If you’ve just been invited to a bridal shower, chances are you’re racking your brain trying to think of the perfect gift, especially if the bride-to-be is a close friend or relative.
Typically, home and kitchen essentials are the go-to gifts guests choose from the couple’s wedding registry, but if you want to get creative and a little more personal, you’re under no obligation to pick from the couple’s wish list. In fact, a bridal shower can be a great time to present a bride with a gift designed specifically for her. But, said Dana Watts, owner and lead planner of Thyme & Details, a sustainable event-planning business, “If you do decide to go rogue and get a gift not on a registry, make sure the gift is useful and be conscientious about their personal style.”
SKIP AHEAD Personalized gifts | Last-minute gifts | Affordable gifts | Luxury gifts
The most meaningful gifts are not always the most over-the-top, but often the ones that someone wouldn’t buy for themselves, such as a pair of cashmere slippers, said Ms Wedding Planner founder Lynne Goldberg. “Even if you get something 'less expensive,’ it is all about how you present it,” said Alex Austin, founder of Alex Austin Events & Design. “Wrap it up really nice — maybe tie fresh greenery to the packaging — and write a heartfelt letter to the bride.”
Best bridal shower gifts to shop
When it comes to where to shop for a bridal shower gift, popular stores include classics like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn for the common registry gifts, while sites like Etsy and Mark & Graham are geared more toward personalized items. However, according to the experts we consulted, there is no rule for where to shop — you can find great gifts just about anywhere these days, whether you are looking for something customized, more budget-friendly or need to find a great last-minute option.
To help you decide on the perfect gift, we’ve rounded up some ideas based on our past coverage, along with some from Select-reader favorite brands and some highly rated items we think the the bride (and her spouse-to-be) will love.
Best personalized bridal shower gifts
Hundred Hearts Floppy Sun Hat
If the bride and her betrothed have plans for a tropical honeymoon, a chic hat with her new name could be the perfect addition to her beachside photos. Choose from a beige, blush or tan hat to suit the bride’s style. This hat has a 5.0-average star rating out of 36,117 reviews on Etsy.
Vegan Leather Travel Jewelry Case Organizer
Whether or not she’s traveling, a girl always needs a place to put her jewels. This handmade one on Etsy can be personalized and is light and small enough to fit in a tote bag. It holds rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings and is also chic enough to double as a clutch for a night out. This travel jewelry case has a 4.9-average star rating from 6,230 reviews on Etsy.
Paravel Main Line Duffle
Featured in Select’s guide to top-rated weekender bags, this duffle is made from Paravel’s Ecocraft Canvas material — composed of 14 upcycled plastic water bottles — and an eco-friendly silicone coating for durability. It is lightweight and can fit four to five days’ worth of clothing, according to the brand. The bride’s new initials can be embroidered, hand-painted or foiled directly onto the bag for a customized touch. “Fill a personalized tote bag with all the bride’s favorite things (snacks, flowers, lotions, etc.) for an all-in-one gift,” suggested Austin of Alex Austin Events & Design. It’s also big enough to fit a laptop for the working girl on the go.
Wood by Stu Welcome Mat
A welcome mat is a decor piece that is often overlooked. Even if the couple already has one, a mat with the new family name on it is something that no matter where they live, they can take it with them and make a new place feel like home. This one is made with ink rather than vinyl, so it won’t peel under the sun. This doormat has a 4.9-average star rating from 76,920 reviews on Etsy.
Happily Ever Etched Waterford Elegance Trumpet Custom Champagne Flutes
This set of two Waterford Crystal champagne flutes would be a gorgeous addition to the couples’ china cabinet. You can also have them engraved with the couple’s name and wedding date. “Throw in a nice bottle of champagne to make it feel luxe. Plus, it’s an excuse to use it right away,” suggested Austin. They can even take these to the wedding for a personalized touch. Currently, this set of flutes has a 4.9-average star rating from 11,479 reviews on Etsy.
American Stationery Embossed Notecards
“A personalized set of stationery is an ideal and timely gift for any bride who will inevitably write numerous thank-you notes in the near future,” said Becca Atchison, founding partner and creative director of Rebecca Rose Events. “If the bride will be changing her last name, it’s also a lovely way to acknowledge that and equip her with stationery she can use for months and years to come.” This sleek stationery set from American Stationery includes 25 embossed notecards with matching envelopes. It currently has a 5.0-star average rating from 1,592 Etsy reviews.
