Bridal Shower Gift Ideas?
April 15, 2005 6:03 PM   Subscribe

My good friend is getting married this summer and her bridal shower is this weekend. I'm pretty new to this whole wedding thing. What sort of gift is appropriate? I don't want to buy anything cheesy or pornographic.
posted by amber_dale to Shopping (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did your friends register with any stores? I know people even do gift registry for bridal showers now. Might be something to check on.

If not, what situation are your friends in? Are they starting out with a new house? If so, perhaps something to decorate the home with would be nice. Is there something they both enjoy doing? I have seen gifts of tickets to shows, or a gift that is specific to a hobby of theirs. Think of your friend and the type of things that she and her groom enjoy. At the bridal showers I have attended, the serious gifts were usually geared toward her, but things that both could use.
posted by veronitron at 6:11 PM on April 15, 2005

Response by poster: They currently live together and thus have lots of communal stuff but are moving to a new apartment before the wedding. They don't have a joint hobby. What sorts of inexpensive gifts would be appropriate? I am a student and thus poor.
posted by amber_dale at 6:17 PM on April 15, 2005

I would go with something just for her, since I'd assume you are also going to the wedding and giving them a gift to share then. Maybe something handmade? Reminiscent of good times you've shared?
posted by cali at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2005

How about a date basket? Get a cheapo basket from your local box store, fill it with movie-type stuff - microwaveable popcorn, a gift card for their local movie rental place or a gift card to that store to buy a movie, a flannel blanket to curl up underneath, chocolate - Target also sells movie-style box candy. You could put a nice basket together for $20-$30. You can take this theme a bit further - a picnic basket with the fixings for a nice lunch - blanket, plastic dishware, a bottle of wine & two glasses, a gift card for a meal from their favorite deli.

I did something similar for a bridal shower once, but focused the gift giving on her. I packed up a few bath bombs, some scented lotion, a pound of her favorite coffee and a mug, a trashy romance novel, and some chocolate into a basket - her destress kit for when wedding planning was a pain in the ass. It was fun to make and give.
posted by cajo at 8:04 PM on April 15, 2005

Shower presents are smaller and more token presents than wedding gifts. There is often a theme to a shower - lingerie, recipe showers (a kitchen item with your favourite recipe attached), things like that. Obviously this shower is unthemed, or you'd know what the theme is, but that should give you an idea of the level of gifts that are expected - think $20, not $100.

I often give The Joy of Cooking as a shower gift. Other shower gifts I've given include a good, multi-bit screwdriver, a picnic basket (the bride and groom were planning a driving tour of amusement parks as their honeymooon) and a cake serving set (but only because I knew the bride hadn't managed to find one she liked for the wedding yet).
posted by jacquilynne at 8:07 PM on April 15, 2005

The last shower I was at, the bride got three picnic baskets. I think you could do a cute for-two ice cream sundae kit... the glasses and spoons, toppings and syrups, and it would be sweet (ha) and not too common. I gave the bride a little romance kit (she is the prim type and warned us not even to get her lingerie), made up of candles, a bottle of wine, a romantic CD and bath stuff.

I also want to mention a fun shower game that has brightened up some boring showers I've attended: someone writes down the bride's comments about each gift as she opens them (usually someone is writing down the gift and the givers for thank you notes, anyhow). At the end of the gift part, the responses are read aloud with the heading: "What (the bride) might say on her wedding night..." The list usually consists of exclamations like: "Oh my god, it's so cute!" "Ooh, what is this?" "It's so soft!" "I'm going to have to learn how to use this." Good for a giggle.
posted by xo at 12:20 AM on April 16, 2005

I always do a registry survey even if I'm going to buy off-registry - depending on where you are, check your local big department store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrell, even Target. They've all got their registries online, so just search by the groom or bride's name. You may see something there that gives you an idea. I always look and see if they've registered for a shower curtain, because then I can put together a little basket of guest soaps, candles, and I once scored a cute little fish nightlight to go with a couple's beach-themed curtain.

If you know if and where they're going on a honeymoon, you could get them something for that. Maybe a tote bag or hanging toiletry kit with some trial-size toiletries or little lotions and body wash from a bath store.

Picture frames are nice, but so many people give really ornate scrolly things that don't necessarily match anyone's decor, so if you know their style go in that direction instead. I ran across some nice leather folding 9 4x6 photo frames at one of those pillow-paintings-candleabra stores in the mall for $10/ea, and I wish I'd bought every one they had left.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:35 AM on April 16, 2005

My fiancee and I had a co-shower last weekend, and one of the coolest gifts we received was a package of two beach chairs, a cooler, ice packs, sunscreen, and a frisbee.
posted by schustafa at 7:19 AM on April 18, 2005

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