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10 Women Share What They Think You Should Spend On A Bridal Shower Gift

Ludmila Leiva

Love ’em or hate ’em, bridal showers have become a staple of modern wedding culture. This time of year, it can sometimes feel like there’s a never-ending stream of engagements, showers, and other festivities. And while it’s nice to celebrate your friends’ nuptials, all those bridal showers and weddings can certainly add up.

While financial responsibility is important, so is enjoying your friendships and toasting your friends on their milestones. So it’s important to strike a balance and figure out how to approach bridal-shower shopping in a way that’s wallet-friendly, but also shows your friends how much you care.

We chatted with 25 women to get some insight into how real people approach budgeting and shopping for bridal showers (and how they really feel about the tradition as a whole). Ahead, ten of them give insights on how they get through wedding season without breaking the bank.

Age: 22

Annual Income: $65,000

Location: Washington, D.C.

Bridal shower gift budget: $40

How’d you land on that amount?

“I don’t feel like spending more than $50. If I’m buying a wedding gift, too — like come on!”

Do you have a go-to gift?

No.

How do you feel about bridal showers?

"I think they’re a weird tradition that still exists because people think it should. Watching someone open presents for 45 minutes seems weird. Let’s just eat food together and call it brunch, because that’s what it should be."

Age: 32

Annual Income: $42,000

Location: Denver, CO

Bridal shower gift budget: $30-$50

How’d you land on that amount?

“I don’t think you have to spend a ton on a bridal shower gift, and I base how much I spend on how close I am with the person and a variety of other factors, such as what I’m spending on their bachelorette party, engagement party, travel, and hotel for their actual wedding.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“I will go in with another friend or two and buy the couple an experience like a cooking class or create an ‘at-home’ cooking-class kit, which consists of a cookbook, Whole Foods gift card, and a bottle of wine.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“I don’t love them. I don’t like all the inane, silly games, and did not have one when I got married. I prefer experiences with a smaller group of close friends over another big party with random people bringing me gifts I don’t really need.”

Age: 28

Annual Income: $80,000

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Bridal shower gift budget: $50

How’d you land on that amount?

“It’s less than I’d give at a wedding, but enough to buy one nice thing or a couple of small things off a registry.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“Whatever is cute on the registry.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“They’re boring. Even my own was. I wish it was more of a cocktail hour setup. I feel like everyone just wants to meet the expectations of older relatives, but times have changed!”

Age: 24

Annual Income: $65,000

Location: Livingston, NJ

Bridal shower gift budget: $100

How’d you land on that amount?

“This can usually get me a bigger item on the registry to show I care, or I can get a bunch of little things and make a cute basket.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“Pots and pans or other kitchenware.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“They're fun, but if the food sucks I leave early.”

Age: 28

Annual Income: $32,000

Location: Buffalo, NY

Bridal shower gift budget: $50-$100

How’d you land on that amount?

“It’s based on how well I know the bride.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

"No."

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“I think they are cute and a nice way to help the new couple start their life together.”

Age: 44

Annual Income: $101,000

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Bridal shower gift budget: $100

How’d you land on that amount?

“It is just one of many celebrations for the new couple. $100 is a nice gift but not excessive.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“No, I tend to pick gifts that are as meaningful as possible.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“I prefer not to attend.”

Age: 29

Annual Income: $78,000

Location: Chicago, IL

Bridal shower gift budget: $50-$75

How’d you land on that amount?

“If I am a guest at a wedding, I feel like I should cover my ‘cost’ of $100, so I feel half that amount is justified for the bridal shower gift as well. I got married last year, in addition to being a guest at seven other weddings, and the majority of nice individual kitchen and home items on registries are around the $50 mark. If it's a close family or friend, I am happy to spend more on something I know they really want or would appreciate. Of course, I understand not everyone can contribute the same to gifts, nor should anyone feel they must spend a certain amount to give a ‘good gift.’”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“Wine-bottle chiller and wine glasses or some sort of nice kitchen item.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“I love giving gifts to others and celebrating them. I do think some people can take advantage of the situation and invite every female they know to a shower to presumably get more gifts, which is unfair to those invited. I've also seen the stress showers can bring on guests, especially friends who may have several showers to attend within a year and are unable to afford all that comes with it. Bridal showers are a nice tradition, but no one should feel obligated to attend or spend a specific dollar amount.”

Age: 36

Annual Income: $90,000

Location: Toms River, NJ

Bridal shower gift budget: $50

How’d you land on that amount?

“I like group gifts best, because with pooled money you can get a big-ticket item. If it's just me, I try to keep it below $50, because that usually will cover a small appliance or something from the registry, along with the wrapping and card.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“The waffle maker! I like gifts that people usually register for, but are also a combination of function and fun.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“I'm a fan. I’m in my mid-30s, and many of my friends have been living with their significant others or on their own for a while. So I don't look at the shower as a way for guests to bring gifts to help people build their lives together, but as a way to truly celebrate the couple.”

Age: 25

Annual Income: $97,000

Location: Chicago, IL

Bridal shower gift budget: $40

How’d you land on that amount?

“I think this amount is reasonable — as you are already probably getting a wedding gift for the bride, it doesn't need to be too expensive.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“Wine glasses.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“I wouldn't have one, but I imagine it's fun for the moms and grandmas of the bride. Also, it seems more common that white people have them.”

Age: 30

Annual Income: $115,000

Location: Charlotte, NC

Bridal shower gift budget: $75-$100

How’d you land on that amount?

“This amount often gets me a gift that feels substantial. As I get older, I feel like this amount increases. Also, I’ve recently been in weddings where I've had to buy gifts for five or so events, so for those I've lowered the amount for some gifts, because the overall cost of the wedding has been super high.”

Do you have a go-to gift?

“Always stay on the registry. Try to do drink ware and something they can use then.”

How do you feel about bridal showers?

“As someone who has attended a ton of bridal showers and is currently engaged, I think they can be fun. But they also contribute to the absurd idea that you have to shower your friends with gifts when they get married. In the past few years, I've spent thousands of dollars to attend, be in, and give gifts for friends' weddings. I think this expectation needs to change.”

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