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.