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How To Know The Difference Between A Bridal Shower vs. Wedding Gift

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Wondering about the differences between bridal shower gifts and wedding gifts? How much should you spend? When do you send the gifts? Find out the answers to these questions and more!


Are you looking for a bridal shower or wedding gift? You’re likely looking to buy something extra special for the new couple. With multiple opportunities to purchase gifts and a wedding registry with a list of items to choose from, you may have a few questions about gift-giving. When should you send a wedding gift to the happy couple? How much should you spend on a wedding gift? Then there’s learning about the differences between bridal showers and wedding gifts. Let’s break down the details of each, so you know the appropriate gift etiquette and expectations regarding wedding gifts and bridal shower gifts. 

What Are Bridal Shower Gifts?

Bridal showers are typically held a few weeks or months before the wedding. Bridesmaids, close friends of the bride, and relatives throw the bridal shower to celebrate the bride-to-to-be. The hostess (or hostesses) could be the maid of honor, the bride’s best friend, or close family members. It’s typically a smaller, more intimate affair where the bride receives gifts. Some traditional bridal shower gifts include lingerie, kitchen items, bath and beauty products, bridal accessories, or even bridal-themed items like champagne glasses.

When choosing a bridal shower gift, you could either focus on something the bride could use in her new home with her future spouse or give her something personal. Bridal shower gifts should be thoughtful and relevant to the bride’s interests, style, and tastes. Of course, if you are having a co-ed wedding shower, the gifts might be better tailored to the couple rather than just the bride. A good wedding shower gift would be of use and value to both partners rather than just one!

10 Best Bridal Shower Gifts

Here are some of our favorite bridal shower gift ideas that you won’t find on a registry:

  1. Bridal robe – A silky robe embroidered with “bride” or the bride’s name is an elegant and practical gift that she can wear while getting ready on her wedding day.
  2. Lingerie – Give the bride some sexy lingerie to make her feel confident and beautiful on her wedding night.
  3. Spa gift basket – Treat the bride-to-be to relaxation before her big day with a spa gift basket filled with bath bombs, lotions, candles, and other pampering goodies.
  4. Cocktail kit – Give the bride-to-be everything she needs to make delicious cocktails at home, including mixers, garnishes, and stylish barware.
  5. Bridal emergency kit – Put together a kit filled with essentials such as safety pins, stain remover wipes, mints, and other items that may come in handy on the wedding day.
  6. Jewelry – Give the bride a unique piece of jewelry on her wedding day, such as earrings or a bracelet that matches her dress.
  7. Honeymoon gift certificate – Give the bride-to-be a gift certificate for her honeymoon.
  8. Gift cards – Give the bride a gift card to her favorite store to buy something she wants.
  9. Pay for something from the wedding – You can help by paying for a videographer, a DJ, wedding flowers, cake, etc.!
  10. Monogrammed photo albums or picture frames – Give the bride a unique photo album or frame with her and her future husband’s initials or names.

Bridal Shower Gift Etiquette

Being invited to a bridal shower is always an honor. We’ve compiled a few quick tips regarding bridal shower etiquette to show your gratitude and to keep in mind if you can’t make the event for some reason.

Here are some helpful tips to know about bridal showers as a guest:

  • The couple’s wedding registry information should be included on the bridal shower invitation, never the wedding invitation.
  • If you can’t make the event, send your bridal shower gift within two weeks of the bridal shower.
  • Include a personal card with the gift.
  • Be sure to thank the host or hostess of the bridal shower for inviting you. 

What to know about bridal showers as the bride:

  • As the bride or guest of honor, you should give a gift to your bridal shower hostess. (Check out the best bridal shower hostess gifts.)
  • Don’t forget to order thank you cards so you can send notes of gratitude for all of your gifts.

Try to tailor the gifts to the bride as much as possible, but she’ll love anything that complements her new marriage!

What About Wedding Gifts?

When considering the differences between a bridal shower and a wedding gift, remember that a wedding gift is typically more expensive than a bridal shower gift. This is because wedding guests give these on the wedding day. In some parts of the country, people consider the cost of the wedding per person when deciding how much to spend on a gift for the couple.

Wedding gifts are usually something the bride and groom can use together and aren’t just tailored to the bride like bridal gifts are. Some couples wish to receive cash gifts or a gift card as a wedding present, which can go towards the couple’s honeymoon expenses or a down payment on a new home. Some couples might also choose to set up a honeymoon registry instead of a traditional registry.

One of the main differences between bridal and wedding gifts is that brides and grooms tend to create a joint wedding registry for things they need for a new life together. A couple’s registry is available to the guest list, so they know what to get the couple by their wedding day. 

A nice gesture, and the easiest way to get the couple the perfect gift they’ll love, is to get something for their home – like kitchen appliances, cookware and gadgets, linens, towels, china, and other housewares.

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Here are 10 wedding gift ideas:

  1. Personalized cutting board – A customized cutting board with the couple’s names or initials is a thoughtful and practical gift for any home cook.
  2. Kitchen gadget set – A collection of essential kitchen tools such as spatulas, whisks, measuring cups, and spoons will be handy.
  3. Wine glasses – Toast to the happy couple with elegant wine glasses they can use for special occasions.
  4. Luxury bedding – Treat your friends to a set of high-quality sheets or a cozy comforter that she can enjoy with her new spouse.
  5. Cookbook – Delicious recipes are an excellent gift for couples who love to cook together.
  6. High-quality Bathrobes – Matching robes embroidered with the couple’s names or initials are practical and romantic.
  7. Coffee maker – Help the newlyweds start their mornings with a coffee maker.
  8. Personalized photo album – A beautiful photo album filled with pictures of the happy couple is a sentimental gift they will cherish forever.
  9. Spa day package – Give the couple some much-needed relaxation after their big day by treating them to a spa day package at a local salon or spa. 
  10. Date night jar – Create a jar filled with date night ideas for the newlyweds to choose from when planning their next romantic outing together.

Want more ideas? Check out some of our top registry picks from our Amazon Storefront.

Traditional Etiquette for Wedding Gifts

Here are a few tips for wedding gift etiquette:

  • Make sure you follow the couple’s wedding registry if they have one. This will ensure they get something they want or need.
  • If there is no registry, consider their lifestyle and interests to choose something they can use in their home.
  • Don’t forget to include a card with your gift. A personalized handwritten note from the heart will make the couple’s day even brighter.
  • Be sure to purchase your gift in advance and bring it with you to the wedding ceremony.

Giving a thoughtful bridal shower gift or wedding gift is a way to show the couple how much you care. When in doubt, opt for something to help them have a more comfortable home and happy marriage.

Happy Bridal Shower and Wedding Gifting!

Bridal showers and wedding gifts are two very different types of gift-giving occasions that should be distinct from one another. Bridal showers involve more intimate gifts typically focused on preparing the bride for her upcoming marriage. In contrast, wedding gifts are more substantial and often geared toward both the groom and the bride. Regarding bridal shower gifts vs. wedding gifts, we know you will choose something unique and meaningful for each occasion!


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