their last name that welcomed everyone to their home.
It is nice to get something that is different and unexpected. If you receive a gift off your registry, you aren't surprised by it. I also think it is nice to have an actual gift to unwrap.
There are times when a gift card is appropriate, but many people still love the anticipation of opening up a present.
If you want to give someone lingerie for a wedding bridal shower, I feel it is best to give a gift certificate. This is something that is very personal, and hard to pick out for someone else.
I received some lingerie at my bridal shower that I really didn't care for at all, and never wore it.
I think a bridal gift registry is fantastic. This way you are getting the bride a gift that you know she wants. It also helps to cut down on the number of items she receives that are the same.
Many years ago when I got married, I got more than one toaster, blender, etc. While I appreciated the gifts, I had no idea what I was going to do with all the multiples.
Most brides today are registered somewhere, and this takes a lot of pressure off trying to pick out a gift they will like. It may not be the most unique gift, but you also know it won't be something that never gets used.
@hrquir-- I have been to a 'couple's shower' and thought it was a great idea. This gets the groom a little bit more involved with everything.
In the past it seems like most wedding showers were for the bride only, and most of the gifts were also ones that she would get more use out of than the groom.
When you know you are going to a wedding shower where both the bride and groom will be there, along with other couple's, you are more apt to pick out a gift that both of them will use.
You could always give something fun that is themed. At my last shower I gave the bride a book about newlyweds on a sailing adventure - "SEAsoned: A Chef’s Journey With Her Captain" and paired it with a nautical-themed picnic basket for their own adventures. It was a big hit.
Bridal showers can be tense times especially since the bride might not know the majority of the guests because they are distant relatives and acquaintances of the groom’s family. This tends to also cause problems for those attending the event to come up with creative gift ideas for the bride that they may never have met before that day.
When a bride and groom have been living together, prior to their vows, this limits the amount of options they can put on a gift registry to their guests some gift ideas.
Close family friends of the groom may lean towards more sentimental gifts to contribute to the couple. A collector’s edition of a favorite childhood book might be a good gift.
Co-habitation is becoming more common. Therefore, the typical bridal shower has become more challenging for the current bride’s family and friends. Now it seems as though more couples tend to have a ‘Couple’s Shower.'
A couple's shower seems to be a great alternative. Since cookware, appliances and home décor are usually all accounted for, the couple’s guests can provide the honorary duo with hand tools to complete home decorating, gift certificates to favorite get-away spots and stuff that suits their hobbies.
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