The Bridal Shower Part II: The Perfect Gift Solutions
"Here's my gift-giving rule: Respect your current financial situation." ~ Suze Orman
Bringing a gift to a bridal shower can sometimes be confusing. If she is registered that's wonderful, however, all the gifts in your price range may already be gone. What do you do then? Perhaps the bride doesn't have a gift registry and guests have been asked to bring themed gifts like lingerie. What kind do you buy and at what price range? If it is a money shower, how much do you bring? If you are on a budget, remember to also include the cost of your wrap or gift bag, tissue and card.
Here are a few tips you may find helpful:
-It's nice to be generous and buy that special gift the bride has always wanted but remember it's not a good idea if it is truly not within your budget. Give a gift that you can afford. An acceptable amount to spend on a shower gift is anywhere between $25 to $75. If you can afford more, then go ahead.
-Some brides change their names when they marry and others don't. if you know for certain what her name will be once she is married, a beautiful stationary gift set with her name on it always makes for a great gift.
-If gift registry items in your price range are gone, consider giving the bride a gift card. She can use it towards items she doesn't receive.
-Oftentimes a bride and groom are cohabitaing together and may already have everything they need for their home. in this case making a donation to their favorite charity in lieu of a traditional gift Is a thoughtful gesture.
-We all know that there are always plenty of pictures taken at a bridal shower. With this in mind, another awesome gift idea is a personalized photo album so the bride-to-be can place all her photos from the happy occasion in it.
-If you are creative take the bride's wedding invitation you received, and frame it decoratively in a shadow box type frame. She will cherish it!
-Sometimes brides select items for their gift registry that may be a little on the expensive side. In a situation such as this, purchasing a group gift with friends or family members should be given some consideration.
-One great idea is to purchase linen napkins and napkin rings. If you are not sure about colours, keep it safe stick to neutrals for the napkins. I don't know about you, but you can never have enough of these.
-If you know the bride enjoys baking, a super choice would be a set of dessert plates and bakeware. They are always a useful item.
-Nothing is as comforting as a delicious, good cup of tea. If the couple are tea lovers, a pretty tea set with a teapot is a wonderful solution, especially if you include some tea blends you know that they are particularly fond of.
-You can never go wrong with a picture frame. The bride will definitely make great use of it after the wedding.
-A decorative or crystal vase is a great idea and often you can find some unique designs.
-Champagne glasses are a wonderful idea because the new couple can use them for many years of celebrations.
-Nothing is quite as useful and practical in a kitchen as a Mixer. For whatever reason, when I got married I did not receive one of these at my shower so my husband was kind enough to give me one as part of my gift on our first Christmas together. I think he may have thought he was being funny but I actually appreciated it.
-Whether the bride drinks coffee or not, a coffee maker is always useful and an appreciated gift. After all, it is good to have one when guests drop by.
-You can never have enough dish towels and they are affordable and come in so many styles and patterns.
-If it is within your budget and you know the bride's patterns, a piece or set of china is a good idea.
-If you are aware of the bride's colour scheme, you may consider bedding. Once again, you should stay in the neutrals.
For the bride and groom who have everything and you want to steer clear of the traditional, you can opt for one of these gift ideas:
-A great idea for the couple who have everything is Barware. You can choose anything from cocktail shakers, beer steins, corkscrews and bottle openers, martini glasses, champagne flutes, shot glasses, drink mixes, wine bottles, champagne bottles, assorted liqueurs, imported beers, cognac or scotch, recipe books for assorted drinks and so on. You can make a nice gift basket with several of these items in it.
-Most brides and grooms go away for their Honeymoon so travel gear and other related items will surely be appreciated.
-Most brides appreciate a lovely piece of lingerie, (so will the groom).
-If you want to provide a day of romance and relaxation for the bride and groom, then a fabulous certificate for a spa day for them to share will be well received.
-Whether the bride is a seasoned traveller or hopes to travel some day, a thoughtful gift is a beautiful coffee-table book of her favorite vacation spot or places she hopes to visit one day, (i.e. Europe, South Pacific, Africa, Caribbean, Asia).
-Nothing is as cute as matching, monogrammed bathrobe and pajama sets.
-We all know how aromatherapy and its' stress relieving attributes are beneficial. So, think about filling a basket with items such as bubble bath bottles, bath salts, scented candles, scented oils, hand moisturizers, fragrant body lotions, potpourri and so on. This would make a great gift.
-If you know the bride well and you know what she likes. another gift solution would be subscriptions to her favourite magazines. They could be geared towards fashion, home trends, D.I.Y., or plain old celebrity gossip mags.
-How about gift certificates to her favourite book store. They are sure to please.
-If the bride has a green thumb, garden tools packaged in a feminine or pretty bag, case or box is definitely different and practical at the same time. Be sure to throw in some seed packets.
-Another super idea are a set of tickets or season tickets to sports games (if you know the couple would appreciate it).
