At Zola, the art of giving a great present is our passion. While wedding gifts tend to get all the attention, we know that bridal shower gifts can be just as challenging for guests, whether it’s figuring out the rules of decorum or picking the perfect present. Many wedding guests turn to us for advice on bridal shower gifts, and now we’re sharing our gifting wisdom with you, too. Keep reading for answers to all of your bridal shower gift etiquette questions.
Do I Have to Buy a Gift for the Bridal Shower and The Wedding?
Yes, you should purchase a gift for both the bridal shower and the wedding. We understand that this can be difficult depending on your budget, so it’s best to plan ahead. For guests invited to multiple wedding events, we recommend the 20-20-60 rule, which suggests that you break down your spending like so:
- 20% on the engagement gift
- 20% on the bridal shower
- 60% on the wedding
For wedding answers to your wedding gift etiquette questions and more, see our guide on how much to spend on a wedding gift.
How Much Should I Spend on a Bridal Shower Gift?
What to spend on bridal shower gifts depends on your relationship to the bride and your financial situation. If you’re particularly close with the bride-to-be, you’re encouraged to choose a gift that’s more sentimental and on the higher-end of your budget. That said, on average, guests spend between $25-$75+ on a bridal shower gift.
Is It OK to Give a Group Bridal Shower Gift?
Absolutely! Group gifts are a great idea for bridal showers. A bridal shower group gift is a popular gifting option, both for the couple and bridal shower guests. If you would like to surprise the bride with a big ticket item that’s beyond your budget, it’s perfectly acceptable for you and other guests to pool your resources and buy the gift together. Plus, it can be fun to brainstorm group gift ideas with one another. If the bride is registered on Zola, you’re in luck—Zola’s Group Gifting feature makes purchasing a group gift easy and convenient.
Is It OK to Give a Cash Bridal Shower Gift?
Unless it has been communicated that monetary gifts are preferred, it’s best to avoid cash gifts at a bridal shower. We recommend choosing a gift from the Wedding Registry (if applicable) or adhering to any specific gift requests listed on the invitation. For example, if you’re attending a “stock the bar” shower, go with an alcoholic beverage, cocktail mixer, or barware gift.
Is It OK to Buy Bridal Shower Gifts That Aren’t on The Wedding Registry?
To ensure that the bride both enjoys and needs your gift, we suggest that you stick to purchasing gifts from the wedding registry. However, if the bride doesn’t have a registry or all the items have been purchased by the time you’re ready to buy, there are a few options you can choose from:
- Ask the bride or shower host for other gift ideas.
- Choose an off-registry gift that you’re confident she’ll love.
Pro Tip: Remember that bridal showers vary in tone and formality. If you’re unsure whether risqué gifts are welcome, avoid a faux pas by keeping your gift PG-rated.
Should I Buy a Gift If I Can’t Attend the Bridal Shower?
Yes. Even if you’re unable to attend the bridal shower, it’s good etiquette to send a gift via mail to the bride. While it’s always best to send a gift if you’ve been invited to a shower, you can get away with sending along a nice card with warm wishes if you don’t know the bride well (such as a distant relative you have never met in person or a family acquaintance you aren’t personally close with).
Struggling with what to write in the card? See our guide on how to write a bridal shower card for writing tips and wording examples.
Should I Buy a Bridal Shower Gift If I’m in the Wedding Party?
Traditional wedding etiquette suggests yes, but modern opinions are often divided on whether a wedding party member is expected to buy a gift for the bridal shower. Our take? Play it safe by purchasing a small gift for her to open at the shower, but bear in mind that there’s no obligation to spend more than you can afford. As a member of the bride’s crew, there might be quite a few expenses and time-consuming tasks on your plate already—there’s no need to break the bank to show your love and support.
If you’re hosting the bridal shower and have paid for all or a portion of the party, decorum states that you are exempt from buying a bridal shower gift. However, if you would prefer to give a gift beyond the time and money you spent planning the shower, we’re sure it would be a welcome gesture.
Should I Take The Gift to the Bridal Shower or Ship It?
While we advise to always ship the wedding gift, the shower gift should be wrapped and taken to the shower as a portion of the shower itself is typically set aside for the bride to open gifts.
*Pro Tip: Make sure to include a card with your gift so it’s clear that the present is from you. *
While you’re reading through our guide to bridal shower gifts, don’t forget to think about the second most important decision you’ll make as a guest: what to wear to a bridal shower.