How Much Should You Spend on a Bridal Shower Gift?

by | Oct 3, 2019

How Much Should You Spend on a Bridal Shower Gift?


It’s not always easy to figure out how much to spend on a bridal shower gift. After all, a bridal shower means that a wedding is looming on the horizon. Do you spend more on a bridal shower gift than on the wedding present, or do you save up and splurge on a big gift at the nuptials?

You’ve got to buy a gift for the bride-to-be, but the question of how much to spend is a little murky. In this article, we’ll go over what you should spend so you don’t disappoint the bride, embarrass yourself, or break the bank. 


How Much to Spend on Bridal Shower Gift

For a bridal shower gift, follow the 20-20-60 rule. Set aside 20% of your overall gift budget for the shower, 20% for the engagement party, and another 60% for the wedding gift. For most people, this means spending $50 to $100 on a bridal shower gift. 

That being said, you may have budget constraints that could prevent you from plopping that much cash down for the bride’s big day. If you use the above guideline, this can result in hundreds of dollars that you may not even have. Plus, what if you have to attend more than one wedding during the wedding season?

What we’re getting at is that as much as you cherish the relationship with the bride, she’ll understand if you can’t afford to spend that much. It’s the thought that counts.

Do I Need to Buy a Wedding and Bridal Shower Gift?

In short: Yes, that’s how it typically works. For a lucky couple, weddings are special once-in-a-lifetime occasions to celebrate their love and future lives together. To mark the occasion, gift-giving etiquette holds that wedding attendees give a gift at the wedding and the bridal shower. 

Although it may seem like quite the commitment to buy two gifts, it’s little compared to what the bride and groom have invested in their ceremony. After all, the average wedding in the United States costs over $30,000. Think of your gifts as a way of helping them offset the costs of the party, accommodations, and food and drinks.

(Does that number give you heartburn? Don’t worry – it’s totally possible to plan a more affordable wedding. From affordable wedding centerpieces and wedding invitations to less expensive wedding dresses and decorations, we’ve got you covered.)

Plus, that’s not to say that just because the bride and groom spent a lot of money on their wedding you have to spend a lot on a gift. It bears repeating: it’s the thought that counts.

Do I Need to Buy Something from the Registry?

Whether you should purchase a wedding gift or from the bridal registry depends on how intimately you know the bride and groom. On one hand, buying off the registry ensures that the married couple will enjoy the gift that you buy them. On the other, it can feel a little lazy if you pick up a generic present for two of your closest friends.

We suggest looking into buying a personalized bridal shower gift if you have a tight-knit relationship with the bride. If you’re besties, chances are you know what restaurants she prefers, what clothes she wears or what kinds of art she enjoys. You should put your knowledge of the bride to use by buying something that’s not listed on the registry.

If your relationship with the bride or groom is less intimate, stick to the registry. As a rule, buying off the wedding registry is a safe bet that the married couple is sure to appreciate. Plus, you know they won’t regift whatever you give them if it’s from the registry. 

It’s also worth noting that you should never buy a gift from the registry that’s already purchased. Although this tip may sound obvious, you would be surprised by how often wedding guests double-buy a gift when the registry is already bought out. In the event that all registry items are completely bought out, get creative and take a chance on an unlisted gift idea.


Is It Okay to Gift Cash?

Yes, it’s totally okay to provide the bride or groom with a cash gift! 

Giving money is an old tradition that began centuries ago during wedding ceremonies. Although it may seem a bit surprising, it’s perfectly normal to give money at a bridal shower – especially in the lead-up to a more expensive destination wedding. 

You can usually stick cash in a card or an attractive gift box and give it to the bride and groom. 

Keep It Appropriate

There are some things that you should never give to a bride at her shower, no matter how close you are. For instance, super-sexy lingerie may be a no-go (especially if there are younger relatives present at the shower wedding). Instead, pick up a thoughtful gift that honors the special relationship you have with her.

If you want to get a little raunchy with your shower gift, include a note in the bridal shower card. This way, you can tip off the newlyweds about your plans without declaring out loud what your intentions are. 

Otherwise, it’s probably best to ask what the couple would like and try your best to make their request. 

What Are Common Bridal Shower Gifts?

With so many pre-wedding events to plan for, it’s not uncommon for brides to forget to draw up a bridal registry. When this happens, you can be left wondering what to get the bride on her big day. Whether it’s a baby shower, a wedding, or a honeymoon gift, there are some timeless gift ideas that can be relied on no matter the occasion. We’ve listed our top affordable gifts below.

  • Satin pajamas
  • Egyptian cotton flat sheets
  • Perfume or fragrance
  • Gold or silver jewelry
  • Woven throw blanket
  • Packing cube set
  • Vanity mirror

No matter who the bride is, chances are she will appreciate any of the ideas listed above. As we’ve stated, however, it’s also acceptable to make a monetary gift if none of the conventional ideas sound appealing. If you’re still on the fence about what to get her, consider asking the bride’s mother or someone on the invited guest list for more bridal shower gift ideas.


Make It Personal

Whether you’re the maid of honor, bridesmaid, a close friend, or a new acquaintance, if you’re on the guest list you should send a gift with a personal touch. This could include a basic handwritten note with your gift, a piece of jewelry with their names engraved, or a gift that conforms to the bridal shower theme.

Remember that the bride’s family are the experts on what the bride likes. If you’re ever at a loss for something to buy the bride, consider reaching out to a family member to get the inside scoop on her gift preferences or hobbies.  Plus, there’s also the registry which you can comb through for some clues. 


Giving the Perfect Gift on A Budget

Although most bridal shower gifts cost between $50 and $250, you don’t need to limit yourself to a specific dollar amount. Instead, feel free to only spend a few bucks on craft materials to make a homemade gift. For instance, a DIY photo album that contains some of your fondest memories is a fantastic idea for a down-to-earth bride who you’ve known for years.

We suggest letting your relationship with the bride dictate how much you should spend. If you have a strong relationship to the bride or have been invited to the wedding party, you’re probably close enough with them to make your own thoughtful gift. 

 Another idea is to pool your money together with other folks if you still want to get the bride a larger gift. That way, the others will also get to save money and give something they normally wouldn’t have been able to afford. Make sure that if you do this, collect the money from everyone before purchasing the item and to have everyone sign the card the go alongside the gift. 

Want A Better Budget? Meet Charlie

If you’re trying to maximize your budget for a wedding, you’ll want to check in with Charlie. We can help you start paying down your debt and saving money for a rainy day—or, you know, a better bridal shower gift. 


Share This