If you’re looking for everything you need to know about bridal shower etiquette for gifts, stick around! Below, we’ll go over all the basics, from how much to spend to which gifts are right for this pre-wedding party.
CHECK: Custom Bridal Shower Gifts
Bridal Shower Gift Etiquettes You Need to Know
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Consider this your crash course to bridal shower gift etiquette
- You will have to buy a separate gift for both the shower and the wedding.
- The shower gift is usually smaller and less expensive than the wedding present. It should be around one-third of the amount of your wedding gift.
- The theme of the bridal shower and the personal preferences of the bride should be considered before spending on an unwanted gift.
- The bridal shower presents received via mail or freight shipping should at least be acknowledged with a thank you card.
- But wait, let me tell you something. Avoid giving the bride inappropriate presents at her bridal shower. You see, most family members will probably be in attendance. So keep the presents bordering on the “private” and naughty be reserved for the bachelorette party.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details.
Does the Bride Need to Have a Bridal Registry?
A bridal registry is always a great idea in order to avoid duplications. At the same time, it takes out the hassle of worrying about what gift to get your friend. Having a bridal registry also helps lessen the times an item has to be returned to the store.
Do You Need to Pick Out a Gift From the Bridal Registry?
Not really. There are some instances wherein picking out something on your own can actually be better instead of relying on a bridal registry.
If you have a close relationship with the bride, you can go for a gift that you know she will love. But if you are a distant relative or the significant other of a close friend, the registry is your best bet.
What Type of Gift Should You Buy for a Bridal Shower?
Remember what I said above about saving the really “naughty” gifts for the bachelorette party! Instead, stick with gifts that won’t make the bride (or brides, if it’s a joint lesbian couple’s bridal shower) blush.
- A spa treatment package that includes manicure and pedicure, facial and body treatment, foot spa, and massage can be a timely present to refresh the bride and reduce pre-wedding stress.
- Hand-embroidered towels, a bathrobe, or a luxurious dressing gown with her initials can be thoughtful and sweet.
- A special gift basket containing toiletries or other personalized items like couple bracelets, his and hers coffee mugs, etc. “Smaller gifts” the newlyweds can both use and enjoy. Simple and practical.
- A DIY bridal shower gift can be impressive and budget-friendly — only if you have time to do it. Like hand-made clothing and painting. Think about it, the possibilities are endless.
All of these ideas are perfect for anyone to give, but if you’re the groom’s mom (or the other bride’s mom), we have a few extra tips just for you.
CHECK: The Best Last Minute Bridal Shower Gift
Bridal Shower Gift/s From the Groom’s Mother
A shower gift to your future daughter-in-law is one way of welcoming her into the family and letting her know she has your blessing and support. I recommend you check out the Miss to Mr.s Bridal Subscription Box – this is one of the best subscription boxes with a lot of helpful and cute items. You can also check our list of the best bridal shower gift ideas from mother of the groom.
The bride-to-be will be happy while unboxing every box with trendy and useful planning items,” says Svitlana Yesimets, Chief Editor at Weddingforward.com.
You can check the video below for additional tips.
Do You Have to Buy a Shower Gift If You Can’t Attend?
Philadelphia wedding planner Rebecca Richman explained to Philadelphia Magazine that you don’t have to send a gift if you can’t attend the shower. “However,” she says, “if the bride herself is a close friend or family member, you may want to consider sending a gift, but that would depend on your relationship with the bride.”
Do you have to buy a separate gift for both the shower and the wedding?
If you’re attending the bridal shower, you are required to give the bride-to-be a gift. And another one on her wedding day. However, if the bride requested “no gifts”, that’s the only time you don’t have to prepare a gift.
Can I give just one gift for both the bridal shower and the wedding?
Although it’s an uncommon practice, there are some guests who opt to give just one big-ticket gift for the two events. A good practice, however, is to bring a card with you to the bridal shower with a note that a larger gift is on its way.
Is it okay to give cash as a bridal shower gift?
Cash is now accepted as a wedding gift. But for a bridal shower, it’s still a pretty uncommon practice.
If you don’t have the time to get something from the bride’s registry, you can get her a gift card for a spa or a department store. It’ll be something she’ll actually use later on.
How much should you spend on a bridal shower gift?
“The standard amount to spend on a bridal shower gift is around $50-$75,” * according to the Shuttlefly Community. Lower or higher than that depending on your relationship with the bride. Gifts should be within the budget you can spare.
