What to Give at a Bridal Shower

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Photography by: Madison Katlin

Let’s chat bridal showers! Petit fours, chicken salad and flowers are a few of my favorite things, so naturally, I live for bridal showers. They are pretty much my olympics. I’m GREAT at drinking flavored tea and talking about how pretty a bride looks. 😉

Now before we chat, let’s just get one thing out in the open. We can unmask the elephant in the room, if you will. Bridal showers and registry gifts have quite the strong opinions about them. Some people believe you should be grateful for any gift, so the registry is just a suggestion. Others believe that it’s more so about honoring the bride and groom’s wishes by adhering to a registry. I’m not here to convince you of either opinion because I truly believe you can follow both!

If your girlfriend just got engaged and you want to celebrate, I think it’s incredibly thoughtful to gift her a little somethin’ somethin’ while her registry isn’t made. If you’re headed to a bridal shower and want to go in on a larger registry gift with friends, you can still make it personal. Or, if you waited too late and there was only a spatula left on the registry don’t worry! Grab the spatula, because I’ve got you covered for the rest of your gift. Today I’m talking bridal shower baskets and how to create one!

First things first, grab a wicker basket and fill it with some fun tissue! Then, get to compiling!

1. Registry Item: Now, I’m a bit of a registry stickler but if you aren’t no worries! My suggestion would be to just even include a $5 gift card to a place they registered at. Their gift cards/returns/exchanges will add up and it will be so welcomed! I added a $5 Target gift card to this basket for reference. I always like to stock up on greeting cards when I find a cute one and I also grab $5 or $10 gift cards while I’m checking out because I’ll always need them for a shower! And I get it, sometimes you go to a registry and there is only a gravy boat left and if you don’t use a gravy boat consistently you might think, “Great, my bff from college is going to always associate me with gravy.” Lol! I promise she won’t and she will be thrilled to receive it! But if you want to make the gift a little more personal, keep reading. Registries are wonderful because if you shop it quickly, you can really pick off whatever price point your budget needs are. You can go all out with pots and pans if you’re doing a joint gift with all the bridesmaids or you can keep it just from yourself with a smaller item of choice.

Budget: TBD, Starting at $5

2. Book of Choice: One of my favorite things about our engagement was hearing advice from married couples! Marriage advice was ALWAYS welcomed. Pregnancy advice? Maybe not so much. 😉 You’re super hormonal during your baby shower, you’re not during your bridal shower! Lol! But I digress…moving on, I loved hearing from couples what books they loved or what cookbooks they always made dinner from. If you aren’t married and you’re thinking, “Uhhh..my marriage advice would be to still make sure you attend your weekly Girls’ Night Out dinners.” gift her a sweet cookbook that you know she would love. The Newlywed Cookbook is always a great option and I LOVE The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.

Budget: Between $10 and $20

An easy way to make this option $10 or less is to pick up a cookbook from Half-Priced Books OR make this budget option FREE by gifting your favorite cookbook – sentimental brownie points! A really sweet option would be to pass down a family dessert recipe to a friend! I’ve seen girls frame recipe cards at showers so they can keep it in their kitchen on display.

3. Hosting Item: We hosted far more our first year of marriage than we ever had while being single. A fun addition would be to share your favorite hosting must-have! Maybe it’s a favorite bottle of champagne or if you’re like me, this pineapple ice bucket! This is a great way to incorporate the groom in your gift because you can give something fun like a nice whiskey glass.

Budget: $18

4. Ornament: Ornaments are the perfect gift for a friend that just got engaged or a way to make a registry gift personal! If you have followed my blog for any time now you know our tree is filled with two things: pineapple ornaments and Coton Colors ornaments. You can get them personalized, for your school of choice, and or for every milestone in life. We have Texas Tech ornaments, engagement ornaments, marriage ornaments and ornaments for Maxi all by the line!

Budget: $20

5. Frame: Sometimes frames are a little tricky to gift at a shower because you are veering into home decor territory. Is the girl a traditionalist or is the couple’s style more modern? It can be difficult! And even if you know the bride’s taste, it may change once married. A safe bet in my book is to always go a lighter, neutral route as it is always a chic and safe bet! This frame pictured says, “Our Wedding Day” or I love the “Mr & Mrs” square frame here!

