Need a Cheap Bridal Shower Gift Idea?

Give a Meaningful Bridal Shower Gift that Doesn't Cost Too Much Money

Women friends opening gift


Mint Images / Getty Images

I have a secret: though I got many fabulous and expensive bridal shower gifts at the charming tea party my bridesmaids threw, the best bridal shower gift was free. It's true - the best present was more rich with sentiment than expense. I'll show you how simple it was, and how you can make a similar one for your bride.
A bridal shower gift is traditionally a moderately expensive present that the bride can use in her home. Since it's opened in front of all the other guests, it's tempting to spend more than you can really afford, just so you won't look cheap. If the maid of honor is hosting the shower, like mine was, the pressure is doubly on to set a good example.
But fortunately, I didn't choose a dummy for my maid of honor. Rather than buying me something expensive that just anyone could have bought me, she took a combined approach. She bought me an inexpensive set of hors d'oeuvre dishes that probably cost less than $20, and then made me something sentimental, heartfelt, and practically free.

Homemade Gift That's Useful

She made me a "Countdown to Your Wedding" using 12 pink cards, pictures she cut out of magazines, and pieces of heartfelt advice to help me feel excited and beautiful on my wedding day. It was like the Christmas advent calendars she and I shared when we were younger, but now especially made for me.
Each day leading up to my wedding, I'd flip over a new card and read something personal and true that made me feel good. Some of them were silly - "Click your wedding shoes together to infuse them with magic" while others were more touching and personal to my relationship with my now-husband.
When I opened this present, the other ladies exclaimed, "That is so smart and thoughtful! I wish I had done something like that!" and told her that they planned on stealing the idea for future bridal shower gifts.
If you plan on stealing this idea, I think there are a few smart things that she did to make this gift feel special.

  • She clearly put time and thought into the gift, making it pretty and personal. This was no slapdash craft done in 15 minutes.
  • She gave this to me as my bridal shower gift, rather than my wedding present.
  • She's close enough to me that her sentiments really meant something to me in the frantic and stressed days before the wedding.
  • She still gave me a gift from my registry that she knew I wanted.

I should probably also mention that my maid of honor is incredibly giving and loving, so I knew that this was a gift about doing something personal for me, rather than just an attempt to save money so she could buy herself new shoes.

How to Make an Inexpensive Bridal Shower Gift Similar to This One

  • Figure Out the Format
    Do you want to do something like these cards, or would you rather write out your thoughts in a small, pretty notebook?
  • What Do You Want to Say?
    Is your bride someone who worries that she won't look pretty enough on her wedding day, and so you want to encourage her self esteem? Is she nervous about getting married at all, and so you want to remind her of all the great things about her relationship? If your bride has been under a lot of pressure and stress from family members, maybe you want to just encourage her to dream about how happy she'll be on the big day. Tell her to relax, and enjoy all the little moments of joy during the wedding.
  • If You're Not the Advice-Giving Type
    Instead of an advice countdown calendar, maybe you want to give her a scrapbook of favorite memories together, your beloved recipes, or something else meaningful and sentimental.

As long as your gift is full of love and sentiment, it will be hard to go wrong.