Do bridal showers call for specific types of gifts?
Some bridal showers are themed. It can be a tea party. Or a backyard bliss. This is usually indicated in the bridal registry information. If so, then find something that fits the shower theme. So you know where to shop.
Will the bride open a bridal shower gift in front of everyone?
Typically, bride-to-bes open their bridal shower gifts in front of the guests at the party. This is why it is best to steer clear of any embarrassing presents. Otherwise, you’d end up being remembered by her in-laws as the weird friend who gave the bride cherry-flavored panties. Sure, they may be a fun gesture for the bride but she wouldn’t want to be put in the center of attention with this kind of gift, especially if she’s marrying into a traditional and strict family.
Is it appropriate to bring the bridal shower gift or just send it through the registry?
Yes, it is. After all, the bride will opt to open her gifts during that time. So you can just arrive at the shower party with a card that suggests the present. So she knows you have sent it separately.
Who hosts and pays for a bridal shower?
Traditionally, hosting a shower by any of the bride’s immediate family is discouraged. It gives the impression that they’re soliciting gifts.
Nowadays, it’s perfectly acceptable. It’s heartwarming how family and close friends share the cost and hosting of the shower. Usually, the maid of honor or a good friend of the bride is the one who plans and hosts the bridal shower. In some cases, brides may want to be part of the bridal shower planning so make sure to ask her.
The cost of the party, as well as other duties, are then equally shared by the bridesmaids. This is their way of helping give their friend a break from all the wedding preparations without the added burden to pay for a separate party.
Are there any traditional practices for gifts received at a bridal shower?
One of the most common practices during a bridal shower is having the groom show up with flowers just before the bride-to-be starts opening her gifts. This is also a great way for guests to meet their friend’s fiancé before the wedding day.
Another tradition that has been passed on for several generations is to make a bouquet out of the ribbons and bows received from the gifts during the bridal shower. This “bow-quet” is then used as a stand-in at the wedding rehearsal.
When should a bridal shower be and how many times? *
Showers are typically held a few months to a few weeks before the wedding. You see, it’s common for a bride to have multiple showers. When this occurs, the hosts should consult one another about guest lists to avoid duplication.
Can the future groom attend a bridal shower?
Traditionally speaking, bridal showers are meant for female guests or members of the entourage only. But because times are changing these days, there are many couples who opt for a dinner rehearsal or a Jack and Jill shower.
A Jack and Jill shower is basically a shower for both the groom and bride-to-be. Instead of having two separate parties, the couple can invite their closest friends and family to celebrate the occasion with them ahead of the wedding day itself.
Can you give a bridal shower gift meant for the couple?
There’s really no strict rule to follow when it comes to giving a gift at a bridal shower. But if you wish to give a gift specifically for the bride, this is the best time to do so. If you have the budget for it, you can buy a bigger gift meant for the couple and give it during the wedding day itself. Either way, your gift will be appreciated by the couple.
The gift-giving in a bridal shower is an opportune time for everyone involved to renew ties with one another. Simply put, it’s not the amount of the shower gift that matters. But the appreciation and love that goes with it.
- “15 Must-Know Bridal Shower Gift Etiquette Tips” January 23, 2019. Gifts.com. https://www.gifts.com/blog/bridal-shower-gift-etiquette
- “Bridal Shower Etiquette and Expectations for 2021 | Shutterfly.” 2021. Ideas & Inspiration. February 25, 2021. https://ideas.shutterfly.com/bridal-shower-etiquette/amp.
- Carrie Denny Whitcraft. 2014. “Ask the Expert: Should I Send a Gift for a Bridal Shower I Can’t Attend?” Philadelphia Magazine. Philadelphia Magazine. May 14, 2014. https://www.phillymag.com/philadelphia-wedding/2014/05/14/ask-expert-send-gift-bridal-shower-cant-attend/.
- Jenkins, Jennifer. 2018. “Bridal Shower Gifts: 7 Gift Etiquette Questions Answered.” TODAY.com. TODAY. October 24, 2018. https://www.today.com/style/bridal-shower-gifts-7-gift-etiquette-questions-answered-t140135.
- Stewart, Martha. 2011. “Bridal Shower Etiquette You Need to Know.” Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart. July 27, 2011. https://www.marthastewart.com/7933019/etiquette-bridal-showers.
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Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own blog.