Mark & Graham Celebration Ice Bucket
A smart pick for couples who like to entertain, this ice bucket keeps up to 150 ounces of wine and champagne chilled and ready to drink. Highly recommended in a recent Select guide on the best engagement gifts, it is crafted from durable stainless steel, available in a silver- or gold-plated finish and has a delicate stamped detailing. This ice bucket can also be engraved with the couple’s initials. “Really, you can’t go wrong with monogramming or personalizing anything,” said Esther Lee, deputy editor at The Knot.
WillowBee Signs Watercolor Home Portrait
Perfect for the couple who just bought a home together, a watercolor portrait of their new house is a great gift idea. Thoughtful, tasteful and personalized, the bride will know that a lot of thought went into this. You can get a digital version to print and frame for her yourself or get it in a rustic wood frame. (Just be sure to keep their home decor in mind when choosing a frame.) This item has a 5.0-average star rating out of 5,801 reviews on Etsy.
Mark & Graham Leather Luggage Tag & Passport Case Set
Give her passport a little upgrade with a classy new cover. The matching, personalized luggage tag in this set will make it easy to spot on the carousel for a faster start to her future vacay. A travel accessory with a custom touch is just as practical as it is thoughtful. If she’s changing her name, help her out by gifting this set along with a passport name-change application to make sure she’s all set to travel under her new name.
Sadie & June Heart Map
Tug at the heartstrings with a gift that showcases the start of the couple’s love story. A hand-embroidered vintage map with a heart can signify many things for the couple — where they met, where they got engaged or where they are getting married. The possibilities are endless, and this will likely be something they will enjoy hanging in their home.
Best last-minute bridal shower gifts
PUR Mellow Eyes Hemp-Infused Eye Patches
True story: Wedding planning can be stressful. Help the bride-to-be do a little pampering with these depuffing eye patches. PUR’s Mellow Eyes Hemp-Infused Eye Patches were highly recommended by experts in our guide to the best under-eye patches for puffiness, dark circles and lines. They contain glycerin to moisturize, niacinamide to improve skin tone and texture, sodium hyaluronic acid to hydrate and hemp seed and argan oils to smooth out the skin.
Home Depot Gift Card
Whether the bride and her future spouse have just bought a home or are in the middle of some renovations, Home Depot is a one-stop shop for all the necessities. If you’re really in a bind over what to get the bride for her shower, you typically can’t go wrong with a gift card. The Home Depot gift card is the most popular option on The Knot Registry Store.
Firstleaf Award-Winning Mix Wine Box
You can certainly sign the bride up for an introductory wine club membership, but with all the craziness that comes with hosting a wedding, she might end up forgetting to cancel if she’s not really interested. Another option is to give her a gift box of wine from a wine club so she can try a selection before she commits. Not sure what type of wine the couple prefers? Get a mixed box, like this combo of reds and whites from Firstleaf, a company that was included in our guide to the best wine subscription boxes. It comes with 12 bottles of wine that they can use to celebrate or unwind after a stressful day of wedding planning.
For the future Mrs. with a green thumb, adding a new plant to her collection is a great option. “A potted plant the couple can grow together can be at any budget level and is super memorable and meaningful,” said Austin. Complete the gift by adding a cute watering can or other garden tools. A ZZ plant was highly recommended by Select experts in our guide to the best house plants because it’s low-maintenance, requires little light and only needs to be watered every few weeks.
Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor
This model, which was featured in our guide to the best juicers, can juice fruits and vegetables and can hold 16 ounces of juice and 40 ounces of pulp. It uses 500 watts and has an adjustable spout, removable pulp container and cleaning brush for easy cleaning. An LED screen tells you when your juice is done, and the juice container can be replaced while juicing, useful when you're making a large juice batch.
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
New pillows are never a bad idea. This one from Tuft & Needle — recommended in our guide to the best sleep aid products — is no exception. It’s designed with open-cell foam that air can pass through and is infused with graphite and cooling gel to stay cool throughout the night. The cover is also made from a breathable micro polyamide and polyester fabric. Get one for the bride and one for her soon-to-be spouse.
Ina Garten’s “Cook Like a Pro”
Filled with recipes for their future get-togethers and previously recommended in a Select guide to the best cookbooks, “Cook Like a Pro” is a great option for a soon-to-be bride. Whether she’s a cooking novice or gives Gordon Ramsay a run for his money, she’s bound to learn something new from this cookbook designed to help home cooks master various cooking techniques (like braising short ribs and making the perfect scrambled eggs).
