Already shopped through their wedding registry? Trying to choose the best bridal shower gift? Different wedding events – from engagement parties, bridal showers & the wedding itself – can cause confusion on what gifts to buy. But, we're your gifting godmothers and we're here to help with the best bridal shower gift ideas!
You've RSVP'd yes on that very cute bridal shower invitation, now what? If you're buying a wedding gift do you buy a bridal shower gift, too? Does the couple's wedding registry serve the same purpose for both gifting scenarios? What's the best bridal shower gifting etiquette?
Well, at Bridal Musings, we tend to “buck the trends” and say, “to hell with tradition“. But, if you're trying to avoid a bridal shower gifting faux pas and don't want to show up empty-handed, we can certainly offer some “here's what most bridal shower guests gift” advice and which are the best bridal shower gifts for her.
1. Consult their registry first.
My number one piece of advice: take a tour through their wedding registry. Even if you're already purchasing something off their registry for the wedding, there may be something smaller and more affordable that's bridal shower gift-appropriate. Focus on items that seem to be chosen for the bride.
By the way, we've rounded up the 30 best wedding gifts in 2022, many of which obviously caters to the bride.
If there are only big-ticket items left, don't feel pressure to show up with something extravagant. We have plenty of alternative non-registry ideas…
2. Ask other attendees what they're gifting.
Chances are you're not the only bridal shower guest Googling this question. If you know any other people invited, ask around to find out what they're gifts they're wrapping for the bride. You may be hit with a “Eureka” gifting idea that solves your bridal shower conundrum.
But, always take their advice with a grain of salt! If the vibrator or lingerie they're bringing doesn't quite “match your relationship” by all means move on to the next best bridal shower gift idea…
3. Don't be too shy to ask her parents or future spouse!
Not sure what she wants? The people who know your bride best will for sure have suggestions on what to gift her. Don't feel too shy or embarrassed to get in touch with her parents or future spouse. Going that extra mile ensures you're likely bringing the best gift for the bride!
4. When in doubt, put together a bridal beauty kit.
My mom is truly the inspiration of this guide today. Having already exhausted her bridal shower host's wedding registry and not really knowing the bride in question, I suggested a bridal beauty or DIY spa kit.
Most gals that I know love fancy beauty products. And, it's easy to find loads of bath soaks, creams & moisturizers, masks & eye gels and so many more beauty products online to spoil your bride. Face masks are super fun to bring along to the bachelorette party and adding new fancy skincare to a bridal beauty regimen is a major score.
5. Bubbles are (almost) always a fun & welcome gift.
Unless the bride or couple are sober, bringing a nice bottle of sparkling wine, rosé or Champagne is a wonderful gift for a bridal shower. The bride is likely going to have plenty of traditional gifts to open already. Who doesn't love getting to pop a bottle of bubbles with their girlfriends or on a date with their fiancé?
If she is sober, or alcohol doesn't feel appropriate, zero-proof mixers are topping foodie gift lists this year. Pair a craft non-alcoholic mixer with some edible floral garnishes or dehydrated citrus for a cute alcohol-free celebratory drink set. Most zero-proof mixers make great spritzes so maybe bring along some sparkling water or tonic, too!
6. Cash money!
Every time we poll our audience about wedding registries, “Cash or Gifts?” the overwhelming majority answer that they want money as their wedding present. If that's the case for their own wedding registry, we assume the same can apply to bridal shower gifts, too!
If you just can not land on an appropriate present from the ideas above or their registry is way beyond your budget, cash is absolutely okay. Find a cute card (I love shopping for handmade cards on Etsy), write a sweet note congratulating your bride & stick that precious wad of cash inside.
Or, you can traverse the modern route with Birdie's Cash Registry platform. All you need is the bride's email, choose an elegant e-card & your bridal shower cash gift transfers instantly and arrives fee-free for the bride. Presto, we have a highly prized, most asked-for bridal shower gift!
7. The elephant in the room: do you bring lingerie?
Ooh, tricky question. My mom said last time she attended a bridal shower a ton of people brought lingerie. “Am I supposed to bring lingerie, too?” she asked me.
My opinion? Only bring lingerie if you're 1) 100% sure that's the gift she wants from you 2) 100% comfortable with the idea and 3) 100% okay with having the bride open your lingerie gift in front of everyone else. That includes her grandmothers and future mother-in-law.
Honestly, gifting (or being gifted) lingerie at a bridal shower isn't really “my style”. But, I totally understand if it's yours, or your own bride's prerogative. Here are some of our favorite lingerie brands, by the way. Just know that gifting lingerie is not even remotely a requirement of you if you don't feel comfortable. To be completely frank, in my book, lingerie lands more in the “bachelorette party” realm. Panties, to me, are more something you buy for your best friend & maybe not a “public gift” situation. But hey, that's just me!
8. By the way, brides don't always know what gifts you should bring!
You may reach out to the bride about gifts she's pining for and be puzzled by the response. “Um, I'm not sure! You choose!” is a frequent response. Often, brides aren't even sure themselves what gifts are appropriate for a bridal shower. For most brides, this is their first time ever being the star of a bridal shower, which along with wedding planning can be a new and confusing experience.
If your beloved bride doesn't know what you should bring as a gift to her bridal shower, take that as a ‘pressure off' signal and opt for any of the ideas above. Stress-less, we say, and choose whatever bridal shower gift idea that feels most ‘you'.
For more on what to buy the bride (& groom!) in your life, head to our Gift section.