Weddings are an age-old tradition used to celebrate the coming together of a man and a woman in marriage. A huge part of the wedding tradition is bringing thoughtful wedding or bridal shower gifts for the couple. This is the way friends and family wish the couple a happy and long union. These gifts are basically anything you feel would make the couple’s lives easier and help them have a better go at the institution of marriage. Over time, however, the tradition of giving gifts to couples has evolved. Now, couples simply create a wedding registry to help guide their guests on what their gift preferences are. While this saves many the hassle of trying to decide what to get the wedding couple, you can still go with your heart in getting them what you really want to give them.
Another way the tradition of giving gifts to a couple has evolved is the bridal shower and how it is planned. It is an event often organized by friends of the bride where they celebrate her upcoming wedding and also give her gifts. It is typically attended by close female friends of the bride who know her history with the groom. This means that the kind of gifts to be given to a bride to be at a bridal shower does not need a registry because the attendees know her well enough to know what she would want. Bridal shower gifts can be naughty, suggestive, or just simply practical. The thoughtful wedding or bridal shower gift ideas below will make your search much easier.
What Is a Bridal Shower?
A bridal shower is a pre-wedding event often organized by friends of the bride where they gather to celebrate her engagement and upcoming wedding. The history of this event dates far back to the 16th century and was first practiced in Holland. It was a method of raising a dowry in support of brides whose fathers cannot afford to give a dowry or even women whose fathers refuse to give a dowry because they did not approve of the marriage. Back then, contributions were welcome from basically anyone who was interested in pitching in whatever they can spare to help the bride to be set up a decent home after the wedding.
In the modern setting, the bridal shower is now more of a celebration than it is a way of rendering help. It is often organized on a weekend before the wedding and is supposed to prepare the bride for married life before the actual wedding, however, everyone still gets to bring a gift. Note that the bridal shower is also very different from the bachelorette party which is a party meant to help the bride relax and get into partying spirits on the night before the wedding. The Bridal shower is typically for the bride alone. The groom gets to make an appearance towards the end of the event to show support for his bride-to-be and thank the host and friends of the bride for showing her a good time and for the gifts.
What Happens at a Shower?
Because a bridal shower is more of a hosted daytime party or lunch it can be themed to suit the likes of the bride. The theme of a shower can also be made to match the theme of the wedding itself. This would mean that planning it would include the use of colors for the wedding. Besides that, a typical shower involves food and drinks after which guests can participate in weddings, couples, or marriage-related games. Following the games, the bride gets to open the gifts she received in the company of her guests. After all of the fun from opening the gifts, married attendees can share stories and experiences they think the bride can benefit from. When all the stories are done, the event can close with a toast to the bride-to-be and warm wishes for a happy union.
If the bride-to-be is big on activities and adventure, the activities can be infused with other outdoorsy events that would then lead up to the lunch at the venue of the shower and all of the other activities. Things like cinema time, spa dates, painting sessions, or color shooting games would be an excellent diversion before everyone comes in for the main event.
How Much Should One Spend on a Bridal Shower Gift?
While the consensus differs widely on how much is the right amount to spend on bridal shower gifts one thing is for sure; the closer you are to the bride, the more you are expected to spend. You heard right! To put specific figures to it, the standard amount to spend ranges between $25 and $150. Here’s how it works. If you are invited to the shower but you don’t have a close relationship with the bride, it would be rude to come empty-handed, so you can go with a benchmark of $25 and then look for something that fits the budget. A Mr & Mrs mug set is s good way to go.
If you are co-workers, distant relatives, or just regular friends with the bride and she invited you for the shower, you should be looking at a budget between $50 and $75. This is because even though you are not super close to the bride, she knows you enough to invite you and as such, you’ll need to show strong support. A gift like a sweet couple blanket is in this price range and would do very nicely.
Finally, if you are one of the very close friends or family members of the bride, you are expected to spend the highest at a range between $75 and $150. This notwithstanding, you can go above and beyond if you can afford it.
Are Bridal Shower Gifts For The Bride Only?
To choose the best bridal shower gift, it is important to know whether the gift is supposed to be for the bride alone or if it is okay to factor the groom into it. Ideally, since the bridal shower is organized for the bride alone, it is okay to bring a gift for the bride only. Gifts with only the bride in mind can be jewelry, a cookbook, a Brodie Brideor acrylic clutch, an embroidered bride jean jacket, a personalized sun hat, or lingerie which the bride can use on the wedding night.
But because the aim of the shower is to celebrate the upcoming wedding, it is absolutely okay to gift the bride something she will use together with her groom after the wedding. This is also considered to be okay especially because some people still see the bridal shower as a way of helping the bride gather things that will help her home become beautiful. Gifts that one can get for both bride and groom can be household electronics, appliances, customized throw pillows for him and her, home decor, a wedding planning journal, or even a scrapbook to help them document their marital journey.