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Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

Bridal Shower Invitation

Template downloaded to my computer

Template downloaded to my computer

History of the Bridal or Wedding Shower

Wedding or bridal showers became a custom that started in the 1890s. Back then most brides had a dowry provided by their families. In the United States the hope chest or trousseau was the custom. For brides to be that did not have a dowry for reasons of either being poor or perhaps their families did not approve of the wedding taking place, the bridal shower was a way to help in which friends and women would all get together and give gifts to compensate for the missing dowry.

At first, showers would be a casual event, usually held at the bride to be's home. Guests would come by at different times and drop in unannounced. It wasn't until the 1950s that games and themes started to be part of the bridal shower. Now a days you will find that showers can be anywhere from a simple get together to a lavish catered party.

From Wikipedia

"In extreme rural America, the term was used to describe the act of bathing the bride the day of the wedding to remove dirt and oils from the skin and hair."

Love Quotes

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
- Helen Keller


What does the bride to be need for the home?

Before making a purchase think about the person that you're buying the gift for and either ask yourself the following questions, or if you don't know the bride to be ask the person hosting the shower. Find out what she needs or what shemay like.

  • Does she like to cook?
  • What does she need for her kitchen?
  • Does she have linens, blankets, bath towels?
  • Does she have her china and crystal pattern picked out, and is she registered anywhere?
  • Is the shower going to be a themed shower such as an all cookware shower?
  • Find out her favorite colors, or if she has a specific color theme in mind for her home.

Gift ideas for the bride to be

You may want to coordinate your shower gift to go along with a wedding gift.

Gifts for the kitchenGifts for the bathGifts for the bedroomOther Gift Ideas

Pots and Pans

Towel Sets


Wedding album

Small Appliances

Oversized bath towels

Duvet or duvet cover

Guest book for the wedding


Shower curtain set


Gift certificates


Bath mats or rugs

Bedside lamps


Cutlery and utensils

Towel racks


Art work such as paintings or prints


Towel warmer

Radio alarm clock


Bake ware

Gift basket of bath accesories



Mixing bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons




Spice racks



Telephone set




Recipe books




Bridal Shower

Created using Microsoft Office Clip Art

Created using Microsoft Office Clip Art

Group Gift Ideas

Going together with other people to buy a large gift is quite common.

  • A large appliance
  • Luggage set for the honeymoon
  • Gift basket filled with various items that couple may need on their honeymoon
  • Tickets for a spa weekend away for the bride to be
  • Furniture
  • A gift certificate for a manicure and hair salon for the morning of the wedding day

Gift Baskets

  • Kitchen items are always nice to assemble into a gift basket. For a bride to be that likes to bake you could gather many small items such as measuring cups and spoons together with mixing bowls, a rolling pin, pastry cutter, cooking timer, , pastry rolling sheet, cookie cutters, and a recipe book. The list is endless and you can get quite creative with a gift basket such as this.
  • For the bathroom, rolled up towels, hand towels, and face cloths. Perhaps add some fancy soaps and candles to the basket.
  • Go together with another guest and make up a basket.
Scroll to Continue

Gift Baskets on Amazon

Created using Microsoft Office Clip Art

Created using Microsoft Office Clip Art

Wedding Shower Etiquette

Traditional Bridal ShowersModern Day Bridal ShowersDefinite no no's

Bridesmaids or Maid of Honor/Matron host the shower

Pretty much anyone can now host the shower

A bride never hosts her own shower

Only first time brides are to have a shower

Bridal showers are never frowned upon even if the bride has been married more than once


Only women attend a bridal shower

Now a days you will find both men and women attending bridal showers.


The shower is always a surprise

The bride can be told about the shower


Showers are held 4-6 weeks before the wedding

Can be held any time up to 2 weeks before the wedding



Invitations should be mailed out 4-6 weeks before the day of the shower.


Showers are usually held in the afternoon or evening

No longer time specific



Every guest is expected to bring a gift



Thank you cards should be mailed out as soon as possible

Not sending out thank you cards is rude.

More Etiquette

  • When attending a bridal or wedding shower try to be on time, especially if the shower is a surprise.
  • If you're bringing along someone with you that wasn't on the guest list, be sure to contact the host of the shower to make sure that it is okay.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Have fun and be sure to thank the host before leaving.