Blue Apron Meal Plan
The soon-to-be-married couple is going to be so busy the week (and even month) before the wedding, they will likely need all the help they can get. A meal-delivery service can start them off on the right foot and save them precious time. Blue Apron was an expert favorite in our guide to the best meal delivery services for 2023. With a Blue Apron gift card, they can choose exactly when they want to redeem the gift so it suits their busy schedules and arrives when it’s most needed.
Best affordable bridal shower gifts
Kate Aspen Floral Bridal Survival Kit
Hair ties, a sewing kit and a nail file are just a few good things to have in a wedding day emergency kit. A good wedding planner will bring all of this and more to the big day, but it doesn’t hurt to supply the bride with her own kit. Add in a pack of bobby pins and some airplane-size liquor bottles for a little celebrating.
Kendra Scott Everlyne Friendship Bracelet
This white-stringed bracelet by Select favorite jewelry purveyor Kendra Scott is simple enough for everyday wear, and it’s the perfect shade to accessorize all her white bridal-event outfits. The bracelet features a braided cord accented with an ivory Mother-of-Pearl. Get a matching one for yourself and wear it to the event as a subtle reminder of your close bond.
Cooluli Mini Fridge
The bride can use this mini fridge at home for her skin care, then bring it to the bridal suite to chill some much-needed refreshments while preparing for her big day. “Add on a gift card for a mani-pedi to help her feel pampered and beautiful,” suggested Atchison. At 4 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight and portable and conveniently comes with a USB power bank. This mini fridge has a 4.5-average star rating out of 25,177 reviews on Amazon.
Magnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner
Keep her new ring shiny with this at-home jewelry cleaner that cleans jewelry, eyeglasses, watches, utensils and more in minutes using only tap water, according to the brand. It uses ultrasonic sound waves to create a powerful yet gentle clean that can polish even the most delicate precious jewels. Its stainless-steel chamber can hold up to 20 ounces, and it has five different cleaning cycles so you can control the desired intensity.
Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet Eau de Toilette
Getting the bride a small version of her favorite perfume feels extra-personal, and she can bring it with her on her special day. This eau de toilette by Christian Dior is a duo of Damascus rose and peony notes with a soft touch of white musk. Plus, in a travel-friendly size, it can fit in a clutch to take straight to the airport for the honeymoon.
Nest New York Luxury Scented Votive Candle Set
A set of candles is a no-brainer gift that will help a bride create a warm and welcoming home. This set comes with six votive-size candles that will each burn for up to four hours total, according to the Select favorite brand Nest. Scents include Bamboo, Grapefruit, Moroccan Amber, Ocean Mist & Sea Salt, Amalfi Lemon & Mint, and Wild Mint & Eucalyptus.
Jot & Mark Recipe Organizer
From writing down old family recipes that will conjure up happy childhood memories to adding new favorites, this recipe binder lets a bride create a collection of go-to meals for her and her partner to whip up together. It contains 50 recipe cards, six divider tabs and clear sleeves to tuck away recipes pulled from magazines or passed down by friends. One idea: Start her collection off by adding one of your favorite recipes before gifting it. This item has a 5.0-star average rating from 3,252 reviews on Amazon.
Blueland The Clean Essentials
Whether the couple is just starting their sustainable journey or already operate a low-waste home, a reusable home-cleaning set will likely get used. “If you are looking for something a little more unique or unconventional, think about what would make the bride's life easier,” advised Watts. This set from Blueland, which is a Select staff favorite cleaning brand, comes with four refillable bottles for hand soap and surface cleaners. Cleaning experts previously recommended Blueland’s all-purpose spray as one of the best eco-friendly cleaning products.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
Help the bride get her lips ready for that first kiss as a married woman with this Select-reader favorite mask from Laneige. The leave-on treatment gets applied at night to deliver antioxidants and moisture as you sleep, according to the brand. The lip mask has coconut oil for moisture and vitamin C to nourish lips, says Laneige. It’s also worth noting that this product has a 4.5-star average rating from 21,265 reviews on Amazon.
