The first thing many women think when they receive an invitation to a bridal shower is: “What am I going to bring as a gift?!” If you’re not quite sure what type of present to buy, how much you should spend, or what kinds of gifts you should avoid, be sure to consult Olivia Restaurant‘s handy Bridal Shower Gift Giving Guide before purchasing the present for your lucky sister, friend, daughter, granddaughter, or niece.
Do I Have To Give a Gift?
You’re already buying the happy couple a wedding present; do you really have to bring the bride a gift for her bridal shower as well? In truth, bridal showers originated as a gift-giving occasion, and the only thing that unifies most modern bridal showers is the the gift-giving aspect. In short: yes, you must bring a gift to the bridal shower, even if it’s something only small.
How Much Should I Spend?
While wedding aficionados like The Knot claim that $25-$75 is the right price range for a bridal shower gift, we tend to subscribe more to the “it’s the thought that counts” school of gift-giving. Often, DIY gifts like handmade picture frames or a coffee mug adorned with an inside joke will be much better received than something fancy, pricey, and impersonal.
When Shopping, Should I Keep with the Theme…?
Themed bridal showers are all the rage these days, and buying a gift that falls within the theme – be it “Honeymoon Essentials,” “Culinary Delights,” or “Beach Vacation” – is a sure-fire method for buying a great gift.
…Or Go My Own Way?
Gifting the bride-to-be with something personal, thoughtful, or useful (regardless of theme) is guaranteed to draw a chorus of “awwww”s from attendees and hugs from a much-thankful friend, sister, or daughter. Consider picking up a book on the bride’s interests or hobbies, a bottle of her favorite wine, tickets to a concert she’d love, or a gift card to her favorite restaurant. If you don’t happen to know the soon-to-be-Mrs. very well, ask another attendee, or consult the registry!
Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Buy?
Friends looking to get a rise out of the bride shouldn’t confuse the bridal shower with the bachelorette party; in general, sexy underwear is fine (and even expected), but raunchier gifts, like sex toys, should probably be avoided. When shopping for a bridal shower gift, always ask yourself: “Would the bride’s mother or grandmother be offended by this?” and if the answer is yes, best to keep looking.
What Superstitions Should I Be Aware Of?
Weddings, and all related activities, are fraught with superstitions, and bridal showers are no exception. When it comes to gift giving, it is considered good luck if the first gift the bride opens is also the first gift she uses, and the person who gave the third gift the bride opens is supposedly next in line to get pregnant. And what of the ribbon used to wrap the gifts? Tradition dictates that the Maid of Honor create a special bouquet from the ribbon for the bride to walk with during the rehearsal ceremony.
What is the “Wishing Well”?
A newer tradition, the Wishing Well consists of giving small (less than $10) anonymous gifts that reflects the many small gifts given to the Dutch girl in the bridal shower origin story. Unless the invitation specifically says that a Wishing Well will be included in the bridal shower festivities, it’s not necessary to bring more than one gift to the party.