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What gift do I bring to a bridal shower?

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Already shopped through their wedding registry? Worried you’ll bring the wrong 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!

Photo by Live View Studios

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? Is their wedding registry the same for both gifting scenarios? What’s the etiquette here?

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 faux pas and don’t want to show up empty-handed, we can certainly offer some “here’s what most people do” advice …

Photo & China by Casa de Perrin with florals by Megan Gray

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 appropriate. Focus on items that seem to be chosen for 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 …

Cookies by Baked on the Island

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 bringing.

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 idea …

Photo by Eva Tarnok

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!

Photo by Sarah Ingram with Hair & Makeup by Katie Gurley Artistry

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.

Photo by Sarah Harris Photography

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?

Photo by Zoe March

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. Presto, we have a highly prized, most asked-for bridal shower gift!

Photo by Samin Abarqoi via Bridal Musings

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?”

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 grandmas 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’s 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!

Cake & Photo by Chaerimade

For more on what to buy the bride (& groom!) In your life, head to our Gift section.



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