When it comes to bridal showers, how much you should spend on a gift usually crosses your mind before you go shopping; it narrows down and guides your choices. Sometimes the bride provides a registry wishlist of items from a local department store before the shower, which gives you a list of what she wants and includes prices. But when you are left in the dark without a sense of gift direction, the best thing to do is consider how much you can truly afford.
How much you should spend on a bridal shower gift often comes down to your personal budget and how important the bride is to you personally rather than a set price or gift standard.
Deciding What to Spend
Typically, guests spend between $25 and $75 on bridal shower gifts, although close members of the bride's family often spend a little more for the perfect gift. At some bridal showers, the hostess might have suggested a specific gift on an individual basis or for a contribution to a larger gift fund, but this is not the norm. Most often, it is up to guests to decide their own budgets and follow their own taste and ideas when it comes to gifting a bridal present. If you are close to the bride, you will have a better idea of what she will like, whether it is in the lower or higher end of your budget. If you are an acquaintance, consider politely asking a family member or a friend for some great gift ideas for the bride.
Keep in mind that this is but one of several expenses you'll have as a wedding guest. If you give a bridal shower gift, you are still expected to give a wedding present as well. You might also need to pay for travel, wedding apparel, and an engagement present. A good rule of thumb is to use the guideline of allocating 20 percent of your total gift budget for the shower.
For example, if your total budget is $200, you would spend $40 on the bridal shower gift, leaving $160 for the wedding and engagement presents. This guideline helps when you are considering gift options; it helps you to stay within your budget and give some great presents at all steps along the way.
Deciding what to gift to give at a bridal shower all comes down to your personal budget, unique taste, and relationship to the bride. Some bridal showers are designated as personal (lingerie) or for the home. If that's the case, follow that direction. If it's just called a bridal shower and there is no registry, think about what types of gifts will be useful after the wedding, such as items for cooking or entertaining or bed and bath linens. You can also choose a gift for the couple rather than just the bride. Whether it's a kitchen appliance or new nifty gadget they'll both use, a shared gift for the couple is a good choice as they start life together.