Bridal Shower Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Can the bride to be can plan and host her own bridal shower?
    • Yes of course she can.
    • No never.
  2. Does the hostess get the bride to be a gift?
    • No it is not necessary since she hosted the shower.
    • Yes it is quite customary.
  3. When are the gifts opened?
    • Gifts can be opened as soon as each gift arrives.
    • Gifts are opened before or after the food is served.

Answer Key

  1. No never.
  2. Yes it is quite customary.
  3. Gifts are opened before or after the food is served.

What do I Write in a Wedding Shower Card?

If you need some great ideas on what to write in a Wedding Shower card be sure to visit Sharyn's Slant.

© 2012 Susan Zutautas


Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 11, 2013:

Thanks Mary! I love bridal and baby showers.

Mary Craig from New York on September 30, 2013:

When they talk about Evergreen hubs, this one is certainly on the list. Starting out with the history of bridal showers and then adding all that great information certainly shows the teacher in you.

I have to say I love the bra bag! I know it serves a purpose but it also made me laugh!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 08, 2013:

KT, Sounds like an exciting time for you and your family. I'm sure whatever type of shower you plan for your future daughter in law will be beautiful. Thanks for stopping by and have lots of fun planning and hosting the shower.

KT Banks from Texas on March 07, 2013:

This is just what I needed. My sons Fiancé is from a different state, and she needs to get to know more of our family members, so I wanted to give her a shower. It's been so many years since I was responsible for any wedding type activities, that I wasn't sure where to start.

The good news is that I truly Love her, and she fits right in with our family.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this information. Voted Up and more!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 17, 2012:

jellygator, Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.

jellygator from USA on October 16, 2012:

That's an interesting history, all right! Who knew?

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 02, 2012:

Thanks Vicki, Yes things have sure changed :)

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 02, 2012:

Well put together hub. The tables are helpful, especially the one on etiquette. It's interesting how things have changed!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 28, 2012:

Rebecca, Thanks so much, I really appreciate it.

Janine, Thanks :)

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 27, 2012:

Thank you for sharing this and will definitely be sharing and voting it up.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 27, 2012:

Hi Susan. Just stopped by again. I just love this. I am sharing all around in case I did not before.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 27, 2012:

Kelley, Thanks so much :)

kelleyward on June 27, 2012:

Fantastic ideas, history, and information related to bridal etiquette. Sharing this one! Voted up!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 19, 2012:

Tammy, Thanks. Writing about this made me want to get married all over again :)

Tammy from North Carolina on June 19, 2012:

Great history lesson on the Bridal Shower and a look into proper ettiquet. Very interesting and helpful. Pinned!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2012:

drbj, Same here. No man would be caught dead at a bridal shower ... it was just unheard of. But as Bob Dylan says "The times they are a changin"

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2012:

Thanks Susan!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2012:

Ruby, Thanks.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2012:

Thanks RH. I had to go and look up what syrup of ipecac was as I've never heard of it before.

I've been to many bridal and baby showers. I always try to get something that the person can use and enjoy.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 17, 2012:

Thanks for the great bridal shower suggestions, Susan. Back in the days of the Ice Age when I was married, men were never invited to bridal showers, but nowadays they often are. Only fair. They are part of the package, too.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2012:




Thanks everyone!

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on June 17, 2012:

Susan, you have given some great ideas! I love getting the small kitchen utensils as a gift set.

Great Hub! Votes and shares!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 17, 2012:

Great ideas for a bridal shower..I lked the no no's too..Thank's..

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 17, 2012:

Hey Susan! Awesome idea! This is GREAT - I guess it makes me happy and excited to think about weddings and gifts - such an exciting time!

You have awesome gift ideas - the only one I can think of that I've gotten a true friend before was - syrup of ipecac - oh is girl was a BAD BAD cook and imwas certain she would eventually poison her husband - so see?I saved him! Haha!

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on June 17, 2012:

Great shower gift ideas and I love the history you included too.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2012:

Rosemay, So glad you found it interesting.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 17, 2012:

Susan just stopped by to show my support :) Frank

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2012:

Rebecca, Thank you, glad you liked the hub.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 17, 2012:

Great gift suggestions for the bride to be. I like the way you laid out this hub. Very useful.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on June 16, 2012:

I didn't know the history of the bridal shower. Thank you for sharing this interesting info

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 16, 2012:

Interesting history here. I never thought about how bridal showers got started. But like everything else, they have an origin. I like the charts. Helpful. And the group gift idea is super since most new couples can't afford big ticket items!

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