Best luxury bridal shower gifts
Lunya Washable Silk Set
If the bride is hosting a lingerie-themed bridal shower (yes, it’s a real thing), by all means, get her some sexy lingerie. However, if it’s a shower sans lingerie theme, “keep in mind that it should be something that the bride won’t be embarrassed to be opening in front of her mom and grandmother,” said Grace Lee, CEO and co-founder of Birdy Grey, a site for bridesmaids and bridal gifting options. This silk sleep set, which was included in Select’s guide to affordable silk pajamas, is soft and sexy but not so va-va-voom that she’ll be mortified opening it up in front of family. It’s made from 100% machine-washable mulberry silk, according to the brand. More good news: It’s available in an inclusive size range (XS-2X) and comes in various colors, like Immersed Black, Tranquil White, Otium Tan, Meditative Grey and Deep Blue.
Marriage Retreat in a Box
She and her fiancé may not need this right now, but marriage is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and there will likely be a few rough patches down the road. This box encourages talking through the issues at hand, stopping fights before they start and just continuing to learn about each other. The bride will appreciate you thinking about their future with this gift.
XO Juliet Custom Wedding Vows–Sweethearts Package
For brides who want to write their own vows but need a little help conveying them in the best manner possible, this Sweethearts Package will ensure they ace it. This package is for one set of vows, but XO Juliet also offers vow writing for couples. If she simply needs a little guidance to get started, the company also offers a vow workbook.
Pottery Barn Oversized Backgammon Game
Encourage quality couple time with this luxurious Select editor favorite backgammon set. The board is made of MDF with Chinese ash veneers (select a gray or natural finish), and the game pieces are available in marble or beechwood. The oversized board looks stylish sitting out on a table in between games. Gift it with a bottle of wine for a complete game-night package.
Bartesian Premium Cocktails on Demand
This electronic bartender is ideal for the couple who loves entertaining. This cocktail maker, which was included in our guide to best Valentine’s Day gifts, includes five tempered glass bottles for vodka, tequila, whiskey, gin or rum and water, which combine with unique capsules to quickly create great-tasting cocktails. This model includes capsules that can whip up a Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Long Island Iced Tea and Uptown Rocks.
Quince Luxe Turkish Cotton Bath Robe
Help the bride-to-be feel like they’re staying at an upscale hotel (even after the honeymoon) with this Turkish cotton robe from Quince. Previously featured in our guide to the best self-care gifts, it has a 5.0-star rating for its plush fabric and streamlined design.
Slip Frequent Flyer Travel Set
"If a bride makes a separate registry for their bridal shower, they will definitely include some ‘treat yourself’ items,” said Watts. This silk set definitely qualifies, and it will help the soon-to-be Mrs get some much-needed beauty rest on her upcoming travels. Whether traveling by car, plane or train, a silk pillow is actually better for her skin and hair, according to experts we previously spoke to in our guide to the best bedding for your skin, so she will wake up not only refreshed but also glowing. Plus, the set comes with a sleep mask and face mask.
Jump-start the forever memories your friend and her fiancé will make with the gift of a fun experience, right in their own backyard. “This is a great way to give the couple something meaningful and memorable, while also making sure you're not buying a duplicate gift,” said Emily Forrest, director of communications at Zola. If the honeymoon is already planned, you can always opt to gift them an experience, like a sightseeing tour or romantic dinner in whatever city they will be traveling to.
MVMT Beverly Marble Watch
The marble design and rose-gold case of this Select editor favorite watch is right on trend and will complement all of her white bridal outfits. Personalize it by getting it engraved with her wedding date.
Away The Carry-On
If she’s planning a grand honeymoon, consider gifting her a stylish suitcase for her trip. A favorite among Select readers, Away’s carry-on suitcase comes in two versions: Standard and Flex, which expands up to 2.25 inches to make more room for packing. Both suitcases weigh about 8 pounds and offer dimensions that fit within most airlines’ allowances: 21.7 inches by 13.7 inches by 9 inches. The suitcase has a polycarbonate hard shell and 360-degree spinner wheels that will glide through the airport, according to the brand. This carry-on also includes a hidden laundry bag for dirty clothes.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Becca Atchison is a founding partner and creative director of Rebecca Rose Events, which helps couples in the Winston-Salem region plan their weddings
- Alex Austin is the founder of Nashville-based Alex Austin Events & Design
- Dana Watts is the owner and lead planner of Thyme & Details, a sustainable event-planning business out of Columbus, Ohio
- Emily Forrest is the director of communications at wedding registry site Zola
- Lynne Goldberg is the founder of the wedding planning service Ms Wedding Planner Esther Lee is a deputy editor at The Knot
- Grace Lee is the CEO and co-founder of Birdy Grey, a site for bridesmaids and bridal gifting options
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