Wedding

Etiquette

Bridal Shower Gift Etiquette

Last Updated: Jun 29, 2018

Bridal showers are a great way for a bride to connect with her loved ones and prepare for her big day. It’s also a chance for female friends and family to pass on wisdom and give gifts to support her in the next step of her life. When it comes to gift-giving for a bridal shower, there are a few helpful tips that you can take into consideration before purchasing your gift.

custom wine glasses with initials

Jump to a specific section to answer your question:

What’s a Bridal Shower?

Bridal showers started in the 1890’s as female-only gift giving parties for a bride-to-be, and remains a popular tradition today. When the tradition was first started, a close friend of the bride always threw the party. This is because it was considered poor form for the bride’s family to host a bridal shower or ask for gifts. Now anyone close to the bride, including her family members, can throw the bridal shower.

Do You Bring a Gift to a Bridal Shower?

In short, yes. If you’re attending a bridal shower, you should always bring a gift with you to congratulate the bride. This is considered good bridal shower etiquette. Even if you’re a part of the bridal party or wedding party, a gift is still necessary. The only time you don’t have to prepare a bridal shower gift is if the bride has requested “no gifts.” Also, keep in mind that your bridal shower gift is separate from your wedding gift.

How Much to Spend on a Bridal Shower Gift

The standard amount to spend on a bridal shower gift is around $50-$75. If you’re invited to a bridal shower but not particularly close with the bride, expect to spend at least $25. Regular friends, co-workers, or distant family members should consider spending up to $75 if they have the budget to spare. Close friends or family members should consider spending anywhere between $75-$150 for a bridal shower gift.

If you’re attending the bridal shower and the wedding, plan ahead. Decide on gift amounts ahead of time for both occasions to stay within your overall budget.

What to Buy for a Bridal Shower Gift?

Choosing a bridal shower gift is fun when you know what you’re looking for. Consider the type of shower you’re attending. The theme or style of the bridal shower is often specified in the bridal shower invitation. Also consider the needs and wants of the bride herself. Is there a registry she wants you to use? Would she prefer something more meaningful than practical? Consider all these factors before breaking your budget on something unwanted.

For a Traditional Bridal Shower

Gifts given at traditional bridal showers should have a focus on what the bride likes, wants, or needs. Common gift ideas include vases, cookware, champagne glasses, sleepwear, fine linens, picture frames, and home decor items. Any items specified on a bridal shower registry fall under this category.

Bridal Shower Gift Basket

Gift baskets are a great way to make your bridal shower gift stand out. They can also tie together a handful of smaller gifts and make them look larger than life. Consider using smaller gifts like customized tea towels, a nice tea pot, and a recipe book. The options are as limitless as your imagination.

Personalized Bridal Shower Gifts

You can personalize your gift idea by giving the bride-to-be a custom bridal shower gift. This can be anything from custom wine glasses, his and hers mugs, or a personalized cutting board. You can customize these items with the bride-to-be’s initials, a heartfelt love quote, or her upcoming wedding date to make her gift even more special.

Unique Bridal Shower Gifts

The best way to find a unique gift is to find out what’s important to the bride. Is she worried she won’t have enough time to grocery shop in the coming months? Consider gifting a subscription to a food delivery service. Or maybe the bride loves all thing wine and you happened to stumble upon a handmade wine holder at a local market. As long as it speaks to the personality of the bride-to-be, your gift is sure to impress.

Fun Bridal Shower Gifts

Brides usually appreciate all of their gifts, but some just stand out as oh-so-fun. What that is varies from bride to bride, but who knows better than you? If your bride loves all things brewery, consider getting her a customized growler that she can take with her on a fun day out. Or maybe you know your jewelry loving bride would be thrilled to get a charm bracelet with all her best friends’ names engraved.

A Note on Funny Bridal Gift Ideas

Avoid gifting the bride with inappropriate items at her bridal shower since a variety of family members will probably be attending. However, if you’re familiar with the bride and her family’s sense of humor, you can use your own discretion. Keep in mind that some gifts are more suited for her bachelorette party.

DIY Bridal Shower Gifts

Whether it’s because of budget concerns or love of custom made things, DIY present are sometimes the perfect choice. However, prepare to spend a significant amount of time creating the right gift. If you choose to create something like a hand-knit throw or handmade serving dish, give yourself plenty of time. Giving yourself weeks to months or create your gift will enable you to fix mistake and stay stress free.

Wedding Shower Vs. Bridal Shower

A wedding shower is different than a bridal shower because the groom and male guests are included. While a bridal shower is all about the bride-to-be, a wedding shower is about the soon-to-be newlyweds. Because of this, gift choices should be chosen with a different criteria.

Wedding Shower Gift Ideas

If you’re attending a couple’s shower, stick to co-ed wedding gifts from the couple’s registry. Gifts related to home decor such as an engraved glass vase with a custom quote or a personalized pillow make the perfect couple gift. You can also consider kitchen and bath items, barware, or any honeymoon needs.

After you’ve selected a wedding shower gift, you can pair your selection with a thoughtful bridal shower card. Your card should include a heartfelt message to the bride along with well wishes for her next chapter. Reference our guide on what to write in a bridal shower card to complete your note.

custom vases for bridal shower gift

Is Cash Acceptable as a Bridal Shower Gift?

While cash is acceptable as a wedding gift, do your best to pick out a gift for the bridal shower. Taking the time to choose a gift for the bride-to-be shows your care and thought, which she’ll appreciate afterwards. Start with looking at her bridal or wedding registry to make the gift selection process quicker.

What to Do If You’re Not Attending?

If you’re not attending the bridal shower but have been invited, be sure to send a bridal shower gift in the mail as proper etiquette. If you’re unable to send a gift, you should send a handwritten note congratulating the bride-to-be on her upcoming day. For help, check out our resource on what to write in a bridal shower card.

Bridal Shower Hostess Gifts

A lot of work goes into planning a bridal shower, from organizing the guest list to setting up day-of. As the bride-to-be, you can show your gratitude to the bridal shower hostess by giving her a heartfelt gift, paired with a handwritten thank you note. Consider giving her a spa gift certificate to unwind, a pair of custom mason jars, a gift card to her favorite shop, a cute canvas tote bag customized with her initials, or personalized stationery for her office space.

custom bridal shower tote bag

Packaging Your Gift

Packaging may seem like a small detail but do your best to make sure your bridal shower gift is wrapped or boxed appropriately. How you present your gift can make an impression and influence how it’s received by the bride. Choose warm colors for the gift wrap or a decorative box with a stylish design.

Sending Bridal Shower Thank You Notes

During the bridal shower, the maid of honor or a bridesmaid takes notes while the bride opens her gifts. Afterwards, the bride-to-be sends bridal shower thank you notes to her guests to show her gratitude and appreciation.