What are some gift ideas and what is the gifting protocol for bridal shower, bachelorette party, and actual wedding?
Everyone I’ve asked and everything I’ve read online completely differs in opinion, and I trust people hiding behind their keyboards on a site like this to be more honest than blogs or online magazines.
Do I bring a gift to the bachelorette, or is that just more of a “girls gone (mildly) wild” situation?
What kinds of gifts are appropriate for the bridal shower? I keep reading things like dishes, towels, etc. but isn’t that the kind of thing you gift for the actual wedding?
- EdnaLv 710 months ago
You don't bring a gift to a bachelorette party. A bachelorette party is a "girls' night out". and it doesn't call for gifts.
Gifts for a bridal shower are gifts of items that the couple can use in their new home.
You don't ever bring a "gift" to the wedding. It would just be someone that someone has to lug home after the wedding. A wedding gift is delivered to the bride's home well in advance of the actual wedding. When someone gives a "gift" at a wedding, it's usually cash in an envelope that is presented to the couple during the reception. No sort of "gift" is ever required or expected from a guest who has been invited to a wedding.
- FoofaLv 710 months ago
For most wedding parties the bachelorette event is already costing you hundreds of dollars so you're not expected to bring a real gift (although cheap gag gifts, usually of a sexual nature, are common). The bridal shower would be where you bring the gift (you wouldn't then take a second gift to the wedding). Most couples will have a bridal registry where you can look up a list of what they need. This is often be housewares but as people now marry later after they've already lived on their own they're less likely to need that stuff. So if they don't have a registry just go with something you think they'd like. Presumably you know these people well enough to know their interests.
- TrishLv 510 months ago
I agree to most of what was said here. Giving cash seems impersonal but I could ignore it for the right amount.
- MeLv 610 months ago
Everyone has a different point of view but since you asked, here is mine...
- Wedding shower - the gift should be something off the registry, something of a household nature, or something the couple can both enjoy.
- Bachelorette party - depending on how they are doing things, you either contribute a set amount towards the Bride's share or at the very least buy the bride a drink. Think of it this way, most of them you go out partying, why would you want to bring gifts to carry around during the night?
- The Wedding - cash is king. The amount depends on your relationship and your finances. Send a card with a check either right before or after the wedding. Some people give money at the wedding, but that increases the chances that it may be taken or misplaced.
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- dripLv 710 months ago
Bridal shower: one if the few events where a gift that is wrapped is pretty much required. Invitation should provide stores the bride and groom are registered at. Pick something on the list.
Bachelorette party: no gifts are given. Usually guest pitch in to pay for the bride
Wedding: gift optional, but usually given. Giving a card with a check, cash or gift card has become the norm. Less hassle than being a gift and less hassle for the couple to get home after the reception,
- KellyLv 710 months ago
For events surrounding the wedding and the wedding itself, only the bridal/wedding shower is actually a gift giving event. It's fine to give a gift at the other festivities but they're optional.
Shower - go by the registry it's a guideline of what they need and/or want. The hosts of it should be providing information of the registry in the invite but if they don't popular places people sign up at are Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Macy's, Crate & Barrel, etc. I've never struggled to find a wedding (or baby) registry). Some also do them on Amazon now too and for the DIY'ers home improvement stores like Home Depot have them too. I'm a HSE'er (hire someone elser) person myself. People asking for money gift/cards at the shower happens but well it's tacky. Who wants to spend a few hours of their afternoon watching people open cards? That's like watching someone open their mail.
Wedding - most people choose to give the couple a gift to wish them well and the most common gift is money. Some people will still get something off the registry or go off on their own and just buy something they know/think the couple wants or needs. I'm generally a giver of cash because well... it's easy. The only time I give a tangible gift (to go along with the cash) is when it's a someone I'm close to.
Bachelorette party - this is more of a party for the bride. Generally the hosts of it cover the costs for the bride. If you want to give a gift just something small for her that she may or may not share with her fiance. I'm not sure my husband directly benefited from any gift I received at my bachelorette party. The few gift cards I got that were for food, I took the person who gave it to me for lunch/dinner.
Engagement party - maybe a card and something they can enjoy/do together.
- Pizza_MonsterLv 510 months ago
So for the wedding and bridal shower you typically buy off their gift registry. For the bachelorette you dont generally buy a gift unless its something cute a custom like a drinking glass for that weekend (or nights) festivities.
- MessykattLv 710 months ago
There are several ways of doing this, which is probably why you're getting different answers. Still, there's some basic stuff.
Bachelorettes are not gifting events. Often the attendees pay part of the bride's expenses, and that's enough.
With showers, it's mandatory to bring a wrapped gift. The hostess is supposed to provide guidance on this. Sometimes it's registry info, and other times it's a theme shower, like kitchen or lingerie or whatever. Cash and gift cards are not appropriate for a shower.
With the wedding, you have a lot more leeway. Per etiquette, gifts aren't mandatory, but per tradition, most people do give something. Cash and gift cards are fine and this is what I usually give. If I'm super close to someone, I prefer finding something I know they'll like or they need. I actually gave my sister and BIL the setup for a saltwater aquarium and a Petsmart gift card! They loved it, as I knew they would.
The other guideline that always applies is never spend more than you can comfortably afford.
- JerryLv 710 months ago
The whole idea of a shower that you bring a festively wrapped gift in exchange for the hosts giving you food, drink, and fun. Traditionally shower gifts were household items or perhaps "for the honeymoon" personal items like lingerie and bubble bath. The hosts of the shower will likely be more than happy to suggest suitable gifts.
When one attends a wedding celebration, just like when one attends any other large dinner or party, what one OWES the hosts is a hand written letter or note of thanks. (In the case of wedding thank yous, include congratulations and best wishes for the couple.) And just like any other dinner or party, guests MAY send a gift along with or instead of the handwritten message of thanks.
It's almost always best to send a gift either before the wedding or after the honeymoon. Wedding hosts are already very busy, so don't burden with them with the tasks of accepting gifts, keeping track of who gave which, securing gifts from damage and theft, schlepping all that stuff to a place it can safely remain until after the honeymoon.
It's never rude to ASK the couple or others involved what sort of gift the couple might appreciate. Your spending level is either lavish, moderate, or modest depending on what you want. The $$$ amount corresponding with lavish or modest depends on your own level of wealth, not on the lavishness of the celebration. If you're a starving student then a $25 bath towel might be a lavish gift. But coming from a highly paid professional, that $25 gift would be extremely modest. There is NO SUCH THING as any "pay for your plate" rule.
Bachelorettes are not familiar territory. I'm an old granny lady and get invited to lots of weddings and showers, but not the "girls' night out." I suggest you coordinate with the hosts of the event regarding whether any exchange of gifts will be part of the festivities. It could be awkward if you arrived with a gift when others didn't, if others arrived with gifts when you didn't. Maybe tuck a small (in size) gift into pocket or handbag to produce or not produce as seems appropriate?
- Anonymous10 months ago
The answers are different because people do things differently. Some people go way out there and just make it a huge event. Others keep it very simple and many I know personally don't even do these events. My friend's son is getting married soon and all they are doing is having a wedding shower at the church and that is it. It will cost them nothing at all as church members are doing the planning. We are not doing gifts at all for anyone in the wedding party as just being at the wedding and asked to be in it is a gift in itself.
Personally, I find all this unnecessary and a waste of money. Do you know how many "gifts" have from being a bridesmaid that is just sitting in my closet? I appreciate the gift but not one of them is useable or practical. Since they have my name on them I can't regift them.