Generally thrown by either the bridesmaids or the principal bridesmaid, the bridal shower happens at least one month prior to the wedding day. With some exceptions, helping the bride prepare for the next stage of her life is the purpose of this party. You can contribute to that end by giving practical presents, which she and her future husband can use at their house.
Your Gift Budget
There are different opinion pieces giving bridal engagement tips on how much you have to spend on the gift. Some guides break the amounts down by your connection to the bride-to-be and recommend the following.
- $50 for regular guests and acquaintances
- Between $75 and $100 for extended family members, coworkers and friends.
- Between $75 and $150 for close family members and close friends
Other guides put the amounts from $25 to $75. Regardless of recommendations, the deciding factor should be your personal budget. A general rule is to spend around 20% of your overall gift budget on an item for the bridal party, and save the larger spending on an expensive wedding present.
To set a budget, consider your overall costs for attending the marriage, including the shoes, dress, travel and accommodations. In the event you are going to the bridal shower, but not to the wedding ceremony, you can spend more money on a present. However, if you find yourselves stretching the budget to somehow make it to that ceremony, do not feel like you should give her something extravagant.
Choosing a Bridal Shower Gift
Useful household goods are invariably welcome as shower presents. Kitchen items, like utensil sets and small appliances are two of the most commonly used ones, but buying anything domestic may not be a wrong choice. It can be expensive to set up a new house, and young brides especially appreciate receiving things they can use for years to come.
Giving the bride a certificate for manicure, spa day, massage or pedicure is another good way to show her that you care. She is already going mad with the wedding planning process, and it will be a welcome distraction for her to be pampered by you for some while. If you are invited to a bridal shower with a theme, be sure the present you are going to give the bride is not just in line with her personal taste, but also with that theme.
Some brides-to-be arrange registries specifically for their shower, which often include smaller things than the ones in their wedding registry. If your bride has set up the former registry, it will eliminate the guesswork involved in choosing a bridal shower present. You can be certain she will like anything you choose for her from the bridal shower registry.
Wedding shower presents are slightly different because this party focuses on the groom and bride. For this shower, you may wish to think about giving the following items.
- Bakeware or cookware sets
- Things to be used right at the wedding itself, like a cake server set
- Luxury towel sets or luxury bedding
- Personalized home décor
- Monogrammed bedding
Whether you are invited to a party for the bride-to-be or the couple, it is appropriate to give a handmade gift. This move will work as long as you know her or the both of them very well and you have artistic, culinary or crafty skills.
The Proper Gift Giving Protocol to Follow
Shower gifts are usually brought to the occasion and opened before or after serving the food. If you cannot attend the bridal shower, but still wish to show your affection and support, then send the gift to the party hostess well in advance so that it reaches in time for it. Wrap your gift to the bride in an eye-catchy box with some form of decorative touch, or tell someone who works for the store you purchase it to do it for you.
The second option will be a lot more affordable and less time-consuming for you. Either way, make it a point to write your full name upon the “from” line, particularly if you are attending a party with numerous guests. Whoever hosts it should monitor who gives which presents so that the bride-to-be or the couple knows to which parties they are supposed to give “thank-you” notes.
Bridal shower hostess should give the lady guest of honor something, even thought it does not need to be something luxurious. It is thought to be polite for the bride-to-be to give the person hosting this party a card or gift as a token of thanks for all her effort.
You may occasionally be invited to a present-less bridal shower. If this is the case, you do not need to bother about doing anything except showing up there and celebrating the forthcoming nuptials with the guest(s) of honor.