-If the couple are into the arts then, museum or art gallery memberships might be the way to go, (once again, only if you are aware that they would appreciate it).
-Who wouldn't appreciate luggage with a few guidebooks for their Honeymoon? You may want to make sure that they don't already have some first.
-If you know that the bride and groom are headed for a sunny and hot honeymoon destination, then beach towels and a beach bag are definitely awesome gift ideas.
It is always a thoughtful idea to show your guests gratitude for sharing the special occasion by giving a small gift or favor to remember the wonderful day.There is no need to break the bank and there are virtually hundreds of ideas. If you have some time available, you can actually be creative and make your own gifts.
Where To Start
There are many options as to where you can purchase your favors or where you can buy the products to make your own. Below is a list of establishments you can go to in your quest:
-Doing a search online is always a good place to start because you are literally exposed to thousands of possibilities. Also, you just might be able to find items in bulk at a reduced rate.
-Visiting party supply outlets is also great for favor ideas. There are many possibilities in these types of stores. For example, if you are having a Hollywood themed shower, what better place to find knick knacks to fit the occasion.
-Stores such as Michaels or other craft stores have a plethora of gift ideas. For example, you can buy small photo albums, scented candles, baskets you can fill with just about anything, picture frames plus so much more.
-If you really want to save money, don't exclude your local Dollar Store. They are packed with all sorts of treasures. You would be amazed at what you can find.
-A visit to your local Costco, Walmart, Sam's Club or Target are great locations for items such as reasonably priced beauty products, CDs, DVDs, costume jewelry and so on.
-Depending on your budget, card shops such as Hallmark carry beautiful gift ideas as well.
These are but a few examples of where to start your search. Remember, shop around and keep your budget in mind.
To get you off to a good start, I am providing you with a few guest favor ideas below that you may want to consider:
1) Sweets-I know of very few people that hate sweets and they are always appreciated. You can give a small box of chocolates or chocolate roses; hard candy such as confetti,(sugar coated almonds), in pretty bags or containers; a tray or box of assorted homemade cookies; pretty cupcake(s) in a box. When it comes to sweets there are so many options.
2) Beverage Products-Another great gift idea are various types of beverages. You can give a nicely decorated pre-mixed drink bottle such as Mojito, Cosmopolitan or Piña Colada; a nice bottle of wine; a basket or pretty box of assorted teas; a nice cup with a bag of coffee. There are many other selections you can add to this list.
3) Relaxation and Scented Products-There are several great mood enhancement ideas you can choose from. For example you can distribute nicely decorated scented candles or oils; potpourri; room sprays; moisturizers or lotions; bath salts; soaps; hand creams; fragrant drawer liners; massage oils; body sprays; CDs with calming, stress release music. There are many other selections to make in this category.
4) Living Gifts-These types of gifts are fragrant and thoughtful gift ideas. For example, a single rose or carnation wrapped in cellophane with a pretty personalized tag; a small potted plant; a tiny dish garden or terrarium; pot with herb plant(s); seeds for planting. These are just a few suggestions but you can be quite creative when it comes to flowers and plants.
5) Costume Jewelry-Pretty and sparkly gifts are always a great idea. You can either buy these items or if you are very creative and have the time, you can make some of these favors yourself. For example, you can give earrings, beaded or charm bracelets, wrist bangles, ankle bracelets, rings, toe rings, necklace, charms, lockets or hair accessories. These favors can be placed in a pretty box or an organza bag tied with a colourful satin ribbon.
6) All About Pictures-Picture holders are always a popular choice for a guest gift. For example you can give a picture frame, photo album or photo keychain and magnet just to name a few.
7) "Jack & Jill" Gifts-If you're hosting a "Jack & Jill" or "Couples" shower, you will have to give gifts that are either unisex or purchase gifts specifically that you know will be appreciated by the gentlemen at the party. For example, you can give favors such as a, coffee mug, travel decanter, liquor bottle, coasters, corkscrew, bottle opener, DVD, beer stein or cocktail shaker. There are so many choices available that are sure to please both your male and female guests.
8) Miscellaneous Gifts- Here are a few more gift ideas you may want to consider: printed t-shirt; pretty slippers; colourful pashmina; scarf; gloves; book of poetry; journal or diary with pen; change purse; small jewelry box; vase; colourful umbrella; dainty compact mirror; personalized bookmarks. Once again, a bit of creativity is all it takes to find the perfect guest gift.
As mentioned before, If you are hosting a bridal shower and it is within your budget, giving your guests a parting gift to remember the event by is always a thoughtful and well received gesture. At the end of the day, it is not written in stone or mandatory for you to give favors, these are merely suggestions
I hope this installment of my Bridal Shower series has been helpful. Deciding on a present for a bridal shower shouldn't have to be difficult. With a little thought and planning you can find the perfect gift while staying within your budget.