Credit: Ricker Films

by Linda DiProperzio

One of the best parts of planning a wedding is setting up your bridal registry. This is when couples will select preferred gifts that they want or need (or both!) as they start their married life. Traditionally, the registry was made up of household items including fine china, linens, glasses, décor and more. But now that couples are getting married later in life—and often already have these items in their own homes—there are different kinds of registries to choose from, including honeymoon, new home, non-traditional, gift cards and even charity-based.

No matter which one the couple chooses, family and friends will no doubt want to buy you something special to celebrate the impending nuptials. This can be done at several pre-wedding events, including the bridal shower.

What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a rite of passage for those getting set to walk down the aisle. It is a time where family and friends—traditionally females—get together to eat, drink and “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts. The event is held a few months before the wedding day and is typically planned by the bridal party, although the mother of the bride (and possibly her future mother-in-law) might also want to be involved.

While the bridal shower is considered a daytime event (brunch is especially popular), there are no longer any rules when it comes to planning this event. In fact, if you believe the bride would prefer having a cocktail party, then go for it! Just keep in mind that the guests will range in age, with the couple's older relatives in attendance, so you don't want to make it too late.

In addition, it is not uncommon to throw a couple’s (or wedding) shower where the soon-to-be newlyweds are both in attendance, along with family and friends, including their wedding party. What kind of event you choose really depends on what you and your partner prefer to do.

And the bridal shower doesn't have to be just about food and gifts. Many planners opt to play fun games at the shower, such as bridal shower bingo, the newlywed game or paper bride. While you're at it, make it extra fun by handing out prizes to your guests!

Bride and groom exiting church
Credit: Ricker Films

What is a bridal shower gift?

A big part of the bridal shower is watching the bride or couple open up the gifts from guests. The present is usually something from the registry, but it's perfectly fine to choose something that you think they will love but it isn't on the registry. If you feel you know them well enough to venture off on your own when it comes to selecting a present, then feel free. You might just get them something they would have never thought to get for themselves!

Couple kissing in front of bridal party
Credit: Bahia Films

Best bridal shower gifts ideas

If you want to get something that is not on the couple's registry, but you're not sure where to start, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Bottle of champagne and matching flutes

The newlyweds can use it to toast married life when they get back from the honeymoon.

Kitchen accessories

While many guests focus on getting the big kitchen items off the registry, the couple might have forgetten about the smaller accessories that they will use on a regular basis, such as measuring cups, mixing bowls, can opener, etc.

Knife set

Don’t underestimate how high-quality cutlery can boost someone’s cooking skills.

Standup mixer

This is one of those pricey items that people usually don’t get for themselves, and it is an appliance that certainly comes in handy throughout the years.

Breakfast tray

Give them each a chance to surprise each other with breakfast in bed!

Lingerie

Don’t get too racy—stick with a beautiful camisole with matching robe.

Ring dish

A pretty ring dish is both practical and will look great around the house, whether it's in the bedroom or near the kitchen sink so they can remove their rings before washing dishes.

Wedding dress hanger

The bride can display her gown on a beautiful wedding-themed hanger--making for a perfect shot for the photographer.

Wedding date ornament

The newlyweds can hang it on their Christmas tree or simply display it in their home throughout the year.

Personalized luggage & passport tags

The couple will no doubt get some use out of these when they go on their honeymoon!

Luxury blanket

The newlyweds can use this when they cuddle up on the couch for movie night.

Custom cutting board

This is a practical gift that can also be kept out in the kitchen as décor.

Personalized robes

Everyone appreciates a comfy robe, so give the happy couple their own to slip on after a shower. You can even have them embroidered with their initials or monogram.

Beverage tub

Perfect for when they host their first barbeque as a married couple, add something extra by having it personalized with their monogram.

Glassware

Whether they’re hosting holidays or having a simple get-together, everyone needs some nice glassware in their home.

Mrs. jewelry box

Give the bride someplace safe to store her wedding and engagement ring at the end of the day.

Date box subscription

It can be hard to find time to just be alone and enjoy each other’s company, especially when wedding planning. A date night subscription will ensure that the couple makes that time a priority at least once per month.

Silky sleepwear

Buy a set for the couple so they can sleep well and look great.

Scented candles

It might seem like a simple gift, but candles are an essential part of home décor.

Couple's spa treatment

After all of the hustle and bustle with wedding planning, the couple will surely enjoy being pampered.

Luxury bed linens

There is nothing like sleeping on high thread count bedsheets. This is one of those gifts the couple will thank you for over and over again!

Monogrammed towels

Perfect to put out when they have guests, but not something the newlyweds would probably splurge on for themselves.

Beauty box subscription

If you want to get something just for the bride, a beauty box subscription is a great choice. Each month she’ll enjoy some new products to try out.

Airbnb gift card

Give the couple who loves to travel a head start on paying for a place to stay on one of their trips.

Jewelry cleaning kit

So they can safely clean their wedding rings in the comfort of their own home.

Espresso machine

Caffeine lovers will love being able to make the perfect cup at any time of the day.

Restaurant gift cards

If you know some of their favorite eateries, buy a few gift cards that they can use on date nights.

Personalized welcome mat

They can put it outside the door of their home.

Home Depot gift card

New homeowners will truly appreciate this one.

Meal delivery plan

There’s no doubt that they have been super busy, so dinner planning will be one less thing to worry about.

Wedding countdown calendar

Something cute to use before the big day!

Are you planning a shower for a special couple. Find out how to throw a stress-free wedding shower!

