Wedding season typically involves a series of events that lead to the big ceremony, including one that the future wife especially anticipates: the bridal shower. While the ceremony and reception is filled with plenty of love, attention and gifts, this intimate celebration is the perfect opportunity to give the couple your well wishes and some personalized presents to complement their new lives together.
The pre-wedding ritual dates all the way back to 16th century Europe, originally serving as a time to provide the bride's family with enough funds to compensate the groom. While the tradition has evolved over the centuries, the sentiment of setting up the happy couple for post-nuptial success remains.
For those in need of extra guidance as we approach peak wedding shower season, Shop TODAY spoke to an expert to reveal the latest nuances on bridal shower gifting. Whether you're in search of a set of plates for the future spouses or the perfect bridal shower treat, we compiled a list of bonafide products the couple will be using for years to come.
What is an appropriate gift for a bridal shower?
If you're familiar with the term "not safe for work", you should keep the same mindset when shopping for a bridal shower gift. (Remember, the bride will probably open her gifts in front of everyone attending the party.) Therefore, keep it appropriate and safe for her parents and future in-laws.
According to wedding planner Charissa Eykelhoff, it's better to gift something off their wedding registry and stick to items the couple will use after they tie the knot.
"If your bride-to-be has a specific interest, use that for inspiration," Eykelhoff adds.
Below are some of Eykelhoff's recommendations and general go-tos for bridal shower gifting:
- Home storage and organization items
- Meal service subscriptions
- Wedding albums
- Ring boxes or items they can use on their wedding day
Do's and don'ts for bridal shower gifting
While there are no general rules on how much you should spend on a bridal shower gift, there is some etiquette involved with what you decide on giving the couple. Eykelhoff advises avoiding re-gifting or giving things for the bedroom. Instead, give the bride something thoughtful, useful, affordable and sentimental (based on your relationship with the couple).
"You can also gift a talent/skill as an example. If the couple is fixing up a house and you are a great woodworker, offer to help them with renovations," she shares.
The wedding expert also recommends keeping your gifting simple if they're limited on resources for bringing everything from the party venue back to their residence.
"Remember, they will have to cart everything home. Instead of bringing a large gift, mail it to the couple's home and put a photo of the gift on a card to let them know it's on the way."
Unique bridal shower gifts to shop
These buttery cookies are ideal for the couple celebrating a cultural wedding. Siete Foods is known for incorporating traditional Mexican heritage into their grain-free products, and these bite-sized sweets are a great treat they can enjoy on their way to their honeymoon.
While it's easy to don pajamas while getting ready for the ceremony, she may want to rock something silkier for her special day. This robe features ruffle details and can be personalized with her monogram, name, initials or desired title.
Officially changing from Ms. to Mrs. is a big deal! Celebrate that change with these fun acrylic earrings that are sure to complement the rest of her bridal wardrobe. Whether she wears them for bachelorette events or well into her marriage, these earrings feature a large pearl stud with the words dangling past her earlobe, helping them (and her!) stand out.
If they plan on penning their own vows to read during the ceremony, gift them these paperback booklets (the groom is sure to appreciate being included!). Available in an assortment of colors, you can choose to have "Her Vows," "His Vows," "Our Vows," or "Their Vows" written across the cover in a plain or cursive font.
If the couple enjoys drinking wine, this Yeti tumbler will come in handy. The mug can be customized and comes with a smooth-sliding lid to protect her libation while keeping it cold.
If the couple loves hosting guests, give them a personalized charcuterie board. This classic kitchen piece comes with a customized engraving of the couple's initials and is conditioned with mineral oil to ensure it lasts beyond their first wedding anniversary.
Their love will always meet at the intersection with this adorable home decor gift. This art print can be personalized with the bride and groom's name.
Comfort is key while getting ready for the wedding, so give your bride these chic slides with the phrase "I do crew." It's a great way to remind her of the big day whenever she wears them, plus she'll appreciate the cozy memory foam under her feet.
Give the future Mrs. something cute to hang her wedding dress on. This personalized wooden hanger will make her day extra special and is a great way to add a little extra oomph to her closet.
If you know the couple very well, give them a custom stamp so they can step up their mailing game when they're sending out all of their thank you cards.
Prepare their newlywed culinary skills with this cookbook. This book is ideal for beginners who want to learn how to set a table, mix cocktails and figure out what to do with leftovers.
"The recipes are perfect for someone new to cooking for just two people. [There's] great entertaining ideas for the new homeowner as well," added one shopper.
Tap into the pearlcore trend with this initial necklace that features a gold letter. It's ideal for the bride that loves a minimalist and feminine style.
Give them the royal treatment with this "Bridgerton"-inspired teacup set. The fine china cups and saucers are dishwasher-safe and add an elegant vibe to their table setting.
If your bride is always craving a sweet treat, give her these shortbread cookies for a sweet treat before the wedding. The cookies can be customized with a personal message or the couple's wedding date for a delightful twist.
Instead of grabbing towels from the hotel lobby, they can embrace their new marital status with this personalized beach towel. The style comes in different colors and themes, including one for the groom. Now through May 10, TODAY readers can score an exclusive 25% off discount sitewide with code TODAY25.
Bring the spa to their home with this beautiful gift set from Williams Sonoma. The towel can be personalized and adds a delicate texture to their bathroom.
For the couple that holds a special place in their hearts for a specific spot (perhaps the bar where they had their first date or the park where they had their proposal), these custom coasters can be personalized with their location of choice.
Fill out the blanks in this book as you reminisce on your first year together, answering prompts such as "Something new we learned about each other," or "Favorite adventure together." With a spot to tape a photo down, this book has enough room for 50 years worth of memories.
If she has too many rings, earrings and necklaces, help her keep the jewelry organized with this chic box. The roomy interior has many compartments and padded cords to keep her fave accessories safe.
Your bride may need a classic tag and passport case to keep her belongings safe. The genuine leather adds a sophisticated vibe to their travel accessories and is a great way to keep her essential documents in order.
Personalize this beaded clutch with her new last name and the date of her big day. With multiple neutral colors to choose from, this clutch will never go out of style. To make it the ultimate bridal bag, add this removable crossbody strap with the words "I do" written across it.
Are they into home renovations and DIY projects? A Lowe's gift card will help them update and refresh their indoor space with all the free reign they may desire.
The combination of luxury and comfort make this night dress a must-have before the wedding night. It's made with a silky material and piping details that look ultra-expensive without needing to splurge.
According to the brand, this blanket will change their married life. With a near-perfect rating, this 10-by-10 foot throw is the perfect piece to keep the bride and groom comfy during a movie marathon.
"I no longer have to stick my arm or leg out to try and regulate my temperature from being too hot or too cold. It's also one of the softest blankets I’ve ever had!" added one shopper.
Every couple will appreciate a new set of sheets and this option from Brooklinen is the ultimate gift. The luxurious-feeling weaved cotton fabric will make the future couple's slumbers more peaceful and enjoyable.
If this Ninja ice cream maker is not on their wedding registry already, the couple will appreciate this delicious surprise. Indulge their sweet tooth with this must-have kitchen appliance that will churn a smooth, creamy gelato in just minutes.
For the home chef that loves creating new concoctions, give her this Le Creuset Dutch oven. The brand's cookware tends to sell out quickly (especially when they do a vibrant color drop!), so the newlyweds won't hesitate to inviting you over after the honeymoon's over.
Meet the expert
- Charissa Eykelhoff is a Connecticut-based wedding planner with almost a decade of event planning experience.