Budget: Roughly $25

6. Plate: By now you probably see a little theme in this gift basket, and I wanted to introduce you to the brand behind the whimsical gifts: Coton Colors. Coton Colors was created by Laura Johnson as she started to have children and wanted to create keepsakes to document each special moment in life. She made pottery by pressing her daughter’s handprints into clay and there this brand was born. The brand’s motto is to “never miss an opportunity to celebrate everyday” which I think is so important as you get married. There is SO much build up to the big day and you come home from your honeymoon to a list of thank you notes, bills and boxes. I personally am all for celebrating the small things in life [and not just saving certain clothing for special occassions, I always say, “What if special never happens?!”] so I love to gift these items. Personally, one of my favorite gifts from our wedding was a bottle of wine from my girlfriend, Kristy. She wrote us a long letter about how we needed to celebrate the little things in life so we should drink this wine on a mundane day when we were back at work and tired and had a million things to do. She said we should be reminded to just sit, enjoy the moment, drink wine and celebrate the fact we both found each other in life. All of that sappy moment to say, you have to throw in a happy everything plate to remind the couple that EVERY day can be happy since they have found one another. Coton Colors has another branch called, Happy Everything. This little plate can be put on a stand in their kitchen and you can add different attachments based on certain occasions in your life!

Budget: Plate $44, Attachment: $25, Stand $15

All in all, you can really make this basket to be catered to your budget! You can do one ornament or five, the plate or the plate with the attachment and stand! If you go in with other people on a gift, you could ultimately spend around $20 which makes it easier on everyone. 🙂 The great thing about gifting from a specific brand is you can continue the tradition for their birthdays and anniversaries. Also if you sign up for the Toast magazine you may see a certain contributor in there! 😉 A magazine subscription is an amazing housewarming gift for a newly engaged couple and this one covers everything over entertaining.

Do you have any specific items you love to gift at bridal showers?! What’s something you always search for on the registry?


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  1. I think the great thing about American weddings is that you guys have a registry. It’s not common (actually, it’s unheard of?) in my culture to have a registry, which makes gifting so much harder.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 10 May 17Reply
  2. Clarissa wrote:

    This was so perfectly timed! I have a bridal shower right around the corner and I have had my registry gift for a while but have been struggling with adding a personal touch! These Coton Colors ideas are perfect for the couple we are celebrating! Thank you!

    Published 10 May 17Reply
  3. Lynnlee wrote:

    Such great timing on this post! I’m attending a bridal shower next weekend (in Colorado, which is an added challenge). I tend to pick something off the registry, and then add something else….like a coffee maker from the registry and then personalized coffee mugs for the bride & groom with her new last name & wedding date.

    Published 10 May 17Reply
  4. Tawni K wrote:

    I am a registry stickler myself, but depending on budget and relationship I may throw in an item that is a personal favorite or something I know the bride to be will love. I love your tip about the small gift card from a store where the couple is registered.

    I love gifting a pair of Hanky Panky swarovski crystal ‘I Do’ panties for a bachelorette party or a bridal shower where I know it would be appropriate to gift lingerie. For the registry search, I like going for a unique item that the couple will get a lot of use out of or really enjoy, like a french press, waffle maker or spiralizer. When I got married these were the items I was most excited to receive. If they hadn’t been gifted we probably wouldn’t have made purchasing them a priority, but we use them a lot since we have them and I think of the friends who gave them every time we pull them out!

    Published 10 May 17Reply
  5. Such amazing combos! I am in the middle of planning my friend’s bridal shower gift and picked up an ornament and thought it was the cutest idea ever!! Love this post 🙂
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    Published 10 May 17Reply
  6. Lindsey M. wrote:

    Hi Katey,

    I love reading your blog! I really appreciate how you talk about your love for The Lord 🙂
    My husband and I were gifted The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller and cannot wait to read it! We are newlyweds and I was wondering what your biggest piece of marriage advice is?
    Also, are there any books you would recommend specific to being a wife?

    Thanks for writing such a fun blog and being such a great role model!

    Published 10 May 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Lindsey!

      Congratulations on your marriage! So wonderful! I would say our biggest piece of advice is to always remember how much *they* love you. During little arguments or fights, when you just stop and think, “This person loves me so much they would die for me and here we are arguing over lack of communication or some chore!” It honestly makes you laugh and stop. So many times we will be annoyed over something and we just start laughing because of how silly it is. And also OVER communicate if anything! I know they preach communication, but life gets so busy [especially with a baby] and then we find we forgot to talk about something and we both made assumptions that aren’t true. I’m looking for a good wife devotional right now so if I find one I’ll definitely share! 🙂



      Published 11 May 17Reply
  7. Nina wrote:

    I love how you separated it by budget! I wish I had this when all my friends were getting married!

    Xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

    Published 10 May 17Reply
  8. This is so cute!! My bridal shower is next month and I am so excited for it!! <3


    Published 11 May 17Reply
  9. Laurient wrote:

    Love the idea of a gift basket for a bridal shower! The ornaments are absolutely adorable. My favorite gift from my shower was a picnic basket that I had registered for, but inside they had added wine glasses, a wine pairing book, a cute blanket to sit on, and a gift certificate to a wonderful cheese specialty shop in town so we could customize a cheese board for our picnic outing. It was such a cute idea and ended up being one of our first dates together as a married couple!

    Published 11 May 17Reply