Funky, Fun and Unique Bridal Shower Gifts
Weddings are undoubtedly a joyous occasion, but while starting a new life together is really exciting, it can also be very expensive for the bride and groom, which is why the tradition of the bridal shower began. Whether you're the maid of honor organizing the wedding shower and looking for ideas, or you're shopping for bridal shower gifts to help the blushing bride set up her future home, here are some ideas to help you find fun, creative and unique bridal shower gift ideas that won't hurt your budget!
History and traditions of the bridal shower
There are many different stories about the early origins of the tradition of throwing a pre-wedding party for the bride to be and "showering" her with gifts for her new home, although most agree that the custom began as something of an alternative to providing a monetary gift or dowry to the bride, especially for poor families.
The most widely circulated legend about the beginnings of the bridal shower is the story of a young Dutch girl in the 16th or 17th century who fell in love with a miller whose generosity towards the poor meant that he himself was never able to save up a fortune. The girl's father disapproved of the miller's poverty and so refused to give his daughter a dowry, but the young girl's friends in her village, wanting to help her with the marriage, brought her many household goods to contribute towards her dowry.
The giving of bridal shower gifts also has some similarities with the hope chest or trousseau tradition, where special household things such as linens, clothing and sometimes dishware would be set aside and given to a girl of marriageable age.
Today, the wedding shower is as much an occasion for the bride-to-be to relax and celebrate with her friends and family, as it is about giving and receiving useful wedding gifts. It's usually held about 4 to 6 weeks before the actual wedding, organized by the maid of honor with some help from the other bridesmaids, and attended by female friends and family.
How do I organize a great bridal shower?
Organizing a bridal shower can be a daunting task, especially if party planning is not your strong suit. Plus, with all the decorations, refreshments and gifts that need to be purchased, it can also turn into a bit of an expensive nightmare.
So what sort of things should you keep in mind to throw a fantastic bridal shower that will be a fun time for all involved?
- Theme up: Choose an appropriate bridal shower theme that will fit the bride's personality. For a beach or destination wedding, consider a tropical or ocean theme with seashell decorations and margaritas, while a garden party theme with mini sandwiches, tea and floral décor might be an elegant twist on a more traditional celebration.
- Wherefore art thou?: Where you will have the shower will depend on the number of guests - a smaller do can be held at an attendee's home, while a big group should celebrate at a hotel, the park or community hall.
- Be our guest: Besides the bride herself, immediate family members of both the bride and groom should be invited to the shower, as well as the bridal party; for anyone else, it's usually a good idea to consult with the bride or her mother to determine the guest list. You should only invite people who are also invited to the wedding.
- Games & activities: Don't forget to have a little fun! Some ideas for bridal shower games include asking the guests trivia about the bride and groom; getting the attendees to provide marital advice; or having a little contest to make a "dress" for the bride out of toilet paper. For more ideas, check out this neat About.com article: Bridal Shower Games
Bridal shower gift ideas
Of course, the main event at a bridal shower is when the bride opens up her gifts, but where do you start to help the guests decide what to get, and to make sure they're items the bride will actually enjoy?
The easiest approach to simplify the gift selection process is to set up a specific bridal shower registry or to get guests to purchase items from the bride & groom's wedding registry.
But for a more creative approach that's still easy and fun for all involved, try choosing a specific category of bridal presents, such as lingerie, bakeware or relaxation & spa products. You can always talk to the bride and ask her what type of stuff she thinks she will need the most.
Another neat option is to have each of the guests bring a photo or special memento they have shared with the bride, plus scrapbooking materials, to give her a personalized gift that she will always cherish!
This is also a real cool idea - how about making some personalized candles for the bride and groom to burn at each major milestone of their marriage? Check it out at this Hub: Unique Bridal Shower Gift Idea
And for the funky and fashionable bride, consider getting bridal shower attendees to buy vintage gifts and accessories from specific decades that she likes, such as vintage lipstick holders or perfume atomizers, or fun '50s diner furniture.
If the guest of honor is big on being environmentally friendly and doesn't mind pre-loved items, this is also a great way to go green if you have some heirloom items in excellent condition.
Another green wedding gift idea? Get the bride some gardening tools to help her start off her very own vegetable, herb or flower patch as it's a gift that will last a lifetime! Seeds, composters, tool sets, watering cans are all great ideas for this type of present.
Home essentials that will make for great bridal gifts
Even for the most easygoing bride, it can be difficult to figure out what sort of presents to buy, so as a bride-to-be myself (getting married next week!), I've compiled a list of useful wedding gifts that any woman will appreciate, whether she is a high-powered career woman or plans to be a busy stay-at-home mom.
STORAGE, SHELVING AND ORGANIZERS
As the saying goes, you can never have too many shoes ... or too much space to store them! Help her keep organized with something like the Essential Home 15-Pair Shoe Organizer from Kmart.com shown above, which is really convenient and easily stackable. Plus, the bride with an eye for design will be able to incorporate storage into her home's aesthetic in a funky way, so storage and organizers are really a neat item to have.
Towels, linens and other bathroom items are an essential for any home, as everybody can do with a nice relaxing bath or shower at the end of the day. Look for plush and spa quality products that will provide the bride - and groom! - with a luxury bath experience.
Luxe materials such as Egyptian cotton for towels and memory foam for bath pillows make for an especially nice gift - try the Cannon Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel from Sears.com, for example.
Everyone appreciates a good night's sleep, so give the happy couple sweet dreams with some comfy sheets, duvet covers or pillows! Most people know that the higher the thread count for cotton sheets, the softer and finer they are. However, keep in mind that some but not all extremely high thread counts of over 500 might be inflated. So remember that standard cotton thread counts are around 150, while good-quality sheets start at 180 and a count of 200 or higher is considered to be the best.
It's a good idea to shop at a bedding specialist like CSN Stores' Bedding & More to make sure you're getting quality sheets - I like the 4-piece Croscill Mosaic King Sheet Set shown here.
More useful bridal shower, wedding and shopping articles!
- How to become a perfect bridal shower host
A bridal shower is the opportunity for the high stressed bride-to-be to relax, and enjoy herself. As a host, it is your job to make sure things run smoothly.
- Chic and cheap wedding jewelry for the bride and groom
Right from the moment you decide you want to spend your life together until long after the big day, wedding jewelry will play a big role, both as a symbol of eternal love and as an expression of your personal style, so you'll definitely want to ...
- How to Host a Perfect Wedding Shower or Bridal Shower
Someone that you care about is about to make the plunge. You want to throw a shower for them but you're unsure of where or how to begin. Should you throw a bridal shower, that focuses directly on the...
- Bridal Shower Gift Ideas
A successful bridal shower will never be fully realized without a creative set of bridal shower gift ideas. Marriage signals a second baptism to a new life and in the same way that gifts are essential to...
- Unique Bridal Shower Gift Idea
If you are looking for a Unique Bridal Shower or Wedding Gift I want to share with you this very creative idea. My sister had saved this idea she had found many years ago and just recently found it as she...