Credit: Ricker Films

by Linda DiProperzio

One of the best parts of planning a wedding is setting up your bridal registry. This is when couples will select preferred gifts that they want or need (or both!) as they start their married life. Traditionally, the registry was made up of household items including fine china, linens, glasses, décor and more. But now that couples are getting married later in life—and often already have these items in their own homes—there are different kinds of registries to choose from, including honeymoon, new home, non-traditional, gift cards and even charity-based.

No matter which one the couple chooses, family and friends will no doubt want to buy you something special to celebrate the impending nuptials. This can be done at several pre-wedding events, including the bridal shower.

What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a rite of passage for those getting set to walk down the aisle. It is a time where family and friends—traditionally females—get together to eat, drink and “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts. The event is held a few months before the wedding day and is typically planned by the bridal party, although the mother of the bride (and possibly her future mother-in-law) might also want to be involved.

While the bridal shower is considered a daytime event (brunch is especially popular), there are no longer any rules when it comes to planning this event. In fact, if you believe the bride would prefer having a cocktail party, then go for it! Just keep in mind that the guests will range in age, with the couple's older relatives in attendance, so you don't want to make it too late.

In addition, it is not uncommon to throw a couple’s (or wedding) shower where the soon-to-be newlyweds are both in attendance, along with family and friends, including their wedding party. What kind of event you choose really depends on what you and your partner prefer to do.

And the bridal shower doesn't have to be just about food and gifts. Many planners opt to play fun games at the shower, such as bridal shower bingo, the newlywed game or paper bride. While you're at it, make it extra fun by handing out prizes to your guests!

Bride and groom exiting church
Credit: Ricker Films

What is a bridal shower gift?

A big part of the bridal shower is watching the bride or couple open up the gifts from guests. The present is usually something from the registry, but it's perfectly fine to choose something that you think they will love but it isn't on the registry. If you feel you know them well enough to venture off on your own when it comes to selecting a present, then feel free. You might just get them something they would have never thought to get for themselves!

Couple kissing in front of bridal party
Credit: Bahia Films

Best bridal shower gifts ideas

If you want to get something that is not on the couple's registry, but you're not sure where to start, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Bottle of champagne and matching flutes

The newlyweds can use it to toast married life when they get back from the honeymoon.

Kitchen accessories

While many guests focus on getting the big kitchen items off the registry, the couple might have forgetten about the smaller accessories that they will use on a regular basis, such as measuring cups, mixing bowls, can opener, etc.

Knife set

Don’t underestimate how high-quality cutlery can boost someone’s cooking skills.

Standup mixer

This is one of those pricey items that people usually don’t get for themselves, and it is an appliance that certainly comes in handy throughout the years.

Breakfast tray

Give them each a chance to surprise each other with breakfast in bed!

Lingerie

Don’t get too racy—stick with a beautiful camisole with matching robe.

Ring dish

A pretty ring dish is both practical and will look great around the house, whether it's in the bedroom or near the kitchen sink so they can remove their rings before washing dishes.

Wedding dress hanger

The bride can display her gown on a beautiful wedding-themed hanger--making for a perfect shot for the photographer.

Wedding date ornament

The newlyweds can hang it on their Christmas tree or simply display it in their home throughout the year.

Personalized luggage & passport tags

The couple will no doubt get some use out of these when they go on their honeymoon!

Luxury blanket

The newlyweds can use this when they cuddle up on the couch for movie night.

Custom cutting board

This is a practical gift that can also be kept out in the kitchen as décor.

Personalized robes

Everyone appreciates a comfy robe, so give the happy couple their own to slip on after a shower. You can even have them embroidered with their initials or monogram.

Beverage tub

Perfect for when they host their first barbeque as a married couple, add something extra by having it personalized with their monogram.

Glassware

Whether they’re hosting holidays or having a simple get-together, everyone needs some nice glassware in their home.

Mrs. jewelry box

Give the bride someplace safe to store her wedding and engagement ring at the end of the day.

Date box subscription

It can be hard to find time to just be alone and enjoy each other’s company, especially when wedding planning. A date night subscription will ensure that the couple makes that time a priority at least once per month.

Silky sleepwear

Buy a set for the couple so they can sleep well and look great.

Scented candles

It might seem like a simple gift, but candles are an essential part of home décor.

Couple's spa treatment

After all of the hustle and bustle with wedding planning, the couple will surely enjoy being pampered.

Luxury bed linens

There is nothing like sleeping on high thread count bedsheets. This is one of those gifts the couple will thank you for over and over again!

Monogrammed towels

Perfect to put out when they have guests, but not something the newlyweds would probably splurge on for themselves.

Beauty box subscription

If you want to get something just for the bride, a beauty box subscription is a great choice. Each month she’ll enjoy some new products to try out.

Airbnb gift card

Give the couple who loves to travel a head start on paying for a place to stay on one of their trips.

Jewelry cleaning kit

So they can safely clean their wedding rings in the comfort of their own home.

Espresso machine

Caffeine lovers will love being able to make the perfect cup at any time of the day.

Restaurant gift cards

If you know some of their favorite eateries, buy a few gift cards that they can use on date nights.

Personalized welcome mat

They can put it outside the door of their home.

Home Depot gift card

New homeowners will truly appreciate this one.

Meal delivery plan

There’s no doubt that they have been super busy, so dinner planning will be one less thing to worry about.

Wedding countdown calendar

Something cute to use before the big day!

Are you planning a shower for a special couple. Find out how to throw a stress-